Monday, March 14, 2011


As you know Smug-Baby has been having sleep issues and I got thinking about it and for the most part she is a good sleeper really. 8 out of 10 nights once she falls asleep she stays asleep all night. She wakes a few times to nurse, but since she is sleeping with us I don't even fully wake up for that and thus don't really count it as wake-up. Those other 2 out of 10 nights are when she is restless and wiggly or wants to get up and play.

The biggest problem we have is getting her to fall asleep to begin with. I try not to let her nap after 5pm, and the only reason it isn't earlier than 5pm, is that 5pm is when I am driving home and I can't keep her awake in the car and drive at the same time. Regardless, she always acts like she is dead tired by about 7:30 or so and I work really hard to keep her awake until 8:30 (because I have tried letting her fall asleep at 7:30 and she wakes at 9 or 10 and wants to get up and play). A lot of times lately it has seemed like she gets a second wind about 8 and then it can be 10-11 before we get her to sleep!!

I have fretted and worried and wondered and banged my head against the wall on this topic and I was feeling so concerned that I may be doing something so wrong and she would have developmental problems because of this lack of sleep!! Then I stumbled across Pistols and Popcorn and her post on being afraid of our children and it spoke to me!

She was talking about taking a step back and relaxing! If you followed every "expert’s" advice on how to raise your children, you would just end up in a nut house because there are so many contradictory philosophies out there.

Bottom line, every child is different, more importantly, every parent is different. Even the same parent is different. I was parented as a baby by a new mother, while my sister was parented by a mother of two - same mom, but different!! What works with one baby may not work with another and we as mothers have to start learning to trust our instincts, follow our hearts and do what we know is best for our children!!

People have been telling me for a year now that if I would just put Smug-Baby in her crib and let her cry it out for a few nights that all these sleep problems would go away. It doesn't hurt a baby to cry! Well, does it? Really? I think that people have this blind spot when it comes to babies, like they aren't really people yet.

How would you feel, if for some reason, you were unable to do for yourself and the person you were trusting with your care and ultimately your life, put you in a dark room, closed the door and left you there. You might see shadows on the ceiling and get scared. You would cry out to that trusted person and they wouldn't come. You would cry louder and harder, becoming more scared as the trusted person seems to have abandoned you. You start thinking that perhaps something happened and the trusted person has died and you will be left there to waste away and die of hunger and thrust. You cry harder and louder desperate to get someone, anyone’s attention until finally, your throat sore and raw and your body exhausted you fall into sleep.

Now, you dread nighttime, knowing that you will be abandoned once again and once again no one will come to your aid. The trusted person has less of your trust now as you have learned that your trust is not justified and you become fearful of other things in your life. If that trusted person abandons you sometimes then you can never be sure that the hand you hold, that guides you and helps you won't be yanked away at any moment.

Now, really think about that!! How does that fear of abandonment stay with a baby as they grow? We have battered women who stay with their abusers - why? We have people in this world so scared of commitment – why? We have people who eat themselves into obesity - why? Could it all be traced back to their first betrayal? Was that the beginning of low self-esteem (I am not worthy of being comforted)?

I don't want that for my daughter.  Right now crying is the only way that she can communicate with me and she has different cries for different things. Sometimes she is hurt, hungry, bored, scared, and mad because I won't let her do something. I don't always run to her and pick her up whatever the cry. I don't give in and let her have something I don't want her to have just because she is crying. But I never let her cry in fear or pain without trying to help soothe her. My arms and my kisses don't always stop the tears, but I feel that my daughter will never think that her mother didn't care enough to try to help ease her pain and suffering.

I trust myself as a mother. I don't know how I know what I know, but I know it!! I know that letting my sweet, trusting baby cry herself to sleep will never be something that I will do - ever! I know that I will figure out the magic plan that works for our family. I will read books and talk to others and post my fears and questions and concerns here, but ultimately, I will find what works for us from options that resonate with my soul! I never thought that parenting would be easy, I took it on with eyes wide open and I am up for the challenge!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that you're realizing what and who you are as a Mom. I don't totally agree, but why should I. I'm not you, or your family. The point of the matter is, you do what's best always for your family, and if at some point it's not working for you anymore. You change it. That's all there is and needs to be known.