“So is she a good sleeper?”
You know the one. The one that EVERYONE and their dog asks. When you tell them the truth they just stare at you with blank eyes, as if you were supposed to lie and pretend everything about motherhood is perfect. Haven’t they been here? Don’t they remember? We’ve been asked that same question since the day my daughter was born. The truth is… She’s 13 months and she’s fiiiiinally sleeping better.
There were so many ways I wanted to go with this post so I hope I come across the right way with how I’ve chosen, so here goes nothing.
There is no one way to do something, and there is no one way to parent. What my husband and I have chosen to do has worked for us, and what we’ve done is co-sleep! That’s not for you? Awesome. Don’t do it. Crying it out wasn’t for us. It is for you? Awesome. Be confident and educated in your decision and stand firm when people ask you why. You don’t need to explain yourself, you don’t need to justify your decision. The thing is, we’re ALL tired! We’re ALL going to find something that works, and we all need to be sure that our decision is good for us, and us alone. You’re always going to get criticism either way because there’s always someone that did it differently and their way is apparently better. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not. What it is, is better for them. Not necessarily better for you!
The thing is, not only are all babies different, but all parents are different. We’re all just marching to the beat of our own drum. If I can be perfectly honest mine is terribly off rhythm! And that’s okay! I’ve found my own rhythm that I know and I can follow. I’ve done things so out of the ordinary for what’s “normal” in my family and our circle of friends. We had our daughter in our bed until she was one. We plan on extended rear facing. I only give her a bath once a week. I’ve worn her since she was a newborn and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. With the next baby we may do things so differently I may even surprise myself. See, all every parent is doing (especially in the first 6 weeks) is trying to survive. So if you are that person that’s done having kids, please take a step back and remember that you were there once too. You had to figure everything out for yourself and you did perfectly fine. Give advice but don’t push it, don’t overstep your boundaries. If you’re that person that’s just started or still having kids… Take advice you like and want, and ignore the rest. I cared way too much about what everyone thought and it gave me incredible anxiety. Once I understood that this was my baby and I actually could do things that worked for me even if it wasn’t “normal”, I was 100 times happier. I can promise you that you will make mistakes; I can also tell you that those are your mistakes to learn from and grow from.
It’s taken 13 months. 13 months of waking every 1-3 hours with a baby that screamed for no reason. 13 months of no sleep, running off coffee and whatever fumes are left. 13 months of absolute joy one moment, and crying of exhaustion the next. But if I can tell you one thing, it’s that I’ve survived… And I’m happy. I’m finally sleeping for the first time in 13 MONTHS! We survived; now we’re thriving. What got me through was knowing that I was a good mom despite not everyone agreeing with mine and my husbands every decision (and coffee…. Lots and lots of coffee). So now that we’re sleeping why NOT go through it all over again! 😀
“So is she a good sleeper?”