I’m Glad I Didn’t Listen

Four children.  My last one just turned 4, he’s potty trained, night time trained, and is starting to learn to write his name.  He tells me everyday, “Mom…I’m growing up!”  I pretend to cry (honestly really crying inside), tickle him, and tell him to stay a baby forever.

When I had my first child, 11 years ago, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I was the first among most of my friends to have a baby.  I read books, I looked online, and I had TONS of people give me advice.  It’s not easy being a new mom, wondering how to do everything just right.  To make it even harder, people always have what I’m sure they mean to be good advice (and some of it really was), and recommendations to change the way you are doing things.

“Don’t sleep with your baby. You will never get them out of your bed.”

“Don’t hold them when they are sleeping; they will get used to it.”

“Don’t carry them around all the time because they need to learn to entertain themselves and self soothe.”

“Try the cry it out method. Try this scheduling method.  Try not nursing all night.”

“You should put socks on them. Their feet need to be warm.”

And I did. I tried them all.  Because I wanted to do everything right, and I was scared I didn’t know what was right.  But here’s the thing. What is the best thing for one parent might be completely opposite for another. It took me a while to learn that.  It took me a while to learn to trust my instinct…my gut.  After my heart was suffocated and cracked too many times while trying to sleep train my baby, I decided cuddling that tiny human and soaking in the sweet smell of baby hair was the only right way for me.

I’m on child number 4, he is 4 years old..and guess what.  He still sleeps in my bed.  In fact, we sold his bed about a year ago because he never used it.  Here is the other thing.  My absolute favorite times of parenting are when I’ve been snuggled up to my children breathing in their sweet scent.  I can’t imagine having listened to the advice not to do that.  Furthermore, I can’t imagine how I’m going to allow Charlie to ever sleep without me ( for 11 years I’ve had that addicting smell of babies to fall asleep to, as soon as one moved to his/her own bed, I had another baby…. and it is going to be a hard change for me when my last one wants to sleep on his own).

My older children now sleep through the night, not seemingly affected by our 2-3 years of cosleeping, and though my husband and I have been kicked plenty of times, I am so thankful for all those moments of snuggles.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Now if anyone figures out how to keep these munchkins little, I would greatly appreciate it.

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