One Friday morning I woke up grumpy. Sleep deprived. Foggy. I already didn’t feel so hot and I’d spent the night waking up every 3 hours to a crying baby who couldn’t get comfortable or settle. “That’s it! I have to change up what I’m doing to keep her asleep at night!”
At 7 weeks, Laila miraculously started sleeping through the night by herself. Other than keeping a consistent routine at night, I’m not sure what I did to make it happen. By 4 months, that all reversed with a growth spurt, teething, and new milestones. Fast forward to now and every night is a hit or miss. Some nights I can get her to sleep until 5am, some only until 1am. It depends. My routine has been altered a bit for the growing, active baby she is. However, I immediately felt like I had to do more to get her to sleep.
I started asking any and everyone their opinions on what they suggested and, boy, did I get any and every opinion on the topic. Out of many subjects in the world, everyone is always eager to share their thoughts on the “right way to parent”. Not really confident, I took every little detail as a tried and true way to get it to work. I just needed a little conviction that I was going to get a good routine. I was anxious, stressed, and a bit obsessed on getting this to work. Of course, nothing was.
One night, after getting her down (which is pretty easy), I was reading some material on KellyMom.com, and a particular article hit me like a ton of bricks. Afterwards, I came to this conclusion:
“Don’t beat yourself up over the way you get your child to sleep or if she wakes up at night. She’s an infant, not an adult. She’s still dependent on you for everything. What works for this mom over here isn’t going to work for you. Don’t spend these amazing moments and days frustrated and upset because she doesn’t sleep like a 30 year old! Enjoy this phase for what it is and move on!”
Yeah. All of that.
So I spent a solid month of frustrating myself with questions and research and new methods and old school methods. I literally wasted time worrying instead of enjoying this time that seems to be going faster and faster by the day!
My life with this little girl has been nothing short of amazing. I love taking in every moment and milestone right before my eyes. But because of one or two small things, it’s driving me feel like I’m not doing enough. My baby is probably one of the happiest babies I know. She’s smart, she’s healthy, and she loves discovering new things. She eats well and is sociable. She only cries if something is really, really wrong. I finally concluded my baby girl simply just likes to wake up and be near me in the night from time to time right now. Who cares?! It doesn’t make my child a bad child. It just means I’m going to have to help guide her along the way in this area. In the meantime, she wants a little closeness to feel at ease. If the other two things haven’t fallen into place, don’t worry! They will. Just enjoy this happy time. Before you know it, you’ll be dropping her off to her first day of Kindergarten, then middle school, then attending high school graduation!
Even in this process of parenting, I’m constantly learning. And before you judge (I feel it in my bones), we ALL have declared something we would “never do” when we became parents. Certain things I stand firm on. However, every single parent will do things their own way, and that’s okay. You figure things out as you go along & you really won’t know what you’ll do until you have a child of your own. #StepsOffSoapbox The methods I choose to use to parent are just fine and, dare I say: it’s pretty common for a 7.5 month old to be dependent on its mother. Duh! No parent is perfect, but you can’t compare your method of parenting to others & think they will work. So instead of fretting over getting up at night, let me sip this latte quietly and indulge in the moment because I get to do this! For all the moms & dads out there worrying about [Insert your thorn here], quit stressing over it & just love this moment in time for what it is. There are no perfect parents anyway! You’re doing an amazing job!