Hey! It’s me. I was inspired this morning while rocking my little girl to sleep for her first nap and so I ran downstairs, as soon as I could, to be able to quickly write something about “rules”. I’m not a big fan of rules but, mostly, unnecessary rules.
I’m a big fan of rules that are for the betterment of society (ie: be nice, don’t judge, put away your tools when you’re done with them) but when it comes to parenting I find there are many rules, but more interestingly, there are different rules for different people and families. Almost everyone will have an opinion about anything regarding any part of raising a child. No subject goes untouched or unruled. We have a few rules, no doubt, like 1. Mommy needs a break from time to time. 2. No co-sleeping allowed unless we are camping and I can prepare myself for a night of no sleep. 3. We will not buy Phoenix big plastic kitchens, playgrounds, or anything else big and plasticy unless it’s used and she desperately needs it. I could go on but I’m not going to. I’m sure you have/will have your own.
One area of parenting we weren’t so good at was putting Phoenix to sleep (although she has always been a good sleeper, once asleep). We heard all sorts of advice regarding how to properly put a baby to sleep but I’m not sure any of those people had a Phoenix in their life. I think we all just manage the best we can, with whatever area of difficulty we’re experiencing. Our baby was quite colicky, maybe, who knows, but she cried a lot and one of the few ways to get her to stop crying was to feed her. Oh she’s crying, put a boob on it. And before you know it, it’s become this habit that is hard to break. I didn’t always want to break the habit because once you start something you get comfortable with, it’s hard to stop. So I continued the way we started. There were days I wanted to cry every time she was nursing and then there were days I really enjoyed these moments we had together. I would feel guilty because there was no way of putting her down other than nursing and Rod and I wanted a bit more freedom at night, the older she got. We didn’t have a babysitter until Phoenix was 10 months old because there was no way of consoling her other than nursing.
I never thought it would end. I thought Phoenix was never going to stop breast feeding because she was so attached to it.
Sometimes we over think these things because you know you’re not doing it the “right way” but then I think sometimes I don’t give my one year old enough credit. She’s much stronger than I think she is. She’s much more independent and willful than I thought she was. We tried getting Rod to put her down without a feeding last week and she was fine. Not even a struggle. Of course, I know we started weening her at the right time. I knew she was ready for it because I can tell how much she’s actually drinking in a sitting and sometimes it wasn’t much at all – her “nursing” was more of a soothing than anything else. I wanted her to be able to sooth herself to sleep and she’s getting better and better at it. I’m so proud of her.
I was rocking her to sleep this morning and thought about how I didn’t think this was possible 2 weeks ago. Look at us now. Doing it wrong but doing it so right!
As a final note, I’d like to ask everyone to ease up a little on moms and dads. There’s a lot of pressure to do things right – choose breast feeding, choose attachment parenting, they need weigh this much, don’t let them cry more than 5 minutes, don’t give them a bottle, etc etc. But really, we’re all just trying our best (a large chunk of us) and a little support is better than a little criticism.