I read a post recently about a mom who decided to climb into the crib of her crying baby. The post was not only about this act but more about the reason behind it. It’s about many things but mainly about love.
When asked by her husband why she climb in the crib to sleep with her crying baby, the mom reminded him of a story both of them heard. It was the story of a missionary stationed in Uganda. It was the story of a room full of 100 babies in cribs and none of them crying. They did not not cry because they were so content. They did not cry because they gave up. They cried their little hearts out but nobody come to comfort them. And eventually they gave up. They accepted the fact that nobody will come to comfort them. When the mom heard the story she made a promise to her baby: She would always come and be there!
We would all feel sorry for those babies listening to the missionary’s story. We would all feel sorry for the babies and nobody can grasp the idea of leaving a baby crying for days. We would ask ourselves why there’s nobody to shower them with love… Right?
Now here are my thoughts: We live in a society where sleeping schools for newborn babies are a reality. Not sure about you guys over on the other end of this planet but it’s a thing down here in Australia. I have never attended such a sleeping school with my kids but from what I understand it’s basically about learning as a mom to let your babies cry. Not that you leave them alone but you are not supposed to do much. You basically teach the child to give up in a way. Or am I getting this all wrong?
We are busy and we like to get things sorted as soon as possible. Women are supposed to have a career, man are not supposed to be staying at home really. Everything needs to be organized and under control. We love control. We love organization. We love our kids. We love to have the kids under control and organized.
There are different styles of parenting and it has to be right for the specific family. We all love our children, no doubt. So there’s no way I would criticize a parenting style. This is not about judging or preaching. It’s just one of my “sharing my thoughts” post.
When my kids were babies they slept with me in my bed. Some people told me that it was wrong. That I should get them out of my bed asap in order to make sure that they learn to sleep on their own. Some people told me that I’m crazy and that I could get much more sleep if they would be in another room in their crib. Some people shook their head because they were worried that baby would be killed because I would roll onto him or her in my sleep. Some people shook their head because they couldn’t understand that we allowed our child to sleep in our bed and “come between us”. Some even told me that I overdo it with showering them with love…
Here’s the thing: How can you ever give your child too much love?
They way you parent has to be right for both parents involved, otherwise it will never work. It’s the number one rule. I guess if one of us would have had an issue with the idea of the babies sleeping with us, we would have never gone down that track. When I heard all the above comments it did of course made me think and consider if we are doing the right thing. Especially when I was a first time mom. This is when comments get to you the most. You are uncertain in what you do, fragile in a way. You hunger for advice and sometimes it’s hard to know right from wrong.
What I learned over time, though, was to let it drop off and trust in me. Trust in what I felt was the right thing to do.
I believe that kids will sleep through the night when they feel comfortable but most importantly when they are ready to do so. After having developed inside of the mother’s body for months suddenly being born brings along a lot of changes. It’s like moving country, house all at once and being totally lost in a new environment. You have to settle first, right? So how can you just relax and sleep, when everything around you is so totally new? When they way you eat has changed, when you suddenly have to breath and feel the cold or the heat. You go from being totally wrapped in warmth and safety to being out there! Big change, right?
So why should you not give them as much comfort as possible. Show them how much you love them in being there? Not only mentally but physically. Why not trying to be close to them in order to make them feel your body, hear your heartbeat, smell your scent? They are no longer inside you, so a big step is already done. I always felt like I had to let them settle into their new environment first before doing another big step. So this was my way of making the transition easier for them. I gave them as much body contact as possible. Sometimes it was not easy. But it was sure worth it.
What I realized was that I actually got much more sleep. I didn’t have to get up and walk to another room multiple times in the night in order to feed my baby. All I had to do was making sure we were aligned and it was done. I loved it! I was never worried I would hurt them because I was always alert enough. I trusted my instincts and they didn’t let me down.
And for the point some people (who didn’t have kids) brought up about my husband and my privacy… Well, I guess all you parents out there know that after only just having had a baby some ideas of private time between you and your husband are not the first thing in your mind. It’s something you will have to re-discover anyway. You will never be only boyfriend and girlfriend, man or woman again. You are parents. And you will have to settle into a new routine too, in all aspects of your life.
I simply like the idea of having my kids close. This might make me a weird person, but hey, I take it. Isn’t it what loving your kids is all about? I like it when they suddenly sneak in our bed in the middle of the night. I find it incredibly beautiful when they not only want to cuddle me but also their dad. I know how much a hug from them can do to me and I can only imagine how much our hugs do to them. I want them to know that I’m always there for them. I want them to know and feel how much I love them and that they can always find comfort in my arms. I made this promise too, just like the woman in the post mentioned earlier. And I will do my best to keep it.
Being a mom is about love. Never ending, deep love. It’s about giving your all. It’s about sacrifices, if you want to call it that. But do you really feel like you had to sacrifice yourself? I don’t. I gave it my all so far. And it makes me happy.
The love we give we receive as well.
Inspired by the A-Z Challenge