Last night I was laying in bed and I suddenly had this, Ohhh my bed feels so spacious feeling. When, like an idiot, it clicked that I haven't had to share my side of the bed with Lucy girl in weeks. My neck and shoulders have felt better, I haven't had to sleep in some contorted position to protect her from falling, or in a way in which I can be easily accessible at all times, if you know what I mean.
Then I started recalling those feelings I had about our nighttime woes not too long ago. Will she ever be able to sleep away from me? She only likes her crib for an hour at a time. We didn't have this issue with Em. My God, will this kid go to college asking to sleep near her momma? Have I ruined her for life?!?!
You see, I'm usually really go-with-the-flow. I am totally the kind of person who tells every new mom to DO WHAT WORKS. Survive. Don't torture yourself. Do absolutely whatever you can to get sleep. But I admit that, at times, the mommy legalist advice has stuck inside my brain, pinging back and forth every time I chose to sleepily bring my baby into bed with me after the 9230829038 she was up that night and I literally couldn't bear the thought of walking to her room one.more.time.
You know what I mean. Everyone wants to tell you those crazy outlier stories. My friend let their baby sleep in their bed, and now as a 10 year old, he STILL sleeps with them!! NEVER LET YOUR BABY SLEEP IN YOUR BED.*
I find it the same way for most mom-related things. I had a friend who gave their infant a bottle too early and they never breastfed again. I had a friend who let their kid sleep in their swing for so long he never could sleep anywhere else, FOR A YEAR. I had a friend who swaddled too long and it took monthsssss to adjust them to sleeping hands-out, never!swaddle!your!baby! *shock gasp, the horror*
I'm being slightly facetious about some of this--but the truth is, I really have heard many (and way more) of these things. Chances are, you have, too. The exceptions to the "rules" (seriously. WHAT rules? As far as I know I didn't get handed any rulebook when I left the hospital, just saying). The things that make new moms shudder in fear, question herself in the wee hours of the night, or taunt her that she's somehow messing up her kid when she's merely trying to survive insane sleep deprivation, the newness of it all, and the millions of unanswered questions in her head.
And last night? I realized something. It is so true what they say.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
I should know all this already--being that this isn't my first rodeo. But last night, as I laid in bed, realizing I didn't have a crick in my neck for the first time in weeks--that I actually felt somewhat rested these days, it really sunk in.
I did what I needed to do over the last 7 months to survive and function for my kids, for my family, on the littlest sleep I've ever had in my life. Truly. Whether that meant I ended up sleeping with my infant half the time? what-ever.
In a flash, things change with kids. Their little brains make crazy decisions to just go from waking up 5 times a night to sleeping 12 hours straight**. One day you swear they'll have to be swaddled still in high school, and the next day, they decide they're done. And like that, it was no issue at all. You can't hold your kid too long. You can't rock them too much.
Do what works.
Do what you want to do.
And for the love, let's stop scaring moms with the horror stories, ok? We all have enough pinging around in our heads, wondering how the best way to raise our children is, doing our absolute best. When those outlier stories are up there, ringing around--it doesn't help. Its more of a fear-driving tactic, and I'm just not a fan of that.
I'm all about loving on your kid. Doing what works for today. So that you can be the best mom you can.
Listen to that true little inside voice--because you're a good mom.
Happy Wednesday ;)
*not an exact real story, but--you know what I mean.
**not true for everyone, just my experience.