Monday, October 06, 2008

How many chidren does it take... convince a mother to trust her instincts?

We seem to have solved the sleep issue. Separation anxiety. What in the world made me believe that something that felt so unnatural would be the best thing for my baby boy? Especially when I did the complete opposite with Shannon. As soon as Shannon was big enough for us not to be worried about squashing her, she slept in our bed. That's why we didn't have sleep problems with her. That's part of the reason she is such a confident, balanced child. It wasn't impossible to get her into her own bed. Sometimes she still comes back to ours. It's comforting. It's natural.

All my instincts have been screaming against me for the last month, while I have tried to force my poor little boy into an unnatural sleeping ideal. Because the books said so. Because I was worried about getting enough sleep to be alert for my exams. I didn't hear. Maybe I wasn't listening. One benefit of this exercise is that it has taught him to self soothe. It has also taught me to trust my instincts. I seem to walk a fine line between parenting the way science believes I should and the way something deep inside me believes I should. Once again I am seeing the world through my children's eyes and learning. I have learned that mothering is about what is right for parent and child. Individually. Uniquely in each relationship with each precious child. I have learned that science has helped us to develop a yard stick but that it must be used as just that. Not as the difinitive answer.

I trust myself more now. I trust Jordan, too, to let me know what is best for him when I feel a bit lost. We are all much happier now. Shannon had become very emotional. I think it had a lot to do with something feeling Not Quite Right. She seems a bit better the last day or two also. Mothers, remember: you know best!


Dad Mzungu said...

As a father of two of my own, plus eight Sotho foster kids, step-father two two small Kenyan kids, and director of an orphanage with 37 kids who call me Baba, all I can say is, throw the scientific books away. Listen to your heart and listen to your kids.
As their mother, YOU KNOW BEST! No one can or should tell you how to bring them up, except perhaps your mother ;)

Ellen M Johns said...

Just calling by to thank you for you words of encouragement on my ''smoking'' post.
Much appreciated.

Mom de Plume said...

You are quite right DM, Mother always knows best!!!! :)

Ellen, you are welcome! I hope you continue to persevere!