When I was about 12 and my friends around me started making interesting decisions about things like boys, school, drugs I had this weird epiphany for someone my age. I decided that I was going to live my life in a way, that when my children asked me questions about my life, I would always feel comfortable answering them honestly. Strange thought for a 12 year old? Maybe, but I've always been a little different. I never related to anyone my own age, in fact I graduated early to get away from the teen drama.
This leads me to the only thing I've ever done in my life that I regret and feel guilt over. I've brought it up a couple of times to a couple people and they all basically told me it was fine and I was over dramatic! When my oldest daughter, Marina was about 15 months old, her doctor told me that I should put her in her own room to sleep. She had slept with us since birth and I loved every second of it. I was 8 months pregnant and the thought of cosleeping with 2 little ones was not something I thought people did. I tried a couple times to put her in her crib in her room like the doctor suggested but she hated it. I even tried having her fall asleep with me in my room then transferring her to her crib. I tried sleeping on the ground next to her, I even tried sleeping with her in her crib.
The doctor told me that if I couldn't make the transition the best thing would be to let her cry it out at night alone in her room and that it would only take a week or so. I was horrified but told by family and friends that it was normal and lots of them had done it with great success. So reluctantly I did it. I put my beautiful sweet girl, who only wanted to be cuddled and nurtured to bed in a dark room by herself and I let her cry. I would come in ever 5 minutes or so and rub her back and thru my tears tell her how much I loved her. The first night she cried herself to sleep in about 30 minutes, the next night it was less and by the 5th night she was going to sleep on her own.
I felt terrible. I was heart broken. My sweet girl who had just spent the last year being constantly nurtured by me had been let down. Everyone told me how important it was that she learned to self soothe and I believed them. After all, I didn't want her to grow up without knowing how to go to sleep on her own! Is that even a thing? Did my little angel learn to put herself to sleep? Or did she learn that her Mom wasn't going to come get her when she cries at night, so not to bother. Did she just lay there in fear, because her warm squishy Mommy wasn't there to cuddle her at night. These are the questions that haunt me. Am I being over dramatic? Possibly, all I know is that in my heart it was the 100% wrong thing to do.
|She looks like she turned out okay?!?!😂|
Marina is an amazing person. I couldn't imagine her being any more special. She is one of those people that laughs when people fall or minorly hurt themselves. Is it because I let her down? Maybe, maybe not. I'll never know and I suppose it's not that important in the grand scheme of things. It's actually one of my favorite quirks about her. This post isn't really about my opinions on cosleeping (though I love it)! It's more about my thoughts on parenting the way you FEEL you should.
This was the 1st and only time I ever went against my Mommy intuition and I still feel bad about it 17 years later. I look at my two youngest and think, oh my god! How could I have let someone so small and trusting of me down? I learned throughout the years that the only opinion that matters about how I raise my kids is mine. Even when it comes to my husbands well intended opinions I will always listen to my heart. Us Moms have a connection to our kids that's cannot be duplicated. Only we know what is right for them.
So whether your a co sleeping mom, a mom who's baby loves sleeping in a crib, a baby wearer or a stroller pusher. If your a breast feeding mom or a bottle feeding one. If you're a working mom or a stay at home mom. Please always listen to your heart and do what's best for you and your little ones. We are so smart and intuitive and if we just listen to that little voice that guides us, I'm sure we will always make the best decisions! I support you Mamas!!! And please put that Mommy guilt away. We all are doing the best we can!
P.S. if you're wondering I'm still cosleeping with my two youngest and though it has its challenges, I wouldn't trade it for anything!