Being a mom is hard. It is definitely the hardest job I have ever had. It is 24 hours a day with no guaranteed break. There is no guaranteed off time where you get to relax and then get 8 hours of sleep. It’s so hard to know what to do.
There are so many different pieces of advice out there (which sometimes contradicts each other): be caring and quick to respond to needs but not too quick or you can hinder self soothing. Some books say let them cry because if they don’t sleep well it can hinder development,and others say crying can cause them to lose faith in the parents and hinder emotional development. Which is worse?
I find myself bumbling through parenthood in a constant trial and error, trying to do what is best for my son and our family and make the choice that will negatively affect him the least. One day I feel like the greatest mom in the world, the next, my baby is crying, I am bleary eyed and sleep deprived and I again feel like the worst mom ever.
My sweet baby was a difficult sleeper from the get go. He fought naps and bedtime with everything he had. Thus I tried EVERYTHING to get him to have better quality sleep. He only took 45 minute naps in the day and although he slept relatively well at night, not nearly what he needs. He would still wake up crying and be fussy through the day like he didn’t get enough sleep at night. I tried pushing his bedtime up to 7 like one of the books said to do, thinking I was putting him to bed too late (he was sleeping from 10-3 and then from 4-7) but then he just woke up in 45 minute increments again. We even tried a very mild form of the cry it out method (which broke my heart).
I used to let him sleep on me or in my arms if he really needed a nap but would not go to sleep. I tried to stop this thinking that perhaps I was making it worse, conditioning him to need me to put him to sleep and comfort him instead of letting him learn to soothe himself. This just led to a lot of crying and him getting even less sleep which made him even fussier.
Although being a stay at home mommy is definitely the most difficult job I have had, it is also by far the most rewarding. When I stumble into his nursery at 6 a.m. after a rough night, that sweet smile he gives me right when he wakes up makes it all worth it. He is four months old and right at that age when they become so expressive and inquisitive, studying your face and smiling at you with love and adoration that melts your heart.
The lesson from all of this: do what you think is best for you and your family. There is no perfect way to parent. There will always be trials and tribulations. One method that worked for a friend, may not work for you, and that’s okay. You do what you can to be the best for your kids. From one struggling Mommy to the one reading this post: you are rocking parenthood because you are trying your very best and are concerned with what is best for your babies. To your child, you are super mom. Keep rocking those super powers.