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The Job of Being a Mom

January 9, 2012

Most days I keep my opinions to myself, concerning motherhood that is (and other controversial topics like religion and politics). I keep them to myself not because I don’t feel strongly about attachment parenting, breast-feeding, circumcision, co-sleeping and the myriad of other controversial parenting topics, but because this is my business and I’m about the least confrontational person (aside from my husband) that you’ll ever (not) meet. I keep them to myself because honestly, I truly believe ‘to each their own’ and I do not/will not judge you if you don’t stand on the same side of the argument as me. I believe we’re each doing this job of parenting the best damned way we know how and my 7+ years of step and parenting skills are likely as equal to your 2+ or your 30+. We all have our tricks, our compromises, our secrets. We’re parents.

But today, just today while I was putting Griffin, my nearly 2 1/2 year old down for his afternoon nap I realized something; I’m not ashamed anymore.

See, at the risk of getting berated and yelled at and judged, I’m going to tell you we co-sleep with Griffin. When he was a wee one he slept in his bouncy seat next to our bed and later on in an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper next to the bed. Once he was old enough for it to be scary to keep him in the co-sleeper, he moved to our king sized bed, just between his daddy and I. In the afternoons (and before he turned one, also in the mornings) I lay down with him to get him to nap and recently, I’ve been napping with him for those full two to three hours because frankly, I need the nap and  . . . I enjoy sleeping with my baby. The thing is – I’m always afraid to tell people this.

When we enrolled Griffin in nursery school his sleeping schedule came up in conversation because we sleep late (until about 9am) and school was to start at 9, so I knew it would be an adjustment. There’s always a bit of astonishment in other parent’s eyes when they find out we sleep that late. Astonishment, jealousy, and then perhaps judgment. We sleep so late because we go to sleep late, is usually my response to their wondering eyes. But really, what I’m thinking is, we sleep so late, and he sleeps so well (both at nap and bedtime) because we co-sleep. But I’ve always been afraid to say that. Afraid of the unwavering ‘Ohhhh’ that will follow. Maybe it’s projection though. Because I feel guilty about still sleeping with my baby. But today – no more.

Today I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed because you know what – it’s amazing. I Love my little cuddle bug. I Love our little rituals. And our bedtime and naptime ritual is just about the cutest little thing ever. This afternoon at naptime I lay Griffin down on the bed, layering pillows on the side of the bed he will sleep on, closing blinds and bathroom doors, ushering loud kitties out and quiet kitties in, and finally turning on the fan to create the white noise we’ve come to Love. I fluff my pillows and barely get into the bed before he collapses his little head into the place between my underarm and chest. He doesn’t move. I am his pillow. Within minutes I can hear his breathing change. His little hand reaches over my chest to find my finger as he wraps his fingers around mine. He nuzzles closer. A leg moves up and over me as he pushes off the covers and he settles in.

And I wouldn’t give it up for the world because, honestly, who can resist that sleeping baby. Not me.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    January 9, 2012 1:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Talia….you are absolutely right too- everyone is different and we all have to do what works best for our own families…whatever that is!

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