Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Motherly Advice

In the past few weeks, I've sat down several times to write a blog post and nothing happened. My brain is on vacation. Wish my body was too. So I'll just tell you about life lately. Incidentally, it involves a baby and a life lesson in mothering. Exciting stuff, right?

Allie has been sleeping worse than a newborn for the past month. First, because she was teething badly. Then she got a cold. Then she was teething again. Then... oh then. Then she became a selfish, sinful baby.

It was shocking because we thought for sure that wouldn't come out until she was like 5, if ever. I mean, how could this precious, beautiful baby ever do anything wrong? I had read all these books about disciplining children but I thought, "Well, this child is different. She's just not sinful."


It happened.

Sunday is a bad day for her schedule anyway and she had dozed off on the way home. I knew she was tired. I fed her and put her down. And then she cried. But this wasn't her normal "I need something" cry. This was an angry cry. Even Brian was like, "What's with the attitude, kid?"

Now normally, I would be the first to say I could never do the "cry it out" method. It is way too painful to hear her screaming and not want to cuddle her. But I knew nothing was wrong after I checked on her, she had just been fed and changed, and I could tell she was not crying like something was hurting her. So Brian and I sat in our bedroom, prayed, and 10 minutes later she was asleep.

And then she slept.

For 8 hours.

I woke up at 3 in the morning wondering what had happened to her. And then I couldn't fall asleep for an hour and a half since I had gotten used to waking up every few hours all over again.

That was 2 nights ago. I thought it was a fluke because it had happened every so often in the past month so I didn't get my hopes up. But then last night, she went down without a peep and 9 hours later, is still sleeping.

Of course I again woke up at 4 this time, and couldn't fall back asleep. I thought I heard her crying but then I realized it was just the whine of the humidifier.

Anyway, it got me thinking. After all the books, articles, and blog posts I read. After all the advice I heard from countless mothers (sometimes even when I didn't ask for it). After all the praying and crying and not knowing what to do, you know what happened?

It came naturally.

I knew when to let her cry herself to sleep and when to soothe her. I knew when she needed to be held and when she needed to sleep. I knew what position made her happy, what she liked to eat, how often, all these things just came naturally. I went with my gut instinct and lo and behold, it worked.

All that to say, the best advice I could ever give anyone is to follow your instincts. Each child is different and I don't think there's a wrong method. I think another mom at church said it best when she said "Do whatever you want the baby to get used to." She has 3 kids under the age of 3 (the youngest just 2 weeks old) so I think she definitely knows what she's talking about.

Well there's my little mothering tidbit for the week. But I think it got the creative juices flowing so I'll probably be back laterly with another post on exercise, cooking, and crafting.


Just kidding. It'll be about sitting on the couch, eating cookie dough, and staying in your pajamas all day. 

P.S. I know that says "laterly" but I actually typed it out that way and then laughed and thought it was too funny to correct.