Motherhood has many ups and downs, especially in your first year. You are jumping hurdles, and taking sharp turns trying to figure out how to raise a baby. All while attempting to balance life for yourself. And sometimes you come across events where you feel like you are failing horribly! Like you are skydiving and your parachute won’t open.
Our third child has had quite a few struggles in the sleep department. First he boycotted napping in his crib. We tried for almost six months. We created new routines, different schedules, we paid professionals to help us, I even was sleeping in the crib by the end. Yes, I managed to squeeze into a tiny crib and sneak out with out waking him. I stressed, I lost sleep. I felt like a failure that I couldn’t get my third child to sleep in a crib. Even though my previous two babies had no problems.
Then his naps have been become more difficult over the last couple months. Again, my previous two babies were champions in the sleep department. My third….not so much. So now we are playing around with his naps, and it looks like we are dropping him down to one nap at eleven months old. Even though “experts” say children shouldn’t drop down to one nap till about fifteen months.
As a Mom of three, and also taking many hours to assess our situation and looking back at all my parenting adventures. As well as talking to an amazing community of Mothers. I am here to tell you that every child is different. And that Motherhood and parenting does not always “follow the book”. Books, social media and the internet are guides. They aren’t the rules for parenting. And I know how easy it is to get caught up in “what you should be doing”, but what you should be doing is what you and your child needs. Not what chapter eight says.
I understand it is a hard concept to let go of when you have social media, the internet and professionals sometimes telling you otherwise. But honestly, you need to do what is best for you. It’s as simple as that.
For us, I took apart the crib and sold it. We are now setting up a full mattress on his bedroom floor and dropping him down to one nap. I am sure he will flip flop between one to two naps over the next couple months. But I believe he does not need as much sleep. That is just the child that he is, and some children require less than others.
What I also want to highlight, is that you should not compare yourself, or compare children. Each child is their own. They have their own personality, likes and dislikes. Just because Becky’s kid is sleeping through the night, doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong.
Focus on yourself, your parenting and what your child needs. And if that is them sleeping on a big mattress on the floor than that is what they need.
I felt the need to write this blog post because as a Mom of three, I really got into my head the last couple of months over my son’s sleep. I felt the guilt, felt the frustration and anger. Even a veteran Mom like myself, all Mom’s can still experience these range of emotions. So I just wanted to put this out there to help any Mom’s who feel like their failing to know that you aren’t.
Take a step back, take a deep breath, sit down and reevaluate what the situation is.
And know you are not alone!