Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letting Him Cry

Yes, people, I have officially, though hopefully only temporarily, defected to the other side of parenting- the one that all of us attachment parents have sneared and snubbed our noses at (see the Eight Principles of AP). This evening, after a frustrating forty minutes of holding and rocking and singing (while coughing and choking my way through "Crown Him" and "How Great Thou Art", two of my all-time favorite hymns), I placed Seth nicely in his crib and let him go bananas. I don't like doing this- somehow I've managed to parent three other kids without this measure of desperation or "sleep training" as it is commonly known, but I've also had a really really terrible year stemming in part from ignoring my needs as a mother. And for as much as I've been told to nip that bad habit in the bud, it is very hard to free yourself from the confines of this idea of all or nothing parenting. So lately I've been questioning some of my tendencies and tonight I decided that spending any more time in that rocker with my nineteen month-old, while putting aside the fact that I had meds to take and sleep to get was insanity. Of course, Seth didn't have that same "lightbulb moment" so he proceeded to freak for a good twenty minutes (maybe it was less- it seemed like forever). There is the danger, I guess, that he'll grow up with some insecurity as the result of my abandonment this evening, but my more stable brain tells me that the ninety percent stellar parenting and love that he receives around here will somehow compensate and we'll all be the better. After all, a mommy over the edge won't do him any good either so I might as well take care of myself. Tomorrow night, who knows, in exchange for holding Seth in the dark for two hours while he decides whether or not he is really ready for the land of nod, maybe I'll get to moisturize my face and scrub my weary feet for a while- one can only imagine.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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