Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days {Day 5}: It's Okay

I had another topic and another post planned for today-- that is until last night when I was tiptoeing into my room  to go to bed.  Normally a very sound sleeper, Alaine woke up and started stirring.  Her nose was stuffy and she whimpered as she tried to comfort herself.  I listened to her wiggle around and cough a bit as the congestion from her cold bubbled up into her throat. 

Knowing it could mean a delay to my own night of sleep and knowing she might have gone back to sleep on her own given time, I picked her up out of her bed anyway.  She rubbed her sleepy eyes and burrowed her face in my shoulder.  I re-fastened her diaper which was sagging loose.  I pulled her leg warmers up around her thighs and smoothed her night gown.  Then I whispered words of comfort in her ear as I rocked and swayed around the room.  I felt her body grow heavy, but I held on a few more minutes, inhaling her sweet scent before I laid her back on her mattress and draped the blanket over her sleeping form. 

You see, when I had my first child, I had heard that babies needed to learn to sleep on their own.  My baby didn't agree so he spent his first two years in my bed.  I tried everything I could think of to get him to sleep in his own space, but he preferred to snuggle next to me all night. 

I accepted it.  In fact, I kind of liked it. 

Still, the questions on everyone's lips were, "Is he a good sleeper?" and, "Does he sleep through the night yet?"  Most of the time, I managed to avoid answering, but when I did let slip that he slept with me and most definitely did not sleep all night without waking, I was given warnings like, "You better watch that.  It's a hard habit to break," and, "Have you tried letting him cry?"  and, "If you're not careful, he'll be in your bed 'til he's ten!" 

The real issue here is not bed-sharing and co-sleeping.  It's not crying it out versus rocking to sleep.  It's about allowing mothers to embrace their God-given mothering instincts. 

Someone needs to tell women that it is okay to keep your baby close.  It's okay to rock her and cuddle her, even in the middle of the night.  It's okay if your nine-month-old or nineteen-month-old or nine-year-old still wakes up before morning.  It's okay to hug your sobbing boy even if the scrape on his hand is no more than a surface scratch.  It's okay to not meet the expectations of those around you.  It's okay to want more children even if you have more than what everyone deems the norm.  It's okay to choose to stay home with your children, despite your college degree.  It's okay to feel like your are floundering in your role as mother.

It is okay to lean wholly on Him.



  1. Another wonderful post! It is so frustrating how people always ask if a baby is sleeping through the night. Why is that the only thing that matters? Eliya slept through the night the earliest and even that wasn't until 16 months. I typically answer people when they ask the question but then tell them something the baby or toddler can do. Not so much for my benefit but to remind them that there are more important things. "No, Amelia doesn't sleep through the night, but she just started smiling when she's spoken to."

  2. I've never commented before though I've been following you for a while. I loved this post! I agree with you completely on this one. My kids constantly sneak into my bed and I feel like they never left it to begin with! Both slept independently as babies but for some reason, toddler-hood found them co-sleeping with us. I don't all mind. They'll only be little for a very brief time. And I always like to say to those who criticize - ever heard of a 10 yr old sleeping in the parents bed? ;-)

  3. This spoke to me - thank you! My first born was also in my bed for (gulp) 3 years, maybe 5. :)

    Love your blog and so happy you came over for a visit so that I could find you!

    xoxo michele

  4. Not only is it okay to lean wholly on him, it is imperative. And yes, we as mothers should respect the choices that other mothers make for their families. This goes back to your earlier post about each situation being unique.

  5. Another beautiful post. My two-year-old still comes into our bed to snuggle half the nights in a week. My husband and I both cherish his presence...even though I thought I'd be so firm about the staying in your own bed rule.


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