Parenting sleep. Is that an oxymoron?
I don’t know if I am failing my kids.
What I do know? I know what feels right.
Maybe that is what’s missing in all these parenting wars.
Remembering the most simple parenting approach is the one that feels right to you.
I do know that I wish I hadn’t tried to sleep train my oldest at 4 months.
I know that I wish I hadn’t held the door shut on my oldest, then 2 years old, because he was supposed to be sleeping in his own bed.
He screamed and banged on the door for me.
I held on for as long as I could…then I opened the door and held him tightly.
What was the point?
When my second son was born a short 18 months after my first son, I felt I had little choice. After suffering postpartum depression after my first born, I knew I needed to make sure I got sleep. So, we piled into bed together everyday – as a matter of survival – for naps and eventually for night sleep, too. We’d get into one of their beds for a book and all fall asleep.
We slept best as a family. I knew that truth.
Those moments, all piled together, were peaceful.
I cherished those moments, you know those moment that I will never get back, every day.
How lucky am I to be able to experience those moments?
If you had asked me about a ‘family bed’ before I had kids, I would have laughed in your face.
Even though with a few seconds of reflecting I would have been able to recall that I climbed into bed with my mom most nights throughout my childhood even later in my childhood.
There was no safer place. I can still feel the safety of my mother next to me.
Why would I take that away from my children?
With our third son, again, I didn’t fight sleep. From the moment he was born we took naps and slept every night together. I choose to leave my anxiety behind and embrace, no, more than embrace, I choose to relish in the hours, the minutes, the seconds of feeling the closeness with my sons, to hear their breath, to feel their warm bodies…to feel suspended in time…if only for a moment…
…and to know that I can’t possibly be failing…