Ah, co-sleeping with your babies. What a special, treasured time. I read book after book about breastfeeding and co-sleeping, and how those two things were crucial to having a close, bonding relationship with my child. So, of course, with baby #1, that’s exactly what I did.
Never mind the fact that I had just had a traumatic emergency C-section. Never mind, that my body was all discombobulated and I was dripping milk like a cow. I HAD TO CO SLEEP OR I WOULD HAVE FAILED AS A PARENT. We gave it a shot. She slept like an angel. She breastfed like a champ. I, on the other hand, got zero sleep, my boobs were exploding and I was terrified if I put her in the rock & play that she would surely grow up hating me and probably have a lower IQ.
First time parents are a real hoot.
Then we brought home baby #2. Her first night home was when my brain and body dove head first into the wonderful world of postpartum anxiety and OCD. I was terrified to put her down. I was terrified to smoosh her. I was terrified to breastfeed her. I felt guilt that my eldest had to share me now, and blah blah blah.
So, I put that kid in the rock & play and said, ” You’re going to have to just figure this out. I’ll feed you and all that, but seriously, you’re just going to need to figure out how to put yourself to sleep. I was losing my mind and I need at least four hours per night here, kid.”
Onto baby #3…hahaha. She came out independent, and she also was put in the rock & play at a few days old, while I selfishly grabbed some sleep on my own.
So, all my kids did the whole sleeping thing differently. Here’s the thing…they are my heart. We are all so very, very connected. We love each other and I spend many afternoons wondering where these beautiful children came from. They’re all kind of smart…I think…
They’re all healthy. My second and third kids started sleeping through the night WAY earlier than my first.
My first child that STILL finds her way into my bed, but now we have mommy cuddles and it’s a snuggle fest every night.
It’s taken me literally this long to finally tell myself that my younger two are going to turn out just fine even though I said F THAT to co-sleeping and exclusively breastfeeding. They’re alive, healthy and happy. That’s my job and I’m doing a damn good job.
I’m mad that I put all that pressure on myself to be this perfect, attached parent.
Now my version of being the perfect attached parent, is when I have two kids in the shopping cart, and one dangling out of the Ergo as I check the expiration dates on milk at the grocery store.
I’ve also been considering putting a tent in the back yard and tell them they can go camping every night… but it’s the middle of winter. That might be a little cruel.
Raise your hands up warrior moms, raise your hands up. Co-sleeping or not, we are some bomb ass mothers plowing through this crazy thing called parenthood.
(But I swear to God, if a stinky butt makes its way to my face in the middle of the night tonight, I’m leaving.)