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You can do it, Mama…

When I was pregnant with my first child, I read countless baby books on schedules, sleeping, pros and cons of different parenting styles, etc. I soaked up all the “knowledge” I could because I was a first timer and was super nervous! Anyone with me?? I could have easily been a baby book critic with the library full of literature I had!

One of the most important things I learned from reading the plethora of opinions out there regarding babies and children was that each child is different and often times, even if you got into a groove, things could change overnight — whether it be the *friendly* appearance of a tooth, the sweet but exhausting separation anxiety, sickness, a growth spurt, breastfeeding/feeding changes, sleeping through the night (or not), etc. — mommyhood was unpredictable and predictable all in one.

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To my pleasant surprise, my daughter fell into the “schedule baby” category.

She cried for a bottle every three hours on the dot. I could have set my watch to her. She slept exactly the same times every day, was awake every day at the same time, and slept through the night at 10 weeks old. {Okay, now please don’t hate me because she well made up for it as she got older!!} She was and is a very scheduled kid, and for that I am so very thankful. It makes my life a lot easier…most of the time.

The downside to this, is that when her schedule is thrown off, WWIII commences. So while the schedule is great, sometimes its baaaad.

Case in point: naptime. Up until 13 months, we rocked my daughter to sleep for every sleep time. We had to rock her to complete dream land. Not just nodding off sleep, but dead, limp-arm sleep. She would scream if she woke up before I had her laid down securely in her crib. This got harder and harder as she became more aware and heavier as she got older. For a 5’3″ mama with a crib up to my armpits, this was no simple feat.

As time went on, I couldn’t take it anymore. We had to do something. So where did I turn?? You guessed it, a book.

I read everything I owned, but finally landed on The Sleep Easy Solution. The thing I LOVED about this book is not the facts it gave, the oh-my-gosh-I-never-heard-that advice, or any sort of new strategy. In fact, the information it contained was pretty much the same as all other books I had read on sleep. But the one thing that stood out was the encouragement. It felt as if the authors were right there with you telling you, “You can do it, mama!! You’re awesome!!” And whenever I felt a twinge of guilt or sadness over transitioning from rocking my toddler to sleep, they were there with loving words — You are the mom. You know what is best for your child. You. Can. Do. It.

I am not going to raise a flag for one way or another on how to raise, parent, schedule, etc. your child. Because I don’t know your child. But what I will say is that once I grabbed hold of that confidence, remembered that what I was doing was what was best for my daughter, the guilt melted away. Sure I still have moments where I want to take the easy way out, but then I remember that I’m the mom, and I have the opportunity to shape this little life that I was blessed with.

Remember that you are the mommy. Don’t let anyone (or any book) convince you that what you are doing is the wrong way. Other people have no business making you feel less worthy for the challenge of motherhood. Its already hard without other people making it harder!! If anyone knows, I know the feeling of helplessness and anxiety of trying something new, but what a great reward when it works!! Right?! Remember that holy-crap-I’m-awesome feeling you had after giving birth?? Grab hold of that inner Wonder Woman and go for it!! Whether you are successful or not, remember “the success of love is in the loving.” – Mother Theresa

And, as every mama knows, no one will ever love that little babe as much as you do.

**I did not receive compensation for mentioning any products in this post. Amazon Affiliate Links have been used. 

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4 Responses to You can do it, Mama…

  1. Jamie September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    After I tell someone something that worked for me, I always follow up with, “You have to do whatever works best for you, your baby, and your family.” Mommy always knows best! 🙂

    • Erin September 28, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      I agree! I always hated it when I was pregnant (or even now with a toddler) when people gave me advice like it was a fact. I always said, “Oh, thats interesting. Thank you.” But inside I was like, “Do YOU know my child? Do YOU know her cries and what they mean??” lol – defensive mama, I guess 😉

  2. Heather
    Heather September 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Great post. I read Babywise before my first was born – BIGGEST regret of my life was trying to do it! I had so many people tell me how wonderfully it worked for them, so when it didn’t work for me I felt like a complete failure — which did nothing to help me actually figure out how to get him to sleep!!! 🙂 Taking the data from the books and then trusting your instincts (even if you are a brand new mom and not sure you have “instincts” yet), is always best in my opinion, too! 🙂

    • Erin September 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

      I agree! Thanks Heather!

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