Your first child is where you make all the “mistakes.” You rock them to sleep, don’t ween them when you should, you never let them cry….. By the time the second baby comes along you say “I’ve got this.” No more mistakes, this whole parenting thing is under control. Are you guilty of thinking like that? I am. I even have conversations with other moms with more then one child and it reads similar to all that.
Last night my second child started screaming. It woke me out of a deep sleep, of course my husband was still magically passed out. Sometimes, I wish my hearing was like a man’s. But anyways, he was up screaming, yelling for Daddy. I laid there thinking ok he’s going to stop. No he got louder, then I woke my husband up saying should we check on him? He said no he should be fine. We usually don’t go in and check on him. He’s pretty good about falling back to sleep but after 20 mins of nonstop screaming I was starting to lose my nerve. My stomach felt all in knots and I was close to tears myself. What is wrong with me? We are champion sleep trainers, I’ve never felt like this before. I finally went in his room and there was his paci on the floor. I handed it back to him, gave him his lovey, and soothed him. When I left the room he cried, but only for 5 mins or so and then he was fast asleep. My husband had fallen back asleep too so I was left to my thoughts.
I felt like a horrible parent. One mistake we made with our first, always rushing to her when she cried, we vowed not to do with him. But that mentality made for a crappy night, and a grouchy toddler today. If I had just gone in there, like my instinct wanted me to, he would’ve been back to sleep in no time. But the pact I had made to not make the same mistakes stopped me. Even to this day if my daughter cries I rush to see what’s wrong. I know you’re thinking one night is not going to scar him, and yes I agree. I laid there wondering; What if we are so extreme in trying not to make a mistake that that ends up being just as big of a mistake?
Whew, now that I know all this I have arrived at an exalted place of parenting! Hah no, I’m going to make mistakes, it’s guaranteed. But I am going to try not to be so strict on myself, and most importantly trust my instincts. After all, mother knows best!