Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nap saga re-visited

Below is something I wrote a while back, before coming to the hospital, but forgot to post. I just recently found it again. 

So since I've been thinking about sharing this blog with others, I ended up going back and reading through some of my old entries. I wondered, "What HAVE I written about?" Because I know there are days where I've felt tired, challenged, and overwhelmed by motherhood and writing about those moments has been equally as therapeutic for me as writing about the good times, and the really great times. 

It was actually fun to re-read old postings about days spent with my son that I'd forgotten about. I also noticed that issues I thought were SUCH a big deal, now looking back, were not. "Nap Wars" as I referred to the time period where colin was suddenly not napping, are a great example of this. Back in late summer/ early fall, my awesome little sleeper, suddenly wasn't napping and I couldn't figure out why. At the time I felt so overwhelmed by it all, wondering if he would EVER sleep again. What I wish I knew then that I know now, is that no phase or issue lasts forever.  I'd love to go back and tell myself relax, this too shall pass. 

Because it did. 

And the interesting part, which I never wrote about, is that what really worked in the end. There was no magic solution that got him to sleep. But what finally shifted things was that I eventually just used the approach that felt right to ME, following my own motherly intuition, rather than focusing on what I felt I SHOULD be doing. 

At the time, what Colin really wanted was to nap in our bed. I kept thinking that he just shouldn't nap in our bed, but I had no good reason. Actually, I laugh thinking back on this now but part of the reason I thought he should just get used to napping in his own bed was because I was newly pregnant and I thought when the baby comes (singular!), we can't have him in our bed. If I'd known then that it wasn't just a baby but rather three babies, I may have gone over the edge!

Chris and I ended up deciding that kids are little for such a short period of time so what's the big deal if he naps in our bed, or even comes into our bed at night?? I realize that not every family would come to this conclusion but the important thing was simply that we can to the right decision for us. Allowing him to co-sleep with us is what felt right in our gut. That was what my intuition had been screaming all along, so why didn't I just listen to me? Ironically, once we allowed little c to sleep with us again whenever he needed to, he quickly just started staying in his own bed. Go figure. 

Still today, he almost always naps in our bed. Since being pregnant with triplets and starting to nap each afternoon myself, I must say that I love napping together. Wouldn't have it any other way. If I don't nap, then he's fine napping by himself, just prefers to be in our bed. At bedtime he goes to bed incredibly easily, in his own bed. During the night, usually we don't hear from him until morning, but occasionally he'll cry and want to come into bed with us. And that's just fine with us.

God gave us intuition for a reason and I think as mothers sometimes we ignore it based on what some "expert" book says, or well meaning advice we get from others. But every kiddo is different and what's right for every family is different. 

I sometimes worry about what we'll do as we also raise triplets. Everything I read seems to indicate that "getting them on a sleep/ feeding schedule and the same sleep/ feeding schedule is critical!" Yikes. That worries me because adhering to strict schedules is not really our style as parents, especially with a baby (although I can certainly imagine why having three babies on the same schedule is helpful!) Then I came across this blog post and I LOVED IT! Reading about a mom of triplets who admitted that adhering to a strict schedule isn't what made sense to her, not what worked for her, put my mind at ease that there are many different ways to approach mommyhood, even if you're raising multiples.

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