Thursday, October 15, 2009

Parenting 101: Not Sleeping

I know no one said parenting would be easy or without its challenges but yet at times like today I cannot help but wonder and ask "Are We the only parents experiencing this?" We have been struggling with Isabela's sleeping habits since day 1 when she came home from the hospital. Tomorrow she will be 18months old and we are still struggling. I know you do what you feel is right for you and your baby. But that is the problem- the feeling part-because you read so many reports contradicting themselves, for example letting your child cry "is an example of a crucial early development stage: self-calming." or this article states "if you let them cry and they actually stop crying, it is because they have abandoned all hope that help will come." So how do you know if what you are doing is the right thing?

For instance today we went shopping early in the morning so we could be home in time for her nap. But we took a little longer than anticipated (Yes I know, a NO, No, for toddlers) Isabela was tired,cranky and refusing to eat anything we offered from the restaurant. She wouldn't sit still on the chair and was screaming. So we had to take turns eating alone so the other parent could walk around to entertain her. Then we come home and we prepare for her afternoon nap routine: change diaper, drink milk, read book, but then when I go to put her in the crib she starts crying. I comfort her by telling her I love her and it is time to go to sleep. I leave the room. Self-calming technique, remember? I look at the clock as it ticks one minute, two minutes, half an hour goes by. I am trying to be strong despite her calling "MAMA, mammy!Mama, come!" AH I almost want to cry myself. I go in and again soothe her "Isabela, go to sleep mama loves you". I leave the room again and she continues crying. Then I hear a pounding noise, alarmed I go into the room and she is pounding her head on the wall! What have I done???? I pick her up and calm her down then put her back in the crib. And the crying continues until finally one of us gives in and my husband goes into the room and picks her up and after 15 minutes or so of rocking her, she falls asleep. I don't have a problem, since I am a stay at home mom, to carry on a two hour napping session with my daughter. But then I think what is going to happen when I have to return to work and then what? I know that she needs a nap. She barely sleeps 12 hours during the night and then she is cranky half way through the day. She needs a break ( Sometimes I need a break!that is permitted right?)

Since there were complications during birth I still have not recovered from the fear of "what if something goes wrong" so when people ask us when will Isabela have a baby brother/sister? I look at them and say "probably a year or two or maybe even three I don't know." I just don't know how do you amazing parents manage? Does it get "easier" after the first one?" Please tell me because I just don't know.

I Love my daughter and I wouldn't have it any other way, but at times I doubt myself as a parent, if I am doing "everything" right. Will she grow up to be a confident, independent adult, or will she grow up to be needy and insecure? Are these valid questions?

Parenting is definitely a "learn as you go" process. What are your thoughts? Any advice for this first time Mom? What methods worked for you?


  1. I was (and still is to a degree) a hands-on mom. So much so that I quit working to be home with my kids when they were in elementary school. I felt they needed my guidance - not so much supervision but guidance. My mom worked when I was growing up and I felt I didn't have guidance.

    I am so glad that I was able to do that, financially and emtionally. Some moms can't be a mom 24/7 - if that makes sense. I love being a mom 24/7. I think my kids are grateful that I stayed home. I think I instilled family values in them more by staying home. They are more respectful and appreciative of the concept of "family", and they are doing well in school because I am home.

    Having said, though, I sometimes see them as less independent than those kids whose mom work. I think they rely on me too much sometimes.

    I would never know how they would have turned out otherwise but I don't regret staying home with them. Not even a second. I may have less money to retire on but I know I did the right thing.

  2. my mom did both periodically. she stayed at home with me until I was old enough to go to school then she returned to work and then she did both again throughout her lifetime.

    for me, it taught me that a women deserves so much respect and it showed me how independent my mother was and it makes me appreciate I say now because as a kid it's our job to be selfish and not think too highly of our parents--at least I did.


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