This entry originally started as a comment to be left for an article that was posted, but I was getting all fired up and felt I needed a different outlet. Considering the source of that article I was just going to get blasted back with comments in full support of the (soon to be revealed) topic at hand, I decided that would just make me spin my wheels when I just need to vent…not cause an argument.
Every day I see these articles posted across social media and the like all showing the best way to be raising your baby. And of course, whichever article is in vogue that week, it’s absolutely guaranteed to be titled “All about how you’re doing it wrong.”
Today what got me fired up was a very extreme posting about how, “If you cry it out, you are psychologically ruining your baby.” Really? That’s it? End of Story? Sure the article went on to show graphs. Bravo. What it failed to show was the flip side. What about the mother who, maybe just looks dramatic from centre stage, is actually covered head to toe in a thick goop of anxiety and needs to investigate all her options? What about that mother who, when her baby is done her naps and up bright-eyed-and-bushytailed in the morning is, is spending her days singing, playing, going to the library, going to play groups, learning, dancing, reading, snuggling and being totally and utterly smothered with love and affection? Please, please, please SOMEONE show me the graphs about how 10 minutes of crying a day outweighs all of what I just mentioned? Please.
We started “cry it out” at 4 months old and never, ever looked back. It was maybe one of the best decisions we made.
I always have Ellie’s best interest as priority. But sometimes, what is best for me, is also what is best for Ellie. Sometimes I need to take care of me, in order for me to be a better mother. One touchpoint of that is sleep. Oh sure, sleep. “Suck it up, that’s part of being a new mom. You don’t sleep.” Yea..well…you know what, I needed it, and I felt comfortable trying out the cry it out, and hey it worked. It worked in one night. I am not saying that’s the case for everyone, but it was the case for me. And when I slept and was rested…guess what happened? I was more patient, happy and less stressed. Those three things being in good health alone made me a better mother.
I am so sick of these articles popping up in my media feeds. So much that people have been deleted or blocked…because I just don’t need that negativity. I had to start formula feeding at 4 months, and man, of course the universe had it timed that the day as all the articles of “YOU ARE MAKING YOUR BABY FAT, DUMB AND UGLY if you feed Formula!…. And ESPECIALLY if you let them cry it out, too!” pop up.
I recently watched an ad by Similac where it brought mothers of all different beliefs and styles and how they fought and thought one was better than the other etc etc and enter the fight scene. As this happens, a baby is put in danger and all the mothers get together to save the baby. A pretty corny and touch over-the-top acting ad, but it got the point across.
I don’t “babywear” as often as you. That doesn’t make me a bad mother, nor does it make you a better one.
I take my baby to the library more often than you. That doesn’t make me a better mother, nor does it make you a bad one.
I didn’t teach my baby sign language. That doesn’t make me a bad mother, not does it make you a better one.
You see the point I am trying to make?
Sure we pick and choose different styles to do things because they appeal to us, but they are styles and whatever style you chose you shouldn’t be condemned for.
We all have to do what feels right to us, as mothers. Know that we all know our babies best, and that we are always, always, doing what we do with love and adoration. Take these articles that pop up with a grain of salt. I know I am using the “Crying it Out” as my main subject here, but it goes across the board. The extreme-ists views will always be the ones that get the attention, and ruffle the most feathers. Educate yourself of course, but you know your baby best. So do what is comfortable to you and what feels right. If crying it out doesn’t feel right to you, then by no means, don’t do it. But please, don’t make the others who do feel like that worst mother in the world for doing so.
Every night before I go to bed I sneak into Ellie’s room, shine my light on her and pull her blankets back up on her. Then I sneak out, head to bed myself then wake up in the morning to a baby with a smile so big is stretches across the room. No psychological damage there.