1/30/08

RELAX!

Today Katie said "you better start reading those 'strong willed child' books now." She is so right. Every time I hit a wall with Asher, not knowing how to get him to convert to my methods rather than his, I am reminded that I need to relax. Making jokes about it with Katie is one way I like to survive this. I'm also going to have to get over my control issues more than I thought I would have to. I know this is good for me, but my whole life if there has been a battle of the wills, I have WON!!! My parents, my sister, friends, boyfriends, teachers...you name it, I get the stubborn award. This is not a title I'm proud of. I have found many ways to rule every roost I've ever lived in, just ask Ryan. I'm not obviously this type of person, not even to myself, but I can admit I find ways to get my way most of the time. It's hard for me to admit this because it's so not appealing. It's gross. I do believe that the time in my life has come to nip it in the bud. Better late than never. Enter Asher. I have struggled for six months to get this baby to cooperate with my ideas of good rest. It just ain't happenin'. It gets better here and there, but for the most part...he wins. I'm really, for the most part, good with babies. But with Asher, I have given each trick in the book a good, hard long try and, well, let's just say he sleeps when he wants to sleep. Or when he's perfectly comfortable, has no gas, his teeth aren't bothering him and I hit the sleep "window" right in the center. That, my friends, is no easy task. And it hardly ever happens. The cry it out method, you say? Oh, yeah. Tried that. He cries from one to four hours and then sleeps for twenty minutes. To quote my dear husband, "THAT is not worth it!" (Now before you picture Asher alone in his crib, screaming and feeling abandoned for four whole hours, never fear! I come in and out, and in and out, letting him know I'm there and trying every trick to distract him from his anger without giving in to him. )
That said, I have to force myself to do something I have never been good at. I have to let go of all the anxiety around this, and I don't think I have any other choice but to let him win. There. I said it. He wins. Fine. I can no longer battle him for naps an hour and a half at a time, three times a day while Miles waits for me. It makes no sense and isn't good for any of us. Maybe when daddy is home, we can have more baby normalcy, but otherwise, what's realistic is realistic. Ugh... Can I do this? Can I get it out of my head that he HAS to sleep two long naps a day and twelve hours at night? Can I handle other moms doubting that I've done my best? Can I quiet the little voice in my head that's saying I must not really know what I'm doing? I'm being forced to and I'm starting to think it's for my own good.
I am learning the hard way not to be such a control freak. And I'm learning to never judge another mom when things aren't working out the way she thought they would, no matter how hard she's tried. This goes not only for getting a child to sleep, but for the other "biggies," like eating well, seperation anxiety, or temper tantrums. Sometimes you can do it all "right" and still get a result you never dreamed you would. And sometimes you just don't have the time or energy to do it all "right," and I'm learning that's not the end of the world either. Like I've said before, our kids do not need perfection, they simply need us to be fully present in their lives, nurturing them the best we can with what we know. I often have required perfection of myself, all the while knowing that it's impossible. Then I walk around all frustrated with myself which is only a negative way to be around my kids. So there you have it. Any reader of this post has every right to remind me of this as often as necessary. Which might be a lot. I give you permission to say things like "hey lady, get over it, life ain't perfect. RELAX!"

2 clicked right here to comment:

MidnightCafe said...

Amen! I totally think these are the kinds of things kids are here to teach us. I could tell my own similar stories, but you tell yours SO WELL!

Sabrina said...

Frankie Says: RELAX!

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