Sleep training. Oh, sleep training. That is what is consuming my thoughts, my brain, my week, my life these days. I have read every book out there. I have read message boards on the web, I have asked my friends for advice, I have called the pediatrician... how does one get an almost 5 month old to sleep in her crib?
Follow your gut. Get support (THANK YOU Melissa!). Trust what your heart is telling you. Pray.
A month ago, I thought I would never let Juliana cry in her crib. We never really let Madilyn do it. We would take turns rocking her in the glider and would fall asleep there for an hour or two. I remember waking up and Madilyn falling asleep nursing. We had no strict routine really. As Madilyn got older, she would cry in her crib and out of exhaustion Brian or I would scoop her up and let her sleep a few hours in our bed between us. I will admit that I loved and hated it at the same time. There is something so very special about falling asleep next to your child. There is something that totally stinks about waking up 30 minutes later because your child accidently kicks you in the mouth!
With two kids now, it has become much more difficult to just go with the flow. I am finding comfort in a routine to our day. With a busy 3-year old running around, holding Juliana 24/7 is just not possible. I sure wish it was. I have cried about this. I have prayed. All she wants is for me to hold her, to rock her to sleep... Am I a bad mom for letting her fuss in her crib? Ugh, these thoughts consume my brain. This week, though, we are making progress. She isn't fighting it as much. She is putting herself to sleep by self-soothing. It is amazing to watch, to see her learn and grow. She wakes up happy and full of smiles after a full night's sleep. Now, that is amazing.
My life has become so centered around my kiddos that I feel like the old me has died. That woman who would get dressed up, who loved to exercise everyday, who loved to read a good romance novel... Before I had children, I thought motherhood would be so much fun all the time, so easy, so carefree... I thought that it would come so natural to me. I thought that I would love holding my babies so much that I wouldn't mind if I gained a few pounds, that I hardly get to the gym, that my house is a mess. At times, motherhood has left me feeling lost, confused, scared and full of self-doubt.
I have realized that this is OK. It is "normal" to feel scared when learning something new. Noone teaches you how to be a good mom. There is no handbook. Being a good mom is just about trying your best, loving your kiddos with everything you have, being patient, listening to them, having fun and staying calm.
I will never be the same again. That woman I was before kids is gone but that is OK because a new part of me is here now. That woman who has spit up on her shoulder all the time, who loves doing dance parties in her three-year old's room, who plays Dr. McStuffins for hours everyday, who can't wait to see those early morning smiles on her 5-month old's face first thing in the morning. It is more than OK.
I am here. I am in the now. I am a momma. I am going to do the best I can do. That's all I need to do. Oh, and try to have fun and try to enjoy every damn moment.
For those days that I just can't come up with anything fancy for dinner, I just try to put a few real food items on a plate. Yep. Nothing fancy. Just real food.
baked sweet potatoes
hummus and rice crackers
baked potato topped with cottage cheese
cucumber salad with olive oil and onions
fried eggs over sauteed greens
Need help in the kitchen? Join me in May for the Busy Women Mealtime Makeover. 4 weeks. You in your kitchen. Me in mine. Click here for details. Early bird special available now!