Sunday, July 12, 2015

not failing at parenting [thoughts on sleep]

Bed sharing with your babe, turns out, does not mean you are failing at parenting. Even though many will make you feel that way. I can't tell you how many times we've been looked at with the eyes of judgmental parents only a fellow parent can know. I've been asked if I had just given up on getting my daughter to sleep in her bed. And here's the thing. The answer is no. Because we haven't tried. Which by definition, I believe means, we haven't failed. Our decision to share our bed with our baby didn't come from hours of previous research, our decision came from our feeling that what we were doing was right for us (keyword- US) and then I did research that we weren't going to kill our baby by doing so. If you think at any time while reading this we were endangering our child, please read this instead.  If you still think we endangered our child while reading this, I suggest you google a blog with the title 'sleep training' attached to it, and then we will all be happier about life in general, because there are many 'right ways', this is just our story.
But as I write this late into the night, thinking that tonight may be one of the
last full nights our little girl sleeps in our bed, I can't help but feel a tad emotional. We have kept her so close and safe these past two and a half years, I'm feeling mixed on letting her go. She will do fine. I will probably cry. And buy her a nightlight for my own peace of mind. And some new princess sheets to fit the twin bed she will be sleeping in. Turns out we bought the crib for nesting purposes. We bought the toddler bed for appearances. We will make her twin bed for little girl she has become. Confident, sassy, free-willed, determined, loving, adorable, little girl. 
I'm so thankful for all the extra cuddles and snuggles I've received by getting to sleep with her since day one. I'm also so thankful for all the SLEEP I've had since making this decision. Sleep deprivation and bed sharing did not go hand in hand in our experience, and from what I've read, we aren't alone in these findings. And even though this little chapter in our story has been an amazing one, I know it must end to make another one. One where our confident little lady begins to find her way with a little more independence. And no, this decision does not mean we are getting ready for baby #2, so please do not get any ideas on that front. 

If we were to do it all over again, we wouldn't change a thing.  

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