. . . for Lauren and Lauren: What kind of parent am I?

February 5, 2014

What kind of parent am I?

Sometimes I feel like motherhood makes me waver between extremes.  Days I feel confident and days I feel overwhelmed.  Days I feel like Addilyn is the happiest baby and days I feel like she is miss crabby.  Days we are right on schedule with naps and eating and days we're all over the place.  My sister reminds me constantly that motherhood will forever be unpredictable and that I'd save myself a lot of energy accepting that sooner rather than later.  I think that will forever be a work in progress for me. 

I read a lot about different types of parenting and I find myself wavering between the extremes.  I'll read something about attachment parenting.  
Babies are babies for only a short time.  
Babies don't know how and shouldn't be expected to self soothe. 
Babies should not be alone crying in their cribs for any amount of time. 
Give her all the cuddles and snuggles that she needs.  

Yes. Yes. and yes. 

I tell myself that I'd be okay if Addilyn slept in our bed until she was ready to sleep on her own.  That she can take naps on me as long as she "needs" to.  That she'll learn independence when she's older. 

Then I read things that are the opposite. 
It's so crucial to teach babies how to soothe themselves and put themselves back to sleep. 
Sleep training might make for a tough week but it will be so worth it. 
Babies cry and that is just part of being a baby. 
Yes. Yes and yes. 

I have moments where I need time to myself.  I love when she takes a good nap in her crib.  I love when she wakes up for the day in her crib and not next to me.  I like my space when I sleep at night. 

It all depends on the day.  Sometimes I'm convinced it's time to let Addilyn cry more.  To figure out how to sleep through the night.  That she needs to learn how to put herself back to sleep when she wakes up.  That she should be napping every time in her crib. 

Then I have days where I don't care if we end up bedsharing until she's three because I hate the idea of her being in bed crying alone.  That I will hold her for naps as long as I want to.  

Sometimes I wonder if you can be both.  If I can hold her for some naps but teach her to sleep on her own for most of her naps.  If she will learn to sleep through the night with time and I should relax and stop trying to force her to do it now.   

Parenting is a tricky thing.  Making decisions about what is best for your baby is hard.  And no one can make that decision but me.  And that feels like a lot of pressure to me sometimes.  Each day is different and each day I'm faced with what kind of mom I want to be.  

When it comes down to it I want to be a mom that does whatever I think is best for Addilyn and best for our family.  I want to start each day reminding myself that being a mom is unpredictable.  And that yesterday she may have gone down for a nap with no problems but today for no reason at all she won't take a nap.  And I want to be okay with that.  I am learning to stop being obsessive and attempting to let things go and not over analyze everything.  I don't have to define myself by what kind of parent I am but be confident that I am doing that best that I can and that whatever ways I choose, Addilyn will be just fine and so will I. 



Simply LKJ said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates


Denise said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Very well said.

Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Yes! I never bought into any parenting programs or books. Bottom line, you have to do what works for you and your child or children. Be confident!! The fact that you're so concerned about doing the right thing the right way for Addi means that you are a great mom :)

Lauren Shaw said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Your sister sounds so wise : ) And you are exactly the mama God wants for Addi and you are doing a wonderful job.

Autumn said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

You're doing great, Katie! I don't like parenting labels, because then you do feel like you have to follow all the "rules" of that type of parenting. Pick and choose what works for you. I think you can have a baby that naps every day in a sling, but sleeps in their crib at night, or naps in their crib, but sleeps in your bed at night... or whatever. You know your baby. And you know what you're comfortable with. Keep taking it one day at at time, you are not alone, and it will get easier!

The Girl who Loved to Write said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Very well said! xo

Taara said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I am on babies #3 and 4 (twins) and I still have days where I feel totally unorganized and wondering if I am doing it "right". I just wrote a post on the subject actually, if you'd like to check in out. :)

Be encouraged that each moms journey is different and you will never go wrong keeping your child's best interests at heart.

Taara said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates
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Christina said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Our daughters are nearly the same age. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone, I have many of the same worries you do about baby sleep. The best advice that I have been given is to follow your heart. Only you know what your daughter needs, not books or blogs or even doctors. I'm sure you are doing a wonderful job. Sometimes we just need permission to keep doing what is working for us. Don't feel bad if Addilyn isn't sleeping according to some rules in a book. Just keep doing what works for you and her. Babies under a year are constantly changing, growing, and learning, so maybe this is why their sleep habits do too?

Courtney Kassner said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I know exactly what you mean. We are trying to transition Crew to his crib now and it is so hard. Do we rock him or let him cry? In the end, I think, you know what's best. I remembered this article I saw recently...it's a funny take on how contradicting all the "expert" advice is that we read.

Christina said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I thought you might appreciate this today: http://www.bigcitymoms.com/blog/archive/2014/01/new-mamas-get-nothing-done-and-other-untruths.html

two birds said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

this may sound weird, but i never read any parenting books. there are so many conflicting ideas out there that i didn't want to get bogged down with them all. chris and i both decided on a few important decisions, and the rest we take day by day. it's hard every day wondering whether or not we're doing everything right...but i have accepted that i'm definitely not, but our kids are happy, smart, respectful, and kind, so we must be doing somthing right!! you are a good parent...do what feels right to you, and you know addy will turn out to be a great person!

Helene in Between said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

i truly think that there is no wrong (well some wrong) or right way to raise a child. you just have to find what works for you and your kid and i think you're doing a great job!

Suzanne Bruce said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

When my daughter was two we had a dog that we would open the door and let out... I was in the bathroom and I thought my husband had Casey... no... turns out, she went outside and across the yard into someone else's yard and onto their porch looking for the dog... I felt like calling DCFS on myself!!!! I never felt worse in my life.... but shes survived... and I'm finding that she needs more parenting now that shes 19 and is on the precipice of adulthood that she needs me more... don't stress too much... every stage is a new one..

Bethany said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This post pretty much articulates everything I feel and think. I have a very hard time letting myself accept that parenting is unpredictable. But by adhering too tightly to any one parenting philosophy, I find that I silence my own instincts. I'm trying to be better about just listening to Allie and doing what feels right, then changing tactics if it doesn't work out. Sometimes that means rocking her to sleep, sometimes that means letting her cry a little. I have no idea if this is actually a good way to approach things, as we still have good days and bad days, but it's the only way I can do it running on such a short amount of sleep! Anyway, Addilyn is so cute and you are not alone in your struggles!

Sarah Nicole said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Girl, I feel like I could've written this myself! I'm constantly second guessing if I'm doing things right when raising Selah because there are so many different opinions! Especially lately when she randomly stopped sleeping through the night a month ago! :/ Praying for wisdom for both of us as we figure out this thing called mommyhood! :)

Amanda said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thanks for being so honest about this. I think a lot of people, everyone if they're honest, feels this way.

Brandie Lane said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Love this. Its tough figuring out what is the best for you and your baby. I honestly believe that each child responds differently to parenting. Actually, the same child can respond differently from day to day to the same style of parenting. My second thrived from a schedule. My third baby changes a lot to what makes her feel loved & so, we change with her. We still give her boundaries, but we listen to her needs too. Right now, at 16 months, we are at a compromise. She goes to sleep on her own and wakes every single night to come to our bed.

PolkaDottyPlace said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Parenthood is the hardest, best job ever! Sometimes I find myself wondering how I could take care of 30 kids in a classroom and yet one tiny baby in my house leaves me perplexed at times. There's a definite learning curve and it's easy to feel anxious about parenting decisions. Your sister has great advice and I'm hoping that as our girls get older it'll be easier to feel more confident and trust God to develop our parenting skills.

Samantha Curtis said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I change my mind daily too, just as I think these kids change theirs! And just by the time we "figure it out", it will change again. Trust your heart and it will all work out! Xo

maria said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

hey Katie!
I just read this (link below) blog and thought of you, maybe you'll appreciate it!


Sleep was such a struggle with Micha as well, but it really does get better! Promise!

Danielle Wallace said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Hey Katie! My 4 month old baby girl (also an IVF baby :) is struggling with waking up during the night- once to nurse (which I can handle) but now 2 times just to be held back to sleep. After 2 weeks of this, this exhausted mama needs a solution! I remembered you posting about some sort of sleep sack you used, so I was looking through your old posts and came across this one, and man this is exactly where I'm at right now. I want her to be able to nap in my arms or put down, I want her to fall asleep in my arms yet be able to self soothe herself back to sleep. Gosh, is that too much to ask? No idea what to do at this point! Any advice would be great :)