Let me preface this post by saying a firm and sincere no judgment. I'm a firm believer in "to each their own", particularly when it comes to parenting. Who am I to tell you how best to best parent your child in your household with your (and their) unique needs? That type of thinking just doesn't do anyone any good, and is logically unsound.
Despite this, a lot of people (nope, not referencing any of my blog readers, but rather family members, friends, and mere acquaintances for that matter!) see fit to tell me why I should suck it up and move Ava to her bed rather than ours, leaving her to cry it out. Oh, the dreaded CIO. Whether you're for it, against it, considering it or undecided, everyone dreads the process. It's a biological fact that parents, mothers especially, cannot stand to hear their babies cry, so naturally crying it out is upsetting for everyone. However, it is particularly upsetting for me.
Now I'm not trying to call anyone out in this post, but I have particular issue with letting A cry it out, and I feel certain it's due in part to my own anxiety as opposed to hers. While sure, letting my baby cry herself to sleep sounds inherently unpleasant, let me explain a bit further what I mean.
My life has been tumultuous. While I am currently one of the most blessed, fortunate, happiest people I know, life has not always been kind to me. I was born to a teenage mother (though she is, and always has been, fantastic), which I mention here just to note that my father was not in the picture, and that my extended family - mainly my grandparents - played a larger-than-average role in my upbringing when I was very young. I spent a great deal of time living with both my mother and grandmother, and then, when I was five and off to Kindergarten, my mother moved about an hour and a half away to get a life established for us of our own. She sought job stability, a place for us to live, a decent school for me to attend, and all the things that any good mother would desire for her child. I do not blame her for this. Just the same, the best of intentions turned into years apart from my mother, despite her frequent visits, and while I am not trying to implicate her in any emotional scarring, the fear of abandonment runs deep in me. The pain of being away from my mother, even twenty plus years later, has created an almost phobic desire for me to prevent A from ever feeling anything even akin to that pain, and I firmly believe that this comes into play with my inability to support the CIO method in this household.
Yes, I know she won't be in therapy twenty years from now, weeping about the trauma of being left in her crib to fall asleep as an infant. In fact, chances are when she wakes up in the morning, she'll be all smiles, any remnants of trauma long gone. But the idea of leaving her alone in her room, wondering where I am and why I'm not coming for her, feeling abandoned, I just cannot do it.
And so, well-meaning relatives, friends, strangers, and the like, while I appreciate that your intentions are good, I'm not currently accepting unsolicited parenting advice. For now, letting Ava nap and sleep in our bed works for us. In fact, I've fallen into a pretty little routine of accomplishment and productivity during the mornings, followed by computer time to write/blog/online shop/whatever during her naps, and I'm feeling increasingly happy and fulfilled by this schedule.
And with that, happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, and continues to have an amazing week. Until tomorrow (or maybe later today, one can never be sure with me)...