Friday, February 15, 2013

Our Way

Before Hugo was born, Dave and I spent a lot of time talking about how we were going to parent our child. Going with our instincts was the most important thing for us. This has been working really well for us. Hugo is happy, peaceful and sleeps really well at night and has done right from eight weeks.

But a couple of weeks ago he seemed a little unsettled during the day and was waking during the night. At first I thought he might have been having a growth spurt (which may have been part of it) and just needed a little extra feed. But then one night he woke at 11:30pm and needed to be resettled, then woke at 5am, 7am and 9am and then wouldn't go down for a sleep without 30 minutes of crying while I rocked and cuddled him, I was at the end of my rope and in tears too.

As I sat on my bed, after Hugo eventually fell asleep in my arms, and cried, I realised that the only reason I felt like I did was because I was listening to a tiny voice in my head that was telling me I should be doing what the maternal health worker was suggesting at my new parents group.

Instead of going with what had been working for us for the last 12 weeks, following Hugo's cues, doing what I feel is best for him, I had been questioning my instincts and his cues and trying, without even really being aware of it, to follow what a stranger has said is best.

What the what?!

All this did was upset me and unsettle my boy as he picked up on my angst.

So from now on we are back to doing things our way.

Yes that might mean he has short sleeps during the day for now (even though I was told he should "sleep for no less than an hour" each nap), yes that might mean he eats every two hours (and not every 3 or 4 like he would on a "good" schedule).

So what. He is thriving, healthy, peaceful and happy 99% of the time. This is what works for us.

And it is perfectly fine that what we do doesn't fit the mould of what the health workers think is best. We do a number of things they wouldn't agree with.

Feed on demand still
No set routine
No set sleep, eat, wake time schedule

My baby is happy this way and so are we. He knows he is loved and cared for and at the end of the day that is all that matters.

So I am going to ignore the stupid voice in my head, give myself a little grace, and get back on track doing this mothering thing my way.

And snuggle the heck out of my baby boy today and every chance I get!

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