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Monday, July 19, 2010

Letter to New Mothers

When I had my son, so many people gave me their well intended often unsolicited advice about what I should and shouldn't do.  I was so sure that those people didn't love their children as much as I love mine, because they seemed to never hug and cuddle them.  They always complained about how they wish their child would cuddle and sit on their laps, but (insert name here) just doesn't like that.  So I want to tell you about how that advice helped me.

1.  NEVER LET THE BABY SLEEP WITH YOU: I left my x-husband when Cam was 8 weeks old (yes you read that correctly) and moved in with my dad who had a spare bedroom.  That bedroom had a twin bed, and a dresser, his computer table and several other things.  There was no room for a crib, that is when Cam started sleeping with me.  I moved out a month later and I enjoyed the cuddle time with him, when we would wake up in the mornings we would lay in bed an sing songs, and play tickle games.  Do you know what that did to him?  Absolutely nothing.  Now when he wakes up he comes into my room and we lay in bed and talk, and we talk about everything.  Before school we pray that it will be a good day, blessed with happy memories and good grades.  There is nothing that that child will not talk to me about.  He's the same way with my husband. We love those morning discussions.

2. DON"T ROCK YOUR BABY TO SLEEP HE NEEDS TO LEARN TO GO TO SLEEP ON HIS OWN:  I rocked Cam until he didn't want me to rock him anymore.  Guess what, I no longer rock him.  He did actually tell me one night that he was going to bed like a big boy.  It BROKE my heart! I loved those nights when I rocked him to sleep.  It was so sweet.  I can't sing with out the dogs howling (yes its that bad) so I would whisper things like "Mommy loves you so much" and rub his face and rub his eyes closed.  When he was 2 or 3 he started whispering back "I wub you too mommy" rubbing my face with is little hand.  Those are the best memories!  When he was really tired and he wanted to go to bed early, he would crawl into my lap and say "I just wub you mommy, lets rock in your chair"

3.  DON"T GO TO THEM AT NIGHT LET THEM CRY IT OUT SO THAT THEY LEARN TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT: I never let Cam cry it out, and he sleeps through the night.  He has been since he was very little.  Babies don't cry because they want to, they cry because something is wrong.  Why make him feel as if his needs are unimportant to you.  Once I ignored Cam when he cried out, it was only a small cry and only lasted a second. I woke up to him lying in vomit and it was dried to his face.  They cry for a reason. period.

4. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART: You will find that you know what is right for your baby.  Books are good, they are informative. All the "What to Expect" books are great.  They were like the handbook that kids don't come with.  Beware of books that tell you how to raise your kids, those will cause regrets later.  Books that tell you how to deal with certain situations like ear aches, stomach virus', and teething that's what you need.  You know how to discipline your child, and teach him/her the things that are important, you don't need a book for that.

If you want a loving, snuggling, caring baby you have to be a loving, snuggling, caring parent.  If you want a baby that doesn't want to snuggle and cuddle, then don't snuggle and cuddle him.  You can't expect your toddler to want to sit on your lap when you never held him as a baby.  You can't want your toddler/child to want to hug and kiss you, if you don't hug and kiss your baby.  Most importantly make sure you follow your heart, learn from your parents and trust your instincts.  Don't let others sway your opinions.  No one loves your child the way you do, no one knows what is right for your child except you.  After all, you are the one living with him.


McCrakensx4 said...

Great post that I agree with. You can listen to all the advise in the world, but you will know what to do and what to 'sweep' under the rug when it comes to you and your family.

Jen said...

This is such an awesome post. I wish that someone would have given it to me when I had my first son. I think that made each one of those mistakes and boy, did I pay for it.

Stopped by from SITS.

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from SITS!

Amy said...

Very well written. Can't say I agree 100% but I can see your points for sure! My daughter hated being in a bed with me and my hubby, hated being rocked and would cry worse if we tried to go to her in the night. She has been independent from day one. She is 2 now and is the most affectionate little girl. Crying didn't turn her into a depressed child or kill her brain cells. I think more moms need to just listen to instinct. Mothers intuition is a very very real thing. Plus, each baby is different. What works for one doesn't work for another. One of the best books to find advice about parenting is the Bible :-) He tells you exactly what you are called to do as a parent.

Enjoyed your post! Happy Monday!

The Simple Life said...

The whole point is that what works for one person, doesn't necessarly mean it works for all. people like to judge you for what you do as a parent, when the only person you have to justify what you do as a parent to is you! You know what is best for your baby!

Beth Zimmerman said...

Wonderful post! Made me smile to think of you and sweet little Cam during those sweet sleepy hours!

Rachel said...


I agree that each child is different, but being an affectionate mom gave my kid security that he could always come to me or trust that I would meet his needs.

And yes, it broke my heart when he didn't need me to rock him. And when he moved into a crib. And every day when he gets just a bit more independent - at least he is still my affectionate boy :)

YES - you are so right... kids need that loving assurance and don't let others dictate how you raise your treasure.

Kelly said...

Love this post! So incredibly true. I did all the same as you. and have very well adjusted and behaved children.