We recently posted an article from Parents Connect on our Facebook page.
In the article, Laurie talks about the pressures out there to be a "good mom" - what that means and how fair it is to judge yourself based on others' parenting techniques. Laurie talks about how she still sits in her daughter Lucy's bedroom while Lucy is falling asleep, even though "people were telling [her] that, at this age, it was [her] responsibility to get [Lucy] to go to bed on her own"
After posting, we received a number of responses from other parents who identified with this dilemma, and we found it to be an interesting discussion. Here are some of the responses:
Jamie Geisler Pearson
I have had the same anxieties about sleep time with my daughter (now 19 months). Sleep has always been difficult for her. Once I stopped fighting it and going with what felt right (holding her until she sleeps) she falls asleep faster and sleeps more soundly. We still have issues that she doesn't want to be in her room but I'll address that when she can tell me her fears. Until then people can judge all they want. My daughter is happy and excelling at everything else. I'm tired of beating myself up about it.
Lisa Awker Reynolds
Stay strong, mom! Trust your instinct! Not to brag, but I am often complimented on what great guys my sons are (ages 10-16), and I know I sat with them at bedtime fairly regularly at LEAST until they were in school. (My 10-year-old will ...still ask me to sit if it's been a challenging day or week.) The cool thing is, as they got older, it became a special mom-child time where they could vent about their day, in the safety of darkness without distractions. I feel we have a close, healthy relationship, especially when I hear of so many parents who say they don't even know their kids as they enter adolescence. Loving our kids is great, but I know and like my kids, and they seem to like me, so obviously sitting with them at bedtime hasn't damaged them yet. No one but you knows best about your family.
Yeah, you just have to get to that point where you just don't care what ppl think because *you* know you're an awesome mom. When my son was 1, everyone was pressuring us to stop co-sleeping. A week later he was hospitalized for the 4 time s...ince he was born, with parainfluenza type A. His fever spiked over 103.7 @ 3am. If he was in his own room we might not have caught it in time. He has since been diagnosed with an immune difficiency (should outgrow by age 3) and still co-sleeps with us. I sleep well though, knowing that if he so much as coughs we'll be there. Loving your children above all else by doing what *you* instinctively believe is best, is being a "good Mom". :)
Just Jennifer Boisvert
Self Preservation is the Rule for us as parents. We may not be "textbook" parents--we do what we have to do to keep our sanity.
Amy Lindstedt Kelly
Oh thank you for sharing this. I read to my kids 'til they fall asleep. I know they need to learn how to fall asleep on their own...eventually...but for now it just gets us all a good, full night's sleep. So good to hear from you, thank you!
Ilene Blechman Krom
There is no "right" or "wrong" way to parent -- as long as we love our children and do what we can to make and keep them safe (and ideally happy). As parents, the best we can do is try our best and make informed decisions, and be willing t...o be flexible when the need arises. Sleep is a long-time struggle for us and we have tried many different things to make it better. If everyone parented the same way, parenting would be an easy job. Speaking as a fellow "Mom", that is DEFINITELY not true.
Sandra Martorano Tentler
Great article. I've learned with my 3 very different kids that there is no one way that works for all kids. My 15 year old had a hard time sleeping on her own, but she outgrew it. My 3 year old girl is an independent sleeper and my 3 year old boy co-sleeps.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this!