Advice is Like a Piece of Chicken…

Advice is like a piece of chicken;
Take what you want and leave the rest.

My best pal, Miss J, got this little tidbit from a friend of hers and I think it is BRILLIANT. I am also fond of, “An opinion is like a penis: don’t whip it out in public and don’t shove it down other people’s throats”.

Ah. Golden.

From the minute I announced to the world that I was pregnant 18 months ago I became inducted into the Great World of Unwanted Advice and it appears as though it is a lifetime membership. When you’re pregnant you get little gems like, “Enjoy those road trips now because you won’t be able to do THAT when you have a baby!”, or “Get all the sleep you can now because you won’t sleep a WINK after the baby is born!” and of course the infamous miscarriage stories that every pregnant woman wants to hear.

Like, who asked you?

Then when the baby is born you get my favourite question in the world, “Is he sleeping through the night yet?” to which I smile and reply, “No, not yet.”

But of course what I really want to say is, “I have this gorgeous, smart, adorable, loving, healthy son, and that’s all you can think to ask? And NO he is NOT sleeping through the night. In fact, he isn’t even sleeping through PART of the night. I’m exhausted and frustrated and my gorgeous, smart, adorable, loving, healthy son doesn’t EVER sleep not EVER and I REALLY wish you would just STOP ASKING ME ABOUT HIS G.D. SLEEP! I am working on a MAXIMUM of 8 hours of sleep split into at LEAST 3 different sections. And if ONE MORE PERSON SUGGESTS PLAYING LULLABIES OR READING A STORY OR FEEDING HIM FORMULA I AM GOING TO BREAK THEIR KNEES! Do you not think I have tried these things? And I will NOT be letting him “cry it out” because I know my son and I know that won’t work for him because he will sooner learn to ride a unicycle wearing a dunce cap and a tutu than he would fall asleep after he has started to cry and UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO BE IN HIS ROOM WITH ME AT 3 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING THEN YOUR OPINION IS NOT VALID!”

I think that qualifies as a rant, no?
But oh, it felt sooooooo good.

And so here it is:
Monkey is a great sleeper. He is great a cuddling before he goes to sleep. He is great at loving me so much that he wants to see me throughout the night. He is great at taking short naps. He is great at taking these naps in his carseat or stroller. He is great at napping in the moby wrap. He is great at co-sleeping.

So I have decided, with the encouragement and advice of my aforementioned pal, Miss J, to go with my gut. Monkey needs to sleep, and I NEED to sleep. If we get the best sleep possible together some nights, then so be it. If our society frowns upon sleeping with your baby, then too bad. If I don’t want to try the “cry it out” method then I don’t have to. And I am officially going to stop trying to defend my parenting choices to anyone because Hubby and I know him better than anyone else in the world and despite what many well-meaning people seem to think, we know what is best for him. And right now, at this time, sleeping with me is often what is best.

From talking to many of my New Mama friends I have come to learn that we ALL have things that we do that we may not have thought we ever would. Whether it is co-sleeping, formula feeding, tummy sleeping, or whatever, we have a right to our decisions without being constantly questioned and doubted and made to feel that we have to defend our choices.

So if you have a child of any age, I encourage you, as Miss J encouraged me, to go with your gut. You know what is best, so don’t allow the rest of the world to make you doubt that.

And if you don’t have a child or if it’s been a while or if you do have a child and a friend or relative who parents differently than you do, please try to appreciate and respect other parents’ decisions. Parenting is not easy, that truth is universal. Figuring out what is best for our children takes a lot of heart, time, research, thought, and confidence.

So please, offer your support not your unwanted chicken.

Mel

5 Comments

  • Well now, I like this blog!
    Although, I'm sitting here reading it going "Oh… I've said that" and "Oh I've done that!" to many people. If I have ever given you a piece of chicken that you didn't appreciate I do hope that you left it on your plate!

    As I'm reading this though I can't help but remember the times when my kids were only a few weeks old that I DID bring them into bed with me in the morning just to get that few extra minutes of sleep. Thankfully it only took a few weeks to get into somewhat of a routine but knowing that, who am I so say that I wouldn't do it if my kids still weren't sleeping now?

    I like to think that even though my kids are decent sleepers and yours is not, when my kids are continually biting me in the arse in regards to terrible two's/three's, yours is going to be a little angel!!

    One of my friend co-slept with their daughter for 2 years. One day she just went to go up to bed and the parents followed as they had to do for the past 2 years to get her to go to sleep, and the daughter turned and looked at her and said "No, I want to sleep by myself" – and that was the end of that!!

    If it is sleep or no sleep I know I would choose whatever option got me that little bit of rest that is needed.

  • P.S. – For fellow people wanting to leave a comment – Internet Explorer deleted my comment and wouldn't let me post so I switched browsers and it worked in Firefox.
    I suggest copying what you write before you hit "post comment" just to be safe!

  • and by going with her gut, in an essence, a mother has read her baby. And what a better book, blog, sleep study, could you read… dont you think? xoxoxox

  • I love you Melonball!!
    If you need a good laugh one night when Monkey is not sleeping, have you heard of 'Go the F@*k to Sleep"?
    It's a hilarious book that you can get from Chapters. But if you want a little snip-it, you can also watch Samuel L. Jackson reading part of it on Youtube. hahaha Make sure Monkey's ears are far away if you choose to watch it. 🙂 Much love! Melissa

Leave a Reply