Tuesday, September 24, 2013

if you don't have anything nice to say...

i lied to brielle's pediatrician last week. she asked if brielle was sleeping through the night. i said yes. she asked if brielle was in her crib. i said yes again. neither are the truth.

i lied because 1. i didn't want to get lectured and 2. it's not really her business. don't get me wrong. i love brielle's pediatrician. i think she is knowledgeable, passionate, and sweet. however, i knew what she was going to say, and i just didn't want to hear it.

i'm having one of those nights where i feel on the edge of a breakdown. brielle is teething and cranky. she woke up every single hour last night, just wanting to chew on something and cuddle. i don't mind too much, because i'm her mom, and it's my job, and it's the best job in the world. but still, i'm tired.

i've also become so frustrated with people these past couple of weeks. i hear and read the things they say to one another, and it makes me sick. i am so so very fortunate to have a close knit group of fellow mamas to confide in and to share support. but still, i come across the occasional know-it-all, the dreaded damn-it-all.

here's the thing. before you're a parent, you have all your rules set out. you'll breastfeed for a year. the baby will sleep in the bassinet for 3 months, then gracefully transition into her crib. you'll cloth diaper. you'll make all your own food. your precious baby's eyes will never watch a minute of television, and all her toys will be eco-friendly. then your baby is born, and your milk supply sucks, your baby has reflux, your laundry room is taken over by dirty diapers waiting to be washed, you can barely find time to make your own food, and speaking of, it's time to make dinner so you set your baby on a blanket to watch mickey mouse club house and gnaw on her plastic toy.

your baby is born, you go into survival mode, and just do the best you possibly can. for me, survival mode has become bed-sharing. it wasn't something i planned on doing, but at three months, brielle stopped sleeping through the night in her rock n play, and bam. just like that, we became co-sleepers. i am well aware that i helped form the habit, but i can't say i regret it. it's worked for us. we've all gotten sleep because of it. and guess what, that's what matters.

jake and i get a say in how we sleep and how we parent. that's all. not a doctor. not a relative. not a friend with plenty of opinions, but no kids. not a friend with plenty of opinions AND kids. nope. just me and jake.

and this crazy rant isn't just about me and jake and how we sleep. i have had far too many conversations with my fellow mom friends recently about this same frustration, about why everybody seems to have an opinion on everybody else's parenting.

guys, this is a tough gig as it is. if you want to know pressure, try being responsible for another human being's LIFE. i am well aware that every single decision i do or don't make will have an affect on my precious, perfect baby. that is stress. it SICKENS me to see other people, particularly women, and particularly other moms criticize someone else's parenting.

every parent and every baby is different. please remember that. some babies sleep great in their cribs, and some score a spot in bed with their mom and dad. some babies are in the 90 percentile, some are in the 3rd. some start solids are 4 months, some wait until 6. i could go on and on, but i hope you get my point. every situation is diverse, but for the most part, every parent is loving and raising their child the best way they know how.

brielle isn't going to be sleeping in bed with us when she is fifteen, and when she is fifteen, i probably wish she would. in the meantime, jake and i are going to transition her using the method and speed that we choose. and also in the meantime, i will do my best to support every other parent struggling to make the best decisions for their babies.

"most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragment, and we will make the goal." robert collier.


  1. I stumbled upon your blog on Instagram.... I just wanted to say I absolutely love this post. I can't tell you how many times we have been lectured for bed sharing. We both say it's the best part of our day though. I love waking up next to both of my men and I love being able to roll over and check on him. Thank you for posting this!

  2. Hi Karissa! I came upon your blog and boy oh boy you are preaching to the choir! People around me are quite aware that my husband and I bed share. Was it our plan? Nope. It just happened because we chose sleep with a side of sanity over insanity that comes with lack of sleep. As I mother, I was always gullible to believing that the best support system would be mothers, but sadly most of them are critical and just plain mean. Everyone has their methods and there is for the most part no wrong or right. Keep up the good work at being a wonderful mother, wife and friend. I don't believe we've ever met directly, but coming from this small town it doesn't take long to hear about people, I've heard nothing but wonderful things about you. Just know that you can count on my support. You have a beautiful family!