Monday, April 11, 2011

Sometimes We Need Permission

Okay, so the first "Mommy Moment Mondays" post is actually being written on Tuesday, but it isn't yet 1 a.m. yet, and I have this set at EST, so I say, it still counts! (This tells you how together I am--not!)

In the movie Shadowlands, the love story of C.S. Lewis (one of my all-time favorite authors!), I heard this statement: "We read to know we are not alone." I hope these "Mommy Moment Mondays" help remind you that you're not alone in this mommy journey. (And by reading your comments--hint, hint!--I'll be reminded that I'm not alone in mine.)

Anyhow, today was definitely a Monday, if ya know what I mean. Recovery from the weekend amounted to "blitzing" the house while my hubby (you'll learn to really like him--he's a 'keeper,' to be sure!) took our boys for a walk, pulling them around in his birthday present--our little red Radio Flyer wagon. (He actually asked for that--what a dad!)

The most significant part of our day was taking my kiddos to their well-baby appointments, Caleb to his 24 mo., and Josh to his 6 mo. It went pretty well, but I'm not going to bore you with the details of my sons' developmental milestones. The greatest significance of the visit rested in what I received there: permission. Permission to leave my baby in his crib to cry.

Now, with Caleb I was not a co-sleeper at all, except when he was sick. I followed a "parent-directed feeding approach" to a "T" that basically led to his sleeping 7-8 hours through the night by the time he was 7 weeks old, and without tears! (I did sleep on the couch, while holding him, a time or two when he was sick.) There were a few nights after he was consistently sleeping through the night when he was well that he awakened and I let him cry a bit, but I'd just turn down the monitor. (You think I'm evil, now, don't you?)

Our living situation this year, with Josh, has been so different, though--and, thus, so has our approach. I won't go into all of that, but Josh has been in our room all along. Until last night. For the first time, I let my baby cry (in the living room) while I slept comfortably in my own bed, next to my husband. For the first time in quite some time, I actually got a good night's sleep.

My point is that sense of "needing permission." It wasn't even significant to me that it was someone with a few initials behind her name giving it. Sometimes we moms just need "permission" from someone to do what we know is best for us or our children, even if it feels wrong or selfish or what have you. In case I needed any further "permission" to continue to sleep train my son, I received this encouragement from "The Baby Sleep Site" in my e-mail inbox this morning:

"If your baby is not where he usually sleeps, he might toss and turn until it DOES feel like he is in his bed. This means that the first night or even the first week, there may be some long nights, but it doesn't mean he won't get used to his new bed with time, patience, and consistency. Always give your sleep plan time to work and give him time to adjust. The first response is not always the end of the conversation. Stick with it. He can do it! :)"

Later, my husband gave me a different sort of permission. I had just put both boys down for their afternoon naps (Bliss!), and as he got ready to leave for work, he told me to go out on our little porch and enjoy some alone time and relax. No computer, no phone. And I did.

Maybe you're past the stage where sleep is a struggle, but do you ever feel like you need "permission" as a mom? What for? Who provides it for you? And do you find yourself doing things much differently with other children than you did with your first? I'd love to hear about those, too!

Well, if it's as nice outside wherever you find yourself, I'm giving you the same "permission" today that my hubby gave me: Take some time out for just you today. Reflect and be still. You deserve it and you need it.


  1. Tammy,
    Jonathan's birthday present is the SWEETEST gift ever!!! I love it! I love reading your writing, it is always very inspirational and my daughter is older than yours; yet I can always relate or get some tips from you! Keep up the good work, and remember you are encouraging and inspiring others without even knowing it!!!

  2. Also...sleep has ALWAYS been a problem for my daughter, and she's 6! I was a VERY EXTREME attached parent, still am; but it was very hard for her to sleep in her own bed finally. Glad to hear your boys are doing so well!