(not)Sleeping

2 Nov

As women we tend to constantly compare ourselves to other women. We see who is skinnier, who is fatter, who is richer, poorer, drives a nicer car, a crappier car, and the list goes on.
Motherhood is no different. From the time I got pregnant I was sucked into this little world where everything becomes a competition.
Since I had Neely, I have been around several people with babies around her age. And let me tell you, I have never felt so judged in my entire life. As if being a new mom isn’t hard and scary enough, what with trying to tend to our baby’s every need and keep them out of harm’s way, we now are brought into this ridiculous game of competition and judgment. Want an example?

“Is Neely sleeping through the night yet?”
“Not yet…I mean she has but she doesn’t do it consistently.”
“Ohhh…” (silent judgment) “She’s WAY too old to be waking up. My baby has been sleeping through the night forEVER!”
And while I’m listening to this, I feel like a terrible mother, they’re right, she IS way too old. I must be failing somehow.

It’s so silly. Your baby isn’t necessarily sleeping through the night because you’re such an awesome mom. My baby isn’t necessarily NOT sleeping through the night because I’m a terrible mom.
Babies are just like every other human. Everyone is different!!
Neely is very strong-willed. She can “Cry it Out” for 3 hours, (THREE HOURS) and be just as worked up as she was when she was first put down. Her strong will has a positive though, she is very determined to move around and learn new things.
I am SO INCREDIBLY tired of people asking me if she sleeps through the night. Because no one is asking for knowledge sake. They’re asking so they can compare their baby to you and either feel relieved that their baby isn’t the only one not sleeping through the night, or feel better than you because their baby is.
Brett and I have been so confused on this issue. We’ve tried everything. I’m not exaggerating. And Neely is herself. She will fall asleep when she falls asleep. And why is it anyone’s business anyway? We recently spoke with a friend and he said their baby took a year to develop good sleeping habits. My sigh of relief was almost audible. I’m normal! Neely is normal! I’m not the worst mom on earth!
If you have said these things to me before and you think this blog is about you, it isn’t. Well it is, but not just you. This blog is about a lot of people and it’s also on behalf of other moms who always feel judged.
As moms we have the hardest, most rewarding job in the world. Can we please make a pact to stop judging each other and focus on supporting each other? We will all be happier for it. Can we also please realize that our babies are unique to themselves and as long as they’re happy and healthy nothing is wrong?
Thanks!

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16 Responses to “(not)Sleeping”

  1. Loralyn Cross 11/02/2010 at 7:08 pm #

    I like this posting. Thats all I have to say.

  2. Meliss 11/02/2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Amen!! hehe Every baby is different. My first son sttn at 3 months..and Armin still doesn’t. He is the same age as Neely (born on the same day) and he wakes up to eat at least once or twice. And he sleeps with ME!! oh no. ;) People kill me with their judgmental ways. I have never met you, but just from reading your posts and viewing your pictures..you seem like a wonderful mother..who takes the time to really enjoy their little one. Neely is perfectly fine!!

  3. Monica Mayeaux 11/02/2010 at 7:09 pm #

    If your kid not sleeping through the night makes you a bad mom then I am the crappiest mom ever. Brendan is a horrible sleeper and I don’t want to let him scream because if I do, he will scream all night long. I totally agree with you that moms and women in general need to support each other more. Being a mom is hard enough but the way some moms can be so condescending and judgmental make it even harder.

  4. Cindie Vertefeuille 11/02/2010 at 7:10 pm #

    I think you are a WONDERFUL mommy! With the love you have for Neely NOBODY can ever think you are anything but perfect for her. You are EXACTLY what sweet baby Neely needs.
    Who cares how other people react or think? Don’t let it matter to you anymore…ever!

  5. Cindie Vertefeuille 11/02/2010 at 7:12 pm #

    ….my husband doesn’t sleep through the night yet….am I a bad wife? :-D

  6. Trina 11/02/2010 at 7:20 pm #

    I’ll be 40 in 25 days and my sleeping habits are STILL jacked up! ;)

    Hang in there, you’re an awesome mom!

  7. Katy Lawson 11/02/2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Ooh girl..I’ve experienced first hand how happy your sweet baby is. I can’t blame you for not letting her cry it out…Cooper does that for a minute and I feel like crying. My mom told me that I didn’t sleep through the night until I was 2..I tell you what…I sleep through the night like a big girl now :-) She will get there! No one knows Neely like you do. Read books about the subject if you are frustrated. Otherwise, enjoy the extra time you get with your little punkin!

  8. danica 11/02/2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Are we really being judged though? Or do we just feel judged? Before I had Asher I read a book about a new mom who always felt judged and competetive with other moms and talked about how horrible other moms can be. But I wondered how much she was really being judged or if she was just taking curious questions and being sensitive about them. I am sure if you wrote this post that some people have really been coming down on you and making you feel bad but I have never felt judged by other moms. Maybe it is time for new friends? I won’t judge you, but maybe that is because Asher is crazy so Neely will always look good in my eyes! :)

  9. Shannon 11/02/2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I totally get this. The judgments have already started and I havent even had my baby yet. I dont care for unwanted opinions. I will go through this pregnancy the way I feel is best and I will raise my child the best way I know how. Thats all you can do. Neely is lucky to have such wonderful loving parents. Some kids arent so lucky. Just keep doing your best and everything will work out :)

  10. Kelly Vasami 11/02/2010 at 8:10 pm #

    Sadly, women will continue to judge each other. I don’t know why. I don’t know why we feel the need to find out what someone else is doing (or isn’t doing) to make ourselves feel better. It’s sad really. I wish you sleep, I wish Neely sleep. I know it’s got to be hard. But know that you are a great mom and that you will be fully allowed to feel smug when another mom’s kid doesn’t hold a candle to Neely and all the fabulous things she does/will do! ;) ( I never claimed to be mature!)

  11. Lulu 11/02/2010 at 8:28 pm #

    It truly makes my heart hurt when I hear people are judging you. Juliet and James are two and my sister is still up almost every night with one of them and she is an amazing mother just as you are. I love you and Neely.

  12. Ihilani 11/02/2010 at 11:34 pm #

    It’s 11:15pm, noweo JUST went to sleep and i just read your comment on my blog about how the baby whisperer doesn’t work after all. Haha! Neither does no cry sleep solution if you haven’t picked that one up yet. I so want to quit and do what’s easy for all of us – just let noweo’s sleep inclinations happen naturally. It’s so trivial in the grand scheme of things. It’s not like she has school in the morning, and I’m a SAHM so why am I even making this an issue? Are we stressing too much? Trying to fit a square into a triangle? I think part of the problem is that we have access to TOO much information from well meaning sources that tell us how our children should be behaving. Maybe we should ditch the books and just trust ourselves. I doubt our moms raises us with a manual and we turned out FABULOUS if I do say so myself. Sorry for blogging in your comment box. Night night!

  13. Alyson 11/03/2010 at 1:03 am #

    I just wanted to tell you that me and Abby talk about how lucky Neely is to have such amazing parents. It makes me really sad that people need to think they are better than you to feel better about themselves. Truthfully, I may be a little jealous of Neely. She will have an amazingly blessed life with you both. It makes me excited to see what God is going to do in her life.

    You help keep my sister happy and have always been there for me too. Neely is amazing and so loved. I love you!

  14. La Vonda 11/03/2010 at 10:40 am #

    Just so you know Ocean a kindergarten student & Diego an almost 4 year old barely sleep through night. Today Ocean woke up at 4 am.

  15. Jo 11/03/2010 at 11:04 am #

    Haha I have no babies yet but I think Neely is a doll. You should read this blog if you haven’t yet, it made me laugh http://stuffchristianslike.net/2010/10/3896/

  16. Steph 11/03/2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Trust me you’re normal! Either that or both our babies are cookoo. I actually spoke with a child psychologist today about Ryan’s lack of sleeping. I confessed that I was worried I’m doing something wrong. She assured me that all babies are different, some need less sleep than others, and that I am doing absolutely nothing wrong. Hang in there girl! I’ve heard it will get better! =)

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