Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Chicken or the Egg

Takin' Time on Tuesdays with Joni

I have not always been the most humble person. Often I have taken pride in things that are not necessarily something I can take credit for. One is my ability to become pregnant. I became pregnant with my first two children without even trying. I often would brag that all I had to do was think that I wanted a baby and POOF, I was pregnant. Then something weird happened and I couldn't get pregnant. I wanted a third child but each month was met with disappointment. Then after a year trying, I finally became pregnant. I was so excited but only a few weeks later discovered I was having a miscarriage. Two more miscarriages later I finally was able to keep my pregnancy. I was so excited to be pregnant again and looked forward to the new wonderful experience of welcoming new life into my life. What I learned in those 2+ years of waiting for a baby was that the ability to conceive and carry a child usually is out of the woman's control. I learned to be very sensitive to others about their own fertility journey. I shouldn't take pride in how quickly I can get pregnant, because really I don't have much control over that.

Though it took me a while to learn humility in fertility, it didn't take more than one child for me to learn humility in the sleeping habits of my children. There is often quoted a saying of, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" I would like to start my own saying, "What comes first, a bad sleeper or bad sleeping habits?" I am a firm believer that a bad sleeper creates bad sleeping habits. I have had two bad sleepers. From the beginning, they wouldn't nap in a bed. They wouldn't sleep longer than an hour and a half in the night. So what did that create? Bad sleeping habits. At of exhaustion and sleep deprivation, I start sleeping in my bed with my babies. I learned quickly that if I nursed them in my bed and then pull them in close, they sleep longer. I am also able to catch a few extra minutes of sleep while they are eating. I recently read a book about how to get your baby to sleep. Guess what it said? Don't sleep with your baby. Don't nurse them to sleep. I am guilty of both. But I was desperate. I was a walking zombie and needed something to save me. I often hear mothers brag that their child sleeps through the night. This is a badge of honor. I feel like the women take credit for their good sleepers. If a good sleeper means a good mother, what does a bad sleeper mean? I often wanted to punch people in the nose when they said their two week old was already sleeping through the night. My six year old isn't sleeping through the night! But then came my third child. A good sleeper was born and from the beginning we have done good sleeping habits. She sleeps in her own bed. She takes good naps. She sleeps from 10 pm to 5 am almost every night. She is an angel baby. But guess what? I am the same mom! So it proves that the good/bad sleeper comes first and the habits come second! So if you have a bad sleeper and think you are a bad mother, take comfort! You are a good mother. Just punch the next person in the nose who, with a puffed up chest, says, "My child sleeps through the night."

Here is my six year old, sleeping with a mask on. This was my attempt to keep her asleep even if someone uses the bathroom or I get up with the baby. Too bad it didn't work. She gets scared with it on, so she won't wear it.
This is my son asleep with his face squished to the frame of his bunk bed. He is a crazy sleeper. I find him in many odd positions while he sleeps.

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