August 26, 2011

I Broke My Own Rule

Before Joycie was born, I swore that I would never allow my child to sleep with me. I had seen too many parents who had struggled to transition their baby out of Mama’s bed and into their own room. I figured that if I avoided it from the start, I could avoid the struggle.

Needless to say, I was a little agitated when M put a half-awake Joycie down in our bed. He promised that he was only going to let her snuggle with us for awhile before moving her to her crib. Knowing how easily M can fall asleep, I figured that I would be the one doing the moving.

At 5:45 a.m., I woke to the beeping of my alarm clock, and a tiny hand resting on my cheek. As I lay in the stillness of the early morning, breathing in the scent of Johnson’s & Johnson’s Baby shampoo, and traces of chocolate milk, I realized that I didn’t mind so much that M had broken the “rule”.

In a larger sense, I realize that is the balance that I have to find as a parent. I want Joycie to become a good person, with a strong work ethic and high morals.

To instill that in her, I need to provide her a home with rules, expectations, and boundaries. On the other hand, I want her to have a creative spirit and a joyful soul, so I must teach her the moments when can ignore the “rules” and embrace the moment.

So while, I do not intend on letting Joycie take up residence in my bed nightly, I am not going to protest too loudly if some morning in the future, I wake up next to that little body.

What parenting “rule” have you broken?


Maria said...

I've broken several "rules". Not so much ones that I set for myself, but more of the general type. Mia has fast food about 2x a month (we have Chick-Fil-A dates after storytime on Tuesdays). Also, right now, we're watching more PBS television than I know my pediatrician would advise. Pregnancy slows me down and I need the break. At the same time, we go to the playground regularly, I cook at home most nights, and she can sing her ABC's, identify several colors, and talks clearly and constantly. So it's all about balance!

Amy Jo said...

My husband and I don't have any children, but 3 days ago we got a puppy. On day one I laid down the law that the puppy would be caged at night and NOT sleep in our bed. I made it till about 3am on the first night, before I had her sleeping between my husband and I with her head snuggled into my neck. I couldn't bear to hear her cry and I knew she missed her mama and her other siblings. I guess some rules are meant to be broken (or bent) once in a while.

Jennifer said...

I have broken that exact same rule. We don't do it very often, but there is nothing like waking up with a little one snuggled up next to you!

Kathie Brinkman said...

We also had a "no kiddos in bed with us" rule for many years. But, as we relaxed into our parenting we found that the occasional allowing a kid into our bed was nice for all. Our kids have always been comfortable sleeping in their own beds by themselves and generally have put themselves to sleep. So an occasional night time visit was okay especially if they were scared or wet or something. Being balanced, and not legalistic, is the key--as you already know.