Friday, April 14, 2006

CIO vs Co-Sleeping and other sleep choices

Disclaimer: I am not knocking anyone's choices regarding how they put their child to sleep. My opinions and choices are mine alone as yours should be yours.

Does your baby sleep? Does your child sleep? That's the most important thing. How you do it isn't anyone else's business. And yet, lately I have been reading a lot of debates among moms regarding the "best" way to do it. CIO (cry it out, for anyone who doesn't know) moms think their method is best. Co-sleepers think their way is best. Moms (and dads) who rock, lay down with, or use other methods to help their children to sleep think their way is best. And guess what? You're all right!! Every last one of you. If it works for your child and for your family, it's right.

Personally, I don't CIO. Never have, never will. And I am absolutely certain, based on the debates I have read, that there are CIO moms who will get defensive about that statement and either say or think "you never know what the future holds." But I do know. I have an almost 10 yr old and never did it with him. Didn't want to, didn't need to, choose not to. It's a choice, not an absolute must. In my opinion, CIO doesn't make sense. It feels mean to me. If you don't agree, that's fine. But I must defend my right to state that. It's not for me. It's not for my kids. It's not for my family.

Just as co-sleeping may not be right for you or your family. And that's fine. But, as you wouldn't want me to call you abusive or neglectful (I've heard and seen it said), please don't call me indulgent or hippy. It's just my way of connecting and being close to my baby after a long day. We both sleep better and it makes for a happier us. A lot of people can't imagine doing that because for them, bedtime is their time and that's their right. Can y'all see where I'm going with this?

Enough with the debates. If you don't do it, that doesn't mean others can't. Or shouldn't. The whole point is happy, healthy kids and however you achieve that end is okay. Don't defend it, don't put others down for their choices... just follow your instincts and be confident in your choices and let others be confident in theirs. If you need to think those thoughts, then think them. But don't say them because nobody wants to hear it any more than you want to hear what they think of your choices.

It's like the SAHM vs WOHM debate. If you stay at home, good for you! You get to be with your kids all day! If you work out of the home, good for you! You get to feed your kids and buy them nice clothes! But please don't complain about what you're doing or what others are doing.

SAHMs.... please stop complaining about how hard your job is. Yes, running a house and raising children is hard. We all know that and we respect that. But please bear in mind that working moms do what you do, only with 40 (and sometimes more) fewer hours to accomplish it. Show them some respect and just enjoy the fact that you can do what you do. A lot of moms would love the opportunity.

WOHMs... please stop complaining about how hard your job is. It's incredibly hard to not only be away from your children all day, but then to have to come home and cook and clean and spend all weekend running errands. But please bear in mind that if you're a 2 income family, you have more disposable income and are probably more comfortable than you would be otherwise. If you are not a 2 income family, then most likely it's necessary that you work and you're setting an amazing example for your kids by being the mom who does it all.

Just like sleep choices, there are pros and cons to each side of the work debate as well. If you feel defensive about your choices, or feel that you must tell others how much better than them you are for doing what you do, you may want to consider whether you're happy in your choices. Maybe staying at home isn't for you. Maybe working isn't for you. Either way, if you feel the need to defend your life, maybe it's you who are questioning it... not others.

The whole point is that mothers should be supporting one another. Not arguing about who's the better parent, which way is right and which way is wrong. It's all about raising happy, healthy children, and whatever choices you need to make to be able to do that are the right ones. Because they're yours... not anybody elses.

And on that note... here's the picture of Kyan I mentioned yesterday. It's his new facial expression and I'm so psyched that my cousin caught it and emailed it to me!


Erik said...

That's a great facial expression! When I was a kid, there was this one particular face that I made that would always, without fail, totally melt my mother and she would let me get away with anything. All I had to do was "make the face." Sadly, at some point in growing up, I ceased being able to "make the face." Like, I would try, but it ceased being cute, I guess, or it just wasn't as cute as it used to be, or maybe I used it too much and I used it up. But I remember being, like, fifteen or so, and trying the face on my mom, and her being like "what's that?" and me being like "it's the face!" and then she was like, "no it's not," and I was like "let me try again," but I could do it.

Anyway, enough about me, this is a really cute picture.

Rebecca said...

Ahhh... puberty destroyed the "get whatever you want" face!! I had that experience myself once I became a teenager. So sad, isn't it?

His best face is "the pout." Maybe one of these days I can get a shot of it... it's a GREAT face!