It’s 10.03 pm.
My 10 month old is in his bed, screaming his lungs out.
He is screaming because he wants me to come pick him up and rock him to sleep, rather than him falling asleep alone in his bed.
It seems, as a parent, you can do nothing right. If we let them cry and “educate” them with that good old tough love approach, then we quite frankly feel rotten and every bit of our physical and mental being just wants to run to their bed, pick them up, hug them and rock them gentle to sleep, every day, in fact all day, for the rest of their lives (which yes, I know, will be a bit of an issue the older they get). If you instead succumb to these primal, parental instincts, then your children might never really grow up and gain their independence. They may become insecure individuals, who constantly seek refuge and comfort, afraid to venture out into the world and be on their own. It’s a false security to constantly be there when they want you to, since life is not like that. Now, many of you parents out there reading this (probably cussing me right about now) are going to be screaming and shouting and telling me that you cannot teach a baby such things, he is JUST a baby! And I would have to agree, but the thing is, when should we start then? When is the right time to begin the harsh realities of life? Is there ever going to be a good time? And if you wait too long, what are the consequences and how will you handle them?
My mother always told me, as a parent, you can only do wrong. Your child’s triumphs are because of his own achievements and amazing character, and his trials are because you didn’t teach him better.
Sounds discouraging, doesn’t it? Lol, I have never been inclined to giving only the single story, the single version of anything. Parenthood is no exception. It’s HARD, but it’s also incredibly rewarding and pretty much the most awesome thing you can ever do on this planet.
To see the little ones grow into their own, to get to know who they are and to nurture their little souls, is such a privilege. If we stop, put down our phones and disconnect all irrelevant information supply chains to our brains, we would learn the lessons that our children teach us every day. Valuable lessons about ourselves, about them and about the world. A child’s perspective is untarnished, real and raw, fair and unbiased. We have so much to learn from them, before the world beats us to it.
I was supposed to workout at home tonight. Do some extra lunges and squats, and maybe throw in a few kickbacks to fight the inevitable effects that gravity will have on our behinds. But instead, I sat here, listening to my 10 month old baby screaming, and wondering, if I am doing the right thing here, why does it feel so wrong?