Let me tell you a story, about a woman who swore her child(ren) would NEVER sleep in bed with her. A story about how having a child of your own changes your perspective, especially since that child is a special boy with a special heart (in more ways than one).
Kiran still rarely comes into bed with us. But it’s not never. Arif especially likes bringing him into bed with us when he has a 4 or 5 am wake up and doesn’t want to fall back asleep. Turns out, I have to give his dad room to be dad, too.
And I have been known to give in as well, for no good reason, though I tend to try a few more times to get him to fall back asleep in his own room.
And then there are nights like last night. Kiran isn’t just getting one tooth in – two more were spotted poking through yesterday afternoon. And he is now letting me know that it hurts. At 1:45 in the morning. By 3 am, after Tylenol and teething toys and rocking and holding his hand and going into his room a half dozen times….I didn’t want to hear his pained cry again. I didn’t want him to be alone in it. And – let’s face it – I really wanted (I would argue needed) some sleep.
I figure, moments like these, I have two choices. I can feel guilt, or I can treat myself with grace. I tend to do a little of both. I haven’t wandered off my parenting path in major ways – at least not when not having a good reason. I have written before about why my pacifier views had to change and my sleep training views as far as crying – both for very valid medical reasons.
But Kiran sleeps well almost always. He knows how to fall asleep on his own, and he is in his own room most nights.
So last night, at 3 am, he came into bed with me. And he was finally able to rest, knowing his mama was with him in the pain he was feeling.
I will always struggle with guilt or grace. My comfortable response is always to feel guilty. To get down on myself. But it is always my goal, now, to give myself grace. Because being a mom isn’t always picnics and sunshine. And this journey has been difficult and emotional.
Besides, Kiran is worth a change in perspective.