So I took a hiatus. Longer than planned, sure, but sometimes it happens. It being life.
What happened? Well, the kid got sick, I got tired, downtime became a few minutes after the kid went to sleep for the first time that night and before I went to bed myself…only to wake up an hour or two later and do it all again.
There have been tests and appointments and medicines and needle sticks and…it’s all just a lot. Everything seems fine, but fine sometimes necessitates a break and some time away and room to breathe. Even if it’s shallow, nervous, worrisome breath.
Regardless, the whole situation got me thinking about what we’re told to do and what we’re told not to do in terms of forming habit for babies and toddlers and life in general. Don’t let the kid sleep with you, cribs are for naps too, heaven forbid the kid falls asleep on you and you both have the gall to waste two hours of the day resting peacefully together (that doesn’t count as a nap, don’t be silly, see the aforementioned bit about cribs). You’re forming bad habits. You’re this, you’re that.
It’s all a bunch of bullshit.
The kid napped on me for the better portion of two weeks, and he slept in our bed for the majority of the night for the better part of a month. And you know what? Today he napped in his crib for two hours this morning, and last night he slept through the night all by himself in his very own space. And why?
Because he feels better. He feels safe. And I would wager, he felt loved and nurtured and snuggled and cared for when he – AND I – needed it most. So the bad habits? Bullshit. That language is all part of the parenting game these days. The constant ways to feel like what you’re choosing is the wrong thing, no matter what that choice is.
But why? Because the choice to offer kind words, to comfort, to support, to nurture…is it that hard? To look at a tired parent and say, you’re doing the best that you can.
Because we all are. We’re doing the best that we can. And sometimes that best requires a hiatus, a break, a minute to breathe. A rule breaking of all of the baby-raising-so-called-bad-habits. Two hours spent, babe in arms, snuggled under a blanket of love. Because that, my friends, is the best that I can.
And the baby I filled with bad habits? He didn’t seem to mind either.
So apologies for the hiatus, but I will not apologize for the snuggling, no not once, not ever.