It wasn't too long ago that I struggled with my instinct to coddle my babies versus what all the strict, baby-wise lovers preached. It seems like yesterday when I'd feel guilty for rocking my first baby to sleep, or nursing on demand, or skipping the church nursery for several months so he wouldn't cry. And letting them sleep in my bed whenever they needed that extra security? Oh, dear. How much my brain was consumed with doing the "right" thing and doing what felt right according to my nurturing ability.
He's almost 11 years old. And he refuses a hug in public...he barely speaks to me when I greet him in front of his friends. And he never wakes me up in the middle of the night, never asks to be rocked to sleep, doesn't sleep in our bed when he's scared, doesn't have a hard time self-soothing. He's almost ALL-GROWN-UP...and I promise you I have no regrets about not letting him cry it out, I have no doctor's appointments set up because my child is too dependent on me. Most of the typical parenting decisions that you struggle with when they're infants are so temporary, and made in such fleeting moments of being needed or being persuaded by the experts.
When they grow up in a blink, and don't NEED you anymore, that's when the struggle begins. I am reminded to enjoy every moment with my children. To not care so much what the new trend is in mothering...mothering has happened for thousands of years, and I am pretty certain that God has crafted a keen sense of nurture inside me. Not that all that expert advice out there is bad...it just shouldn't stop us from doing what is right for us...the unique parent and child relationship each of us has with our kids.
Because one day, he'll leave me. And I will only have memories of that small time when I was his world. I don't want to look forward to regret, but rejoice in knowing I loved my child exactly like I was meant to, without holding back.