I laughed the other day with a good friend from college. We were remembering a call I made to her a little over three years ago. I was crying to her after I finally got a two-week-old Luke down for a nap. “He’s not the happiest baby on the block! What am I doing wrong?! I’ve read the book cover to cover. I’m sticking to their schedule. But he’s still waking up too early for his feeding and I can’t just let him cry and not eat if he’s hungry!” She laughed at me. Yep, straight up, no holds barred, laughed at me which immediately shocked me out of my upset. This mother of three under the age of ten knew better. “You cannot use any of these books as the end-all, be-all. Every child is different. Every home is different!” Another friend got so mad when I told her how I was feeling that she yelled into the phone that she wished these books didn’t exist at all. That they seem to frustrate everyone rather than help. “That’s what we’re here for! Your friends who have been through it!” She went on to give me the same advice about each child being different and to go with my instinct.
|Luke – Sweetly Sleeping|
After having two sons back to back (14 ½ months apart), I can really appreciate that each and every child has his or her own way of doing things. Their own schedule. Luke would eat alittle and then sleep a little. Then eat a little more and sleep a little more. Zealand would eat and eat and then sleep hard. Then wake up and eat like he hadn’t eaten in hours! Luke was vocal if he barely wet his diaper, when he was cold or too warm, anything that made him uncomfortable. Zealand seemed to just chill. It’s just who they were and indeed, who they are today.
|Little Zealand – Chillin’ with a smile|
If you’re an expectant mom, a new mom or even a veteran mom reading up on each new stage of child rearing, take it from me and read the books out there. But use these books as guides and follow your heart. Do what feels right to you and what is right for your family. No book can tell you exactly what to do in every situation for each individual child. Although, I was always looking for that book. Often times your girlfriends do have the advice that will guide you through your experiences. So go ahead and give your girls a call!