Left to cry….alone

My oldest child, my son, is turning 17 years old in just a couple of weeks.

17….unbelievable. How did that happen!? Little shrimpy 5’1” tall me, looking up at this looming 6’3” man who lives in my house and shares my name but isn’t my husband. Finally leaving his room at 10:30am on Saturday, he says in his deep man-voice, “Good morning Mom….I have to go to work…see you later.” And just like that he’s gone again as the front door closes behind him and I stare at the closed door for longer than I really should. Alone I sit, looking at the door, and a tears come to my eyes.

My husband points out that we only have about another year left that we will all be sitting down as a complete family unit at the dining room table together. Sure, we’ll always be in touch and see the kids – but we will likely get together as a full family around the holidays. And that’s if I’m lucky. This thought brings stinging tears to my eyes.

When ‘they’ kept saying, “it goes by too fast!”….what ‘they’ mean is that memories don’t fade. My childhood is foggy, a distant memory of playing outside and brief snapshot memories of friends or school. But raising our children – that memory doesn’t get foggy. I remember this almost-17 year-old man’s first week as clearly as I remember this past Christmas. I remember the clothes I dressed him in….I remember the chair I would sit in and rock him. I remember the smell of his silky hair, the feeling of him cuddled up in a little ball between my breasts as I rubbed his back. I remember rejoicing in the tiniest of accomplishments – learning to coo, smiling, rolling to his side – as well as the big ones.

I also remember the insecurity that came with being his mother, and how it felt when people said things like, “How will he learn independence if you always rock him to sleep? Are you going to rock him to sleep for the rest of his life?” “He sleeps in your bed?? How will he ever learn how to sleep on his own!?” “If you stand them up against a wall, that will help them to learn to walk faster.” “They must learn to play by themselves – it’s not your job to always entertain them…leave him alone and he’ll learn to do it by himself.”

As I stare at the closed front door, alone, I wonder what the hell was so terrific about independence. I would give anything to rock him to sleep on my lap one more time….for the days when I didn’t have to say goodbye after a few moments of seeing him.

My family went out to dinner the night before last – Olive Garden (“When you’re here, you’re family”). As my husband looked past my shoulder he said with a sigh, “Poor baby.” I casually tried to glance around and saw an itty bitty baby that couldn’t have been older than a couple of weeks – sitting in a bucket car seat with a blanket draped over his chest propping up a bottle in his mouth. What looked to me to be his parents along with grandparents and a group of 6 people were chatting, not a single one looking at the baby. Finally the dad took the bottle out of the baby’s mouth – and baby started to cry. He tried multiple times to put a pacifier into his mouth – the baby refused, continuing to cry. He then tried to put the bottle back in the baby’s mouth…baby cried, moving his head from side to side…but the dad grabbed his head and pushed the bottle back into the baby’s mouth.

The baby stopped crying. How can you cry when flat on your back with milk being dripped into it? But baby stopped crying, so the father turned back to the table. He was the only one who had even turned to look at the baby.

I began to wonder how we got so detached from our children. When did a baby’s cry become something easy to ignore? I wondered when this little boy turned 17, would these parents be glad that he’s independent enough to walk out that front door with barely a goodbye, or will they LONG for the days of his babyhood once more? I really do wonder what causes this disconnect – is it from the common birth practices in this country? Where labor sensations are immediately removed via epidural, newborns are immediately removed to a warmer, breasts are immediately replaced with a bottle or pacifier, arms are immediately replaced with car seats and carriers and swings….

Independence….bah. Of course I want to raise happy productive members of society – but someone will have to explain to me one more time the benefit of independence in our children. I am 42 years old, and my independence is a façade. I am not ‘independent’….I am totally dependent on my husband, children, friends, society…..I could never live on a deserted island. I do not live in a vacuum. I do not sleep alone or play alone. I appreciate when I am upset having my husband wrap his arms around me and letting me cry into his chest. If *I* don’t want that kind of alone life – why is that a goal for our children?

I understand needing a moment without the toddlers climbing on us – but BABIES don’t climb, they don’t understand “just a minute”, they really don’t demand much for their joy. Babies need food, safety, comfort. That’s about it. But we complicate this parenting thing with a lot of what other people think we SHOULD do (or not do). Instead of listening to our hearts and our babies, we let them cry…we don’t bring them to our breasts…we ignore and are bothered by and don’t nurture.

And even when we do try to treasure every moment with this little creature….they still grow up anyways. And you will still be left sitting alone on the couch staring at a closed front door wondering how the time went by so quickly. What do you think you will remember the most about their first year – how hard it was to listen to them cry themselves to sleep? How challenging it was to get them to be by themselves? Will you remember how many times your baby cried while in a carseat in a restaurant and rather than pick them up you rocked the carseat and tried to prop a bottle up in their mouth?

I will remember the way he would fall off the breast, milk spilling out of his sweet bow-tie mouth, peaceful in my arms, using my breast as a pillow as I quietly rocked him. I treasure those moments that I was warned me would ruin him. It is in that moment that every other piece of joy in my life shall be measured – and lose. Life doesn’t get better than in that moment.

So please, I beg you…..tonight as you rock your 2 month old baby, praying they would go to sleep, thinking about just putting them down to cry by themselves feeling yourself getting frustrated…take a moment and think about the closed front door I’m staring at while sitting alone in my family room.

And please look down at this person in your arms and appreciate your view.

47 Comments

  1. Hannah wrote:

    When I read your post whilst I agree to some level what you say I also see a level of selfishness in your views. Many of your comments appear to be based on how you feel, what you want, and your regrets/thoughts and what your life will be when your children fly the nest. I believe as mothers it is our duty to do what is best for our children which is not necessarily what makes us feel good or what makes us happy but rather what makes our children happy and what allows them to grow into well rounded individuals capable to live their lives to their full potential.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 5:00 am | Permalink
  2. Marisa wrote:

    Thanks so much for this post. It’s easy to get discouraged during the first few months when your baby is sooooo dependant on you, but you can never get those moments back, so yes, if my baby needs me in the middle of the night I will pull her closer and snuggle with her, even if it means being a little more tired the next day. As a WOHM, I appreciate those moments even more…

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink
  3. I cherish every time one of my 42-year-old sons gets a hug from one of their children. Hands-on dads happen because they were cuddled and not left crying themselves to sleep. My mom used to say that a baby’s cry was music calling her to “pick up” and now I laugh when our little 4 year old granddaughter says the same thing to her dolls because you know where the saying came from and someday she will say it to her own children and grandchildren. And even though you’re not looking for a payback, every single time you cuddled and hugged your babies will be returned 10 fold when as adults, they are secure enough to know how to hug their mom and dad!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink
  4. Susie wrote:

    I love the affirmation I received from your story/article. I held my babies, rocked my babies, cuddeled, slept with and snuggled my babies…I wasn’t the typical mom of today. My babies are now 20, 17, and 14. We homeschool(ed) our children. We live on a small farm. Only my 17 year hold drives and just recently got her driver’s license. We work, play, shop, eat, study, learn, worship, everything together. My oldest left for college last year. She is two hours away. I drive to see her or bring her home every two weeks. This growing up is painful for me! They are not isolated or unsocialized. They are brilliant, confident, happy, healthy, wonderful children. Through God, and not by any encouragement from family or friend, I have made the sacrifice, given of myself, and reaped the benefits. It is what God called me to do. Thank you for allowing me to share.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  5. Danielle wrote:

    I have 5 kids under the age of 6 and I cuddled all of them and still do 🙂 I believe that you shouldn’t have a child if you just want to pawn him or her off on others or in swings etc. my smallest cross for me ask

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink
  6. Whitney Walters wrote:

    This is wonderfully written 🙂 I have a six year old boy, 4 year old girl, 2.5 year old girl and a 10 month old girl. I never did the CIO, I nursed them all, cosleep. home school and do everything I can to be close to my children. Seeing a baby crying a lone in a crib, car seat or swing breaks my heart.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  7. Danielle wrote:

    *cries for me and I go to her every time and talk to her and comfort her. She looks to me for that, its not much that she is asking for, just time with her mommy.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  8. Peter wrote:

    What you say is so true and child raising is much more practiced the way you say in my birth country of Sweden. I fear the Australian ways has influenced me to much, thank you for helping me find the way back to whats right!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  9. Sue wrote:

    I love how this article puts into words exactly how I have been feeling during these past 15 months with my first child. If it goes by so fast as everyone has said, why should we rush independence?! I respond to my babe’s dependency on me because I believe that this will make her more independent and secure when she is older. However, this is a BELIEF…not a fact. The people at the Olive Garden likely believe that by teaching independence to their newborn that this will make her more independent when she is older. They are likely doing what they BELIEVE is best. Let’s celebrate this and not judge them, just as we who co-sleep and baby-wear do not wish to be judged. Oh, and then let’s go right back to nursing/snuggling/carrying our babes!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink
  10. Rachel wrote:

    Add me to the list of crying saps! :’) My 1 month old daughter was sleeping on my chest, & my 22 month old daughter was screeching, running in circles as I read this & bawled. It reminded me of something my father used to say- “You can never spoil a child with “too much love.”” God has blessed mw with the ability to nurse, sleep with, stay at home with, & eventually homeschool my babies. Thank you so much for reminding me to cherish every moment. By the way, that reminds me of a song called “Cherish the Moment,” on a cd by the same name, from Majesty Music. Well worth the $14+-. You will bawl your eyes out. :’)
    “…soon comes the day when you’ll have no child to hold, so cherish, cherish the moment.”

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  11. Emily wrote:

    I agree with the majority of this article but I think it is very one sided. It is my opinion that there is room for independence and it is helpful for children. A child who is co-dependent on its parents will have a very difficult transition when going off to school or making new friends. A child with an enmeshed bond may have psychological problems later on in life. We do worry about how children with detached parents will grow up, but perhaps we have to worry about children from the other extreme as well. I do not agree with letting children cry it out, and I am a firm believer in breastfeeding, but we do need to let children learn to be independent, it’s not an all or nothing attitude like the article is describing. Our children need to learn that parents have needs also, if our children think we are available every single second of the day (which NO parent it) they will grow up to be self-centered and unable to realize that others have needs as well. Just food for thought, I feel like this article is great for mothers to read, but it also takes a one-sided view, I guess I felt I had to offer another perspective to other moms as well.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink
  12. Erin wrote:

    My 7 month old is sleeping on my chest/lap right now. Beautiful.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink
  13. Molly wrote:

    What a well written piece. I don’t care what anyone says, I won’t sit idly by and let my little man cry. All those “milk comas” were such sweet, sweet moments. Time with our children is such a precious gift and should never be taken lightly.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
  14. Keira wrote:

    I appreciate everything you said in your post. I’m 25 and the mother of a very energetic 3 year old boy who does test my patience on a daily basis. Reading this made me realize what type of mother I want to be to him. I have been told a lot of the same things and your right all these moments should be treasured. My little man like to sleep in my bed most of the time when his dad is away on work and some of my family members say he’s to big. Honestly though I don’t mind the kicks in the middle of the night but I love listening to him laugh in his sleep and watch him smile!!! Thank you!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 12:41 am | Permalink
  15. Ashley wrote:

    Perfect. I couldn’t have said it better. I’m nursing my nearly-3 year old, co-sleeping and I feel so validated by this. Thank you. These moments are precious and our time with our children is so short… I’m thrilled to hear of other moms who share my same values. 🙂

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink
  16. janet wrote:

    I could have writteh that! Perfect, you speak for many mom’s I’m sure, I know you speak for me! I also have a son – going out the door. The memories of his first days with me – I adopted him at 8 months – are more detailed and strong than Easter! I agree also as a Infant Teacher at a Childcare Ctr, babies should be adored, savored, pampered! There’s no manipulating in their cries!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink
  17. Cathy V wrote:

    Wonderful story! I too nursed on demand and co sleep and so on (I’m still doing both really…though the demand is obviously less!). My son just turned 2 a few days ago and even though he isn’t a baby anymore (which is kind of sad, this all still holds true for toddlers as well.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  18. Naturallysta wrote:

    Lovely post! Mine are 6 and 4 and I already feel like time is going by so fast 🙂 Kudos to you for doing such a great job with yours and good luck to all of you x

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  19. Heather wrote:

    My children are 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, and 6. I’m so grateful that I still have little ones to relearn on. I was in such a hurry with my first 3. So much to do. I didn’t allow enough moments to just savor them. I didn’t think I was in a hurry for them to grow up, but looking back I see how true that is…because I wanted to get on with my life, whatever that means.

    Now, as I see that each moment, each hug, each kiss, each little pat and picture and request to play is a moment to be treasured. I can’t always do what’s being asked, but I sure try now to slow down enough to look into faces and make eye contact and hug a shoulder (of my teens) and remember that the day is quickly coming when I will be longing for a family gathering so they can all be home again.

    Thanks so much for your post. Just what this momma’s heart needed.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  20. Jenny wrote:

    I see these bucket-babies all the time in work, I want to shake the parents, tell them to hold their baby, nurture them, not treat them like an inconvenience. So, so sad.

    Such a lovely, and truthful post. Thank you.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink
  21. Hi!! How I enjoyed all your comments!! I am a 64 year old mother of 7. I was 20 when i had my first child and 40 when I had my last. Each child was another gift, how I treasured holding them to my heart, keeping them cosy, secure and warm, sharing every ounce of love with them. I will always treasure those moments. My heart aches now, with the memories, but for me the hugs and love that I can still give to my children, as adults, is still the same. I often get phone calls from my children, “I think I need a hug, mum!” How wonderful I feel. So off I go to give and receive “a hug”. My life is so graced, and so very full, and I would never change any of the ways I have reared my children. Now I have been blessed with grandchildren that I can kiss and hug, and still hug and kiss their parents, as much as I like, because that is my given right. I have never had a rejection, yet. I am the luckiest woman alive. I now have 7 grandchildren. Lucky Me!!!!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  22. Jacquetta wrote:

    I tell my children, you blink, turn around and those babies you were just holding are grown and gone. I watch my son and daughter and remember how hard it is to let them go as they grow, and go…on into their lives. Now I have beautiful grandchildren to watch and soon they too will grow to go on..into their lives. How fast time marches on.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
  23. Alexandra wrote:

    This makes me see why the Duggars had 19 children. They missed the one before them being a baby. My little girl is just now two months and I find myself realizing that I have not been enjoying her fully. Thank you so much.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink
  24. Emma wrote:

    Reading this post with tears in my eyes, whilst nursing my baby to sleep. I hope this moment is one of my special memories of my son’s life, when he’s older and I’m staring at the closed door too.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  25. Brenda wrote:

    This story is so true my children are 42 an 38 and the best time in my life was rocking and playing eith them. I too am now alone but I have wonderful memories of the years before they left home. I know also they are good parents and they rock and play with their children. Thank you for a great story.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  26. Amanda Boyce wrote:

    My almost 3 month old is fast asleep in her crib as I read this. I want to go into her room and hold her. Time really does fly by it seems like it was just yesterday we brought her home from the hospital. Now she is trying to roll over, cooing, smiling, and laughing as of today 🙂 I have so much more to look forward too with my little girl and I relish every moment of it.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink
  27. Kate wrote:

    My 5 & 1/2 month old baby boy started solids last week, and it made me sad that my body no longer produces everything he needs. He has just started sitting up this week, something I had thought was a long time off. I too enjoy the cuddles and him sleeping in my arms, I can even imagine him at 17, yet he is growing so quickly. I loved your post, very touching.

    Friday, April 27, 2012 at 4:25 am | Permalink
  28. Jo wrote:

    Wish I could ‘like’ almost all of the responses following this article…..definitely shed a few tears reading it and the comments. My two boys are 3 years and 18 months and we parent in a gentle way – reading articles like this remind me why. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    Friday, April 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink
  29. Naomi wrote:

    Wow! Everything you’ve written is exactly how I feel about parenting, I love it. My eldest is 9 and I was only 17 when he was born and heavily influenced only others when it came to raising him as I wanted to do a good job, I wish now I’d just followed my instincts a bit more earlier on. I’ve gone on to have 3 more beautiful children who are now 4,5 & 9months, my youngest 2 were born prematurely at 29&26 weeks. After both my preemies were born I couldn’t hold them, couldn’t feed them, change their nappies even just touching them was limited sometimes if they were tired. It broke my heart but made me more determined than ever to parent how I wanted to and so I expressed like it was my only purpose and kangaroo held them whenever they were well enough. Bringing each of them home was equally terrifying and blissfully amazing, I did what I knew was right, breastfed whenever & wherever, bed shared, anything to be close and feel them next to me. My youngest 26weeker is still breastfeeding and is currently laying in my arms in our bed between his mummy & daddy who are looking at this little miracle and wishing thusly moment would last forever x

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 2:28 am | Permalink
  30. Tasha wrote:

    Beautiful but sad 🙂 I read this while nursing my nearly 9mo daughter, laid in bed together. Now she lay chatting to me, smiling, the expression’s on her face 🙂 I treasure every moment with her & i get same replies about how im bringing her up but i’d rather the way i’m bringing her up than all this CC & stuff! She’s with me 99.9% of the time (stay at home Mummy),i take her to groups, she co-sleeps, breastfeed on demand, she sleeps on me most the time, i cuddle her if she cries…etc. All of the time i spend with her is treasured greatly no matter the situation. Yes she’s tested me & probs will in the future but she solely relies on me & her Daddy & we’ll always be there for her whether its cos she is 9mo crying & needs a cuddle or when she’s an adult & needs help to buy a cooker. Theres no greater love than a love a mother has for her child <3 The overwhelming feeling of this love i felt for her (& still feel) the moment i met her which i have never felt before was just unreal. Best thing me & my boyfriend will ever make (until weve made her a sister or brother of course) 🙂

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink
  31. Natasha wrote:

    Such a beautifully written article I hate seeing babies ignored like that. You havegivenme newfound confidence to continue as we are with our 18 month old. She will gain independence in her own time when she’s ready 🙂

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 4:11 am | Permalink
  32. Amanda wrote:

    I had a really rough night with my 18 month old last night and considered just leaving him for a few minutes to cry by himself (even though i am VERY against it!) it didn’t seem anything i did could stop him crying. thank you SO MUCH for this post and reminding me that he is not going to make these demands of me for the rest of his life and to cherish these moments when he does need me so desperately! wonderful post! truly inspiring ♥

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink
  33. Alison Ann Beswick wrote:

    Wow, this is amazing,i am crying as i am writing.Crying because thankfully i can look down at my little boy on my breast and feel like i am the luckiest woman alive! Thank you for this post, it made me think,really think!! x

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink
  34. stacey wrote:

    This is so sad and sweet. I love my babies and feel that I can not love them and snuggle them and kiss them enough. I sleep with my newborn and my 2 year old likes to be independent already and sleep alone. The sweetest thing he does during my day is ask me to snuggle him to sleep for his nap. I will always treasure these incredible moments. Thank you for making me acknowledge this!

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  35. Joan wrote:

    Thanks for writing this! My baby girl needs to be carried at all times since she was 3 months old. She couldn’t sleep by herself and I have been told many times to leave her alone. I couldn’t do it, s to this day (she turned 10 months 2 days ago), I still hold her when she needs it, still breastfeed her to sleep, to co-sleep with her and snuggle with her whenever she needs it. I know this time shall pass and I will no longer be able to hold her close.

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink
  36. Hazel wrote:

    Wonderful. Thank you for sharing this piece of writing, piece of you. Not once since I have become a mum have I read on the Internet something I believe & agree with completely.. Until today (-_-) your words are inspiring & I am lying cuddling my youngest daughter(10 months) while she sleeps, instead of packing boxes and hoovering.. Now I don’t feel guilty :0) you will make a wonderful grandmother one day, as does my mum who thinks the same way. X

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  37. Laury wrote:

    What if society has been structured falsely. Don’t you wonder why the most attuned and strongest bond, the one between a loving mother and her child, is designed to be broken and diminished by the way society encourages people to prove their maturity by distancing as much as possible from their mothers. In the same way that we are told to push our children to be independent as in making them cry themselves to sleep, is a repeating motif that continues down the years to diminish the bond between mother and her children.

    Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
  38. Mariana wrote:

    Wow! This brought me to tears. I was just wondering if I hold my baby too much.

    Monday, April 30, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  39. Carly wrote:

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    Monday, April 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  40. Kimberly wrote:

    Beautiful. Thank you for staying strong momma and for encouraging all the rest of us who are nurturing our babies just as we know they should be! My precious 2 month old has never known a night when he cannot look over and see his mommy or his daddy. He can reach for the breast any time he is hungry or our arms any time he needs to be held. Our babies are our is future, bless you mommas who want a peaceful and nurtured generation.

    Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
  41. Maree wrote:

    This post struck such a cord with me. My eldest son turned 21 years old last week. However, and yes get ready to gasp….my 2nd son is just 15mths old! It’s surreal feeling to not only look at my eldest and see my new baby boy as well as look into my baby boys eyes and see the beautiful man I know he will become. xxxxxxxxxx

    Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
  42. Erin wrote:

    So very beautidully told. Thank you…

    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink
  43. Raven C. wrote:

    I’ll admit to being a little misty eyed right now. My kids are 15 months apart, and my youngest just turned 10 months old. I was looking at him today and I realized that he’s not so much a baby anymore. I can’t believe how quickly they grow. My oldest is 2, and it feels almost surreal sometimes because I remember bringing him home from the hospital at 7lbs 4oz and now he’s 30 lbs of running, whooping, energetic toddler.

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink
  44. Amy wrote:

    As the daughter of a woman who played by her own rules and breastfeed us long past when society thought it was appropriate and had us in bed with her for so long that I remember co-sleeping and BFing to this day (though not well) I can attest that nurtured babies are more independent. I now live on another continent from my mother but still speak to her every day to gain her wisdom in helping me raise my own daughter. Thanks mom for not listening to what society thought was best!

    Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  45. Sandra wrote:

    Thanks for a wonderful, heart-felt article. There is nothing more wonderful than snuggling a baby, toddler and little boy or girl to sleep. They feel so precious in my arms and I never want to put them down. So far four children, now grown up, and now four precious grandchildren … and I have enjoyed and am enjoying the sleeping in my arms with all of them. And mothers, don’t neglect lots of eye contact too…they are watching you and trusting you.

    Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink
  46. Joanna Dadd wrote:

    This is a piece of really awesome reflective wisdom. My lad is 17 too and soon to fly the nest. He was breastfed til he was 3 and half. Slept in my bed on and off til he was 11. He is fabulous, capable and his own beautiful human being…. and I will miss him so much. I know that he has so much love to give and is not shy of sharing it. Thank you so much for sharing your heart gladdening story – love to you from Australia x

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 3:51 am | Permalink
  47. Sheri wrote:

    Your article really touched my heart. I did want to say, however, that cherishing the moments isn’t necessarily dependent on whether you breast or bottle feed, or co-sleep or not. It depends on how you use the moments you have. I did nurse both my babies for the first 3-4 months, and had lots of complications and difficulties with it before choosing to switch to bottle/formula for all of our health and sanity. I nursed and rocked my babies to sleep, and loved every second, and now I do the same with the bottle. I hold them just as close, and the only difference is that there was/is a bottle there in place of my breast. My arms (and my love) are absolutely the same. Every time my six month old baby falls asleep in my arms, I just mourn putting him down in his crib, and rock him long after he’s asleep. My five year old (who has never been a snuggler, much to my despair!) still sits close to my or my husband’s side at night as he drinks his bedtime milk. It’s as much snuggles as I can get from him, and every second counts. I didn’t co-sleep because I couldn’t sleep with them next to me, being so worried that somehow, something would happen to hurt them while I was sleeping. But, I whole-heartedly agree with you that a baby’s cry is something a mama (or daddy, or grandma, whoever) needs to answer. I think that that has helped, rather than hurt, my children’s sleeping, since they have known from birth that if they need me, I will be there. I won’t pretend I have always been a perfect mother, or that I always will be, but I just wanted to gently remind other mothers/ladies not to judge someone who’s bottle feeding or not co-sleeping. It doesn’t always mean we aren’t snuggling and cherishing our babies just as much as someone who has been able to do the opposite of us. It all depends on how we use the moments we are granted.

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

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    […] from Left to cry….alone […]

  3. Making parenting fun! | Wife Mother Woman’s Weblog on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    […] voice, may not be realistic (do you seriously obey each and ever road law?) and we only hold our babies for a little time (so if you want to let them sleep in your bed for a while….go for it! I am) I pray earnestly […]

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