I do get scared, maybe too much. It’s not the kind of scared you are for a spider or something that makes your flight or fight instincts kick in.
No, for me, it’s a scared or a fear that’s constant. Thoughts like, am I doing it alright, is this how it needs to feel, why can’t I be like others, how do they do that, is that normal?
Those questions and more run through my head daily. I do think that I do not even notice most of them, but sometimes they get loud and heavy.
Just like today, AJ doesn’t fall asleep easily at the moment. And when things like that happen, those tiny changes. Knowing I used to get him to sleep in minutes and now… They kick my self-doubt into high gear even when I know that it could be coming from something. That there are a few reasons why he’s sleeping poorly. First, he’s in his fifth-month growth spurt. Second, he is teething (for what feels like forever). Third, we are all under the weather (mom and dad with covid, AJ doesn’t look like he’s affected by it much, mainly cough and a running nose).
So yeah, it’s been a struggle. To keep the heavy thoughts away, to keep my mind clear for AJ and not be bothered with AJ taking longer to fall asleep, or how he decided to fall asleep.
Which (currently) is with him on his hands and knees bouncing up and down. It was funny at first, three weeks or so ago, now it’s annoying. And all I want is to tell him to close his eyes and sleep. Which I do, but he doesn’t understand it yet. Those thoughts that I fail that I used to get him to sleep without a problem weigh heavy on my mind. Changes like that unsettle me because I do not understand why he does it like this. Or what I can do to help.
So I decide to let him bounce, cry a little, and wait for him to fall asleep. But those thoughts they hammer at the back of my mind, yelling at me that I’m doing something wrong, that he’ll get upset, and what, not more. Only I can’t hold him until he falls asleep; I can’t keep rocking him until he’s deep in dreamland before I place him in bed. I do need to pee and eat from time to time.
So yeah, ignoring those thoughts and googling the shit out of “how to help a 6-month-old baby to sleep” until I find the way that works for us. I let him cry a little; I let him bounce until he’s tired and decides to sleep. Because one thing I know for sure, he needs to agree to go to sleep. We (his parents) need to ensure he’s safe, loved, and in the right place to sleep. By triggering the routine, we have for his bedtime. The rest is up to him.
Still, as I write this, I wonder. Am I doing it alright? Am I choosing the right thing for him?
The answer is yes. Because I am his mom, and I would never let him cry longer than needed, I would always comfort him. But I also know that he needs these moments to learn.
Just as I need these moments to learn and trust myself, my instinct and knowledge off AJ.