Parenting is hard. Hard because it takes restraint. Discipline. Decisions.
I want so desperately to get it right. Because here we are with this grave and awesome responsibility of having created two little lives. Two beings who we yearned for, cried for, hoped for. Two tiny people we pushed and pulled into being.
And here they are. Being, learning, growing. Becoming. Right in front of our very eyes.
At first all we had to do was love and nurture. Nurse them when they needed comfort. Hold them close. Keep them clean and warm and dry. Not that it was easy. But it was rote.
Things seem to progressively become more complicated.
Sleep continues to be a struggle. Some days we have no naps. Some nights we seem to have no more than thirty minutes of sleep. We need to make a decision about how to work through it. Do we let them cry it out? Or do we wait for their systems to work through this?
I have my own opinions on this. I have instincts. I've researched. I've read. I've asked just about everyone I know. And yet I haven't found clarity.
Every cell in my motherly self screams "NO!" to cry it out. How can I sit there, as my sweet babies call out to me in the one way they know how, and not respond? I want them to feel secure in the knowledge that when they communicate their needs, they can trust me to help. But then there's the lack of sleep. They need sleep. Their parents need sleep. And they need to learn boundaries. And to self-soothe. But then there's consistency. If we start down a path of cry it out, can I stick to it? And if I don't stick to it, what does that teach them about trust and security?
I think to myself, "I just want to love them" and know before the thought has finished forming in my head that these decisions are part of loving them. Even when I don't know the answers.