I had heard this rumor from other Mom friends. That, somehow, babies know when their mothers have reached their wit's end and they have a good day.
Today was a good day.
It could have been Will. Or it might have been me. I decided that a change in attitude was required. My years of being a type A personality and planning my entire future seem to be really working against me right now. Instead of seeing each nap as a nap or each feed as a feed, I am seeing these things as life-long decisions that will change the very course of destiny for my son. If I don't put him in his crib today, am I setting him up for bad sleep patterns tomorrow? If I let him fall asleep at my breast today, will he be on a therapist's couch in ten or twenty years?
I also had a good dose of competitive mothering. Yesterday morning, I talked with a friend who has a little girl two weeks older than Will. Her daughter is only waking up once during the night and is on a nap schedule during the day. And sleeps in her crib. It made me feel as if I was doing something wrong that Will was not doing these things.
Last night, after posting and getting your lovely comments, I was deleting some old e-mails from my inbox and ran across a message from this friend from two weeks ago. In this e-mail, she was complaining that her daughter would not allow her to put her down for a nap! I keep forgetting that there are a couple of rules for parenting:
1) Never, ever compare yourself to another mom. Different baby, different mom, different situation. And half the time, other mothers aren't quite telling the whole truth anyway.
2) In newborn/baby time, two weeks is a lifetime. Even two days is like a year. They change so much each and every day that trying to compare your baby to another two weeks ahead isn't fair to anyone. It also breaks rule number one.
I broke both of those rules and I broke 'em bad yesterday. I deserved the dose of second guessing and tears.
So, today, I decided to play by Will's rules, instead of mine. I decided to do what he needs, not what I want him to do. It might have been that he was simply feeling better today, but I don't think that it's a mere coincidence that things went better today. We took a two hour nap together, I carried him in the Bjorn when he wouldn't be put down by himself, and he even put himself to sleep in his crib for a twenty minute nap. There was a part of me still second-guessing myself, but it felt so much better and he seemed so much happier.
And that's what is really important.
So please remind me of that when I forget it again!