I am constantly inspired by you readers who have been so helpful in responding to posts here at BNN. In particular, a number of comments on yesterday’s rant about Tracy Hogg got me thinking.
I am sorry to learn that some of my posts have introduced doubts or worries for some of you. One of the things I’m trying to learn to do is to take the advice of so-called experts with a grain of salt. They don’t know me or my baby! I’ve written a lot about that questioning stance here, from my book reviews and comments about lactation consultants to “conventional wisdom” in general.
But I still do struggle when my ideas conflict with ones that some fancy-pants babyologist wrote down and published. (Jon says it’s because I’m so friendly, I always give people the benefit of the doubt!) Most of the out-loud processing I do here on this blog is an effort to help me trust my instincts and to mother Lucy in the way that fits for me — something that you all seem to be doing already. So more power to you! My processing-out-loud style here is one that I hope never brings anyone else down.
My friend Deborah and I were talking the other day about the fact that a lot of the books we read about babies and sleep patterns come from a very Western point of view. Like Kelly said, independence is an American virtue, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we all need to pursue it for our children right now or at every stage of development. But it is okay if we decide that a bit more independence in our children is best for our whole family. I think children’s sleep is one issue where pluralism really makes sense.
The underlying question for me in all of my ponderings is, “What is the best way for us to provide for Lucy’s needs while taking care of ourselves at the same time?” I know that for me to be the best mom I can be, I need to pay attention to my needs. I’m on a journey of figuring out what Lucy’s needs are, what my needs are, and what are some good ways of addressing them all.
I know that you all are also working out this question, and it looks different for us all, since we are all different people. I really cherish the opportunity to learn about your experiences and choices. It helps me — and I hope it helps you — to feel free to make the best decisions I can for our family.
So, hooray for salt! And let’s take a grain of it with all that we hear and read — including what you hear from me! :) Let’s trust that God gave us the ability and skill and reason and spiritual fortitude to be exactly the kind of mothers he wants us to be.