A Month of Thanks, Day Seventeen

The weekend catch up continues, and I am glad I am writing this after a good night's sleep instead of at 10:30 last night when Maddie still wouldn't let me leave her side so she could go to sleep.

We have always struggled with Maddie and her sleeping and have gone through all sorts of roller coaster weeks and months where she sleeps like a champ, doesn't want to sleep in her bed, loves to sleep in her bed, doesn't want to sleep at all - you name it, we have been there. Before we had her we agreed that we were going to always do what was best for the three of us to keep us happy, rested and feeling loved and secure, whether that was co-sleeping or using the Ferber method or a million methods in between and we did a pretty good job with sticking to that. Lately, though, I feel as though we have gotten away from that and the consequences have not been good.

Instead of doing what works best for us we have been allowing our own stress and outside influences to move away from our flexibility and parenting style, which has made for some pretty tense evenings and times where I was not feeling so in love with either of my MJ's. I don't want to be that mother and I do not want to be that wife, so after a couple hours of struggling and anxiety last night, I confessed to Matty that I felt like we were doing it all wrong and that we needed to go back to our roots and just plain be good to ourselves.

Lo and behold after some extra time in the rocking chair and contortionist-ing myself to lay in Maddie's bed with her so Matty could fall asleep in the big bed, her and I both fell sound asleep. As I lay there with her I let go of the anger and anxiety and pressure and breathed in that sweet baby smell that still lingers at night. And when I got  up to go into the big bed she stayed fast asleep...until after our alarm went off this morning.

She came into our room as we were about to get up for some snuggle time, and then fell back asleep for a couple hours, waking up with a big mess of bedhead and a toothy grin that was all I needed to reassure myself that I know what is best and when we stop going with our gut, we stop being the family that I am so proud to have created together.

Your gut is the best damn parenting tool out there, and I am vowing never to forget that again. I am thankful to have remembered that and to be able to hold onto that as we enter the terrific twos with our little lady.

I would like to think that a stroll in the Arnold Arboretum was also a good stress reliever yesterday:

Doesn't than face just make you take a deep breath and smile?

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