Before LoveBug was born, Ron and I discussed if we were going to rock our babies to sleep or train them to fall asleep on their own without us. We went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons from parents we knew who practiced one or the other. Undecided, we had our daughter and just left the decision up in the air.
As new parents, you want to do what’s right by your child. Is it better to teach them to fall asleep without you, or is it better to cuddle them and give them the security of being held while they fall asleep? I’ve read the literature on both ends, and have heard the criticism of both. In reality, we most often balance between the two in my household. My husband will put LoveBug down on the bed and lay next to her, giving her the prompts of “head down” and “shhhh” while lightly rubbing her back while she cries in protest. After she’s asleep, he leaves and she’s just fine.
It wasn’t until I was trying Ron’s method of inducing sleep upon our suspecting child last night that it hit me: I am a Rocking Mommy. And I like it. I was trying to get LoveBug to give in and lay on her belly when, through her pitiful sobs that screamed “just let me play with you, mama!”, she managed to elude me long enough to roll on her side and scootch up to me so that I was spooning her. I decided to let her snuggle for a moment, and next thing I know, she’s calm and asleep with her little hand still grasping my arm in an effort to keep us together. I realized then that I am a woman who believes in rocking her babies to sleep.
There isn’t enough time for cuddling, kissing, and loving. Soon enough, my daughter will want to jump off of my lap instead of being held. I am determined to not take a single minute for granted, especially not when I already spend over 9 hours a day away from this precious little girl already. She won’t be little forever, even if I want her to be. So until my beautiful LoveBug decides that she wants to be a big girl sleeping in her own bed by herself and with only a kiss goodnight from me, I will not worry about the undone dishes or the things I could be doing while she’s falling asleep. Instead, I will embrace each second I have of being a Rocking Mommy.