The past few days have been sort of a blur. My life seems to revolve around three things right now: 1) getting Lyla to sleep, 2) feeding Lyla and 3) attempting to calm Lyla down. Yup. That’s it.
She seems to have developed “Mommy is trying to do something productive so let’s put a stop to that” radar. And man, is she good! 😉 The Bible says that pride comes before a fall, and I am positive that all my bragging about how Jonah was “such a good baby” and “slept through the night by 10 weeks” is coming back to haunt me.
It doesn’t help that there is this huge social stigma about having a “good baby.” When someone asks, “So, is she a good baby?” What they really mean is, “So, is she compliant? Does she cry all the time? Does she sleep when you want her to?” The answer to those questions is my case is, “No, no and no.”
Is she a good baby, though? Of course she is! I find myself having to overcome some things that I used to generally accept about babies that really aren’t true. Really, what I find myself overcoming is my own utter and complete selfishness.
I’ve been told, though not by my own mother, by many other women that if I hold the baby too much I’ll spoil her, that she’ll manipulate us if we respond too readily to her cries, that we MUST get her on a predictable schedule or else . . . and the mother of them all – let em’ cry it out.
We never worried about any of this with Jonah because he was so incredibly easygoing. He loved a schedule, slept through the night early on and wasn’t a big fusser. We never tried to let him cry it out because he didn’t present an opportunity for it. Lyla is a different story – some might call her colicky, fussy, high need. I hate to place baby girl in any category because she is so unpredictable. She has her good days and her not so good days – we just never know. Gasp! She’s human!
I am realizing that Jonah’s more easygoing nature gave me this false sense of pride and assurance in myself as a parent. Now that I have a higher need child, I am realizing that being a mother really does mean laying yourself aside . . . dying to self.
While she is very different from Jonah as an infant, the goal is still the same – to build a foundation of love and trust with my baby that she can count on for her whole life. For Lyla this includes having a less than predictable schedule, enduring the long evenings of crying and continuing to work to find ways to comfort her, to take a deep breath and ignore unhelpful advice and comments. It means loving this child just the way she is because she is wonderful – crying or smiling.