Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PYHO: Should

I am incredibly tired of this word.  SHOULD.  As in...

He SHOULD be sleeping through the night by now.

He SHOULD be on a schedule by now.

You SHOULD not co-sleep.

Get the idea? 

Guess what...EAT ME.  This ass-vice comes from everyone from doctors to well-meaning friends.  My neurologist even chimed in on the sleeping through the night thing.  I said, "Tell him that." 

What is it with "Western" cultures and this need for baby structure?  Have you seen the research?  Babies for the most part end up at the same developmental milestones within the same general amount of time regardless of scheduling, how much belly time you give them, whether they sleep with their parents, or spend the first 6 months of their lives swaddled and carried in a papoose. 

Left to his/her own devices, a baby will eventually develop his own schedule. 

Am I going to deny my child food because it isn't time for him to eat?  NO.  If he cries at night, am I going to let him cry it out?  NO.  Maybe this works for others.  But not for me, and not for him. 

I can't spoil him.  Not possible.  And is it so bad that he learns that if he is upset that Mama will come staggering like a zombie running to his side?  Why is this bad???  Why are we so keen on structure?  Yes, some kids thrive on it.  And if that works for you and them, AWESOME.  My kid is, well, a little more laid back about such things.  He cannot be forced.  Hey, I'm excited we seem to have an actual almost standard bedtime.  I consider this progress. 

But I am NOT forcing the issue.  I take my cues from him.  I knew when I had a child that he would be in charge for quite some time.  He is NEEDS based.  We are slaves to society, schedules, etc.  This is why we want them to be.  Because it's hard as hell on us otherwise.  Well, guess what?  No one said it would be easy. 

So, please, stop telling my what I or my baby SHOULD be doing.  We'll get there.  When he is ready. 

SHOULD isn't in his vocabulary.  NEED is.  So is LOVE.


  1. wow, first I love the blog, love the new name etc. P looks adorable,,,,as usual.

    I echo this, you're the mom but to a great extent he's the BOSS and you need to follow his lead. HIs whole life you will hear other people's voices (and your own) tell you how it SHOULD be but you'll wake up one day and HE WILL.

    I believe like you do, that he'll get's your job to keep him fed, clothed, motivated and loved enough to do that.

    love you girl !!! xo

  2. I don't follow the SHOULDS either. Jellybean sleeps in his play pen and my bed. He does go to sleep around the same time most nights. He also waked himself up to eat at the same time most nights. My pediatrician let me know that as he nears a year old I CAN cut off the night time feeds if I want to and need to get my sleep but it is MY choice. Otherwise - we do what Jellybean wants as far as playtime, naptime and meal times. He will get plenty of structure through day care and school.

  3. Oh dear -- yes. Among the many things parenthood has taught me / convinced me of is, "don't borrow trouble [it will find you soon enough]." Or more simply: if it's working for / not bothering you, why change it? I had a (lovely and well-intentioned) coworker warn me repeatedly of the horrors that would ensue if I didn't move our son out of our bedroom, which we didn't do until he was 15 months old (not commitment so much as inertia). She was ... wrong. He went into his own bedroom and immediately started sleeping better (basically, gave up the one remaining night waking); it was lovely.

    Other horrors -- he used a paci until he was ... 3? And drank milk from a bottle until quite recently, actually. I figured he'd quit when he was ready, and it didn't bother me (the paci didn't and then it did because he started losing it at night, not being able to find it, and waking repeatedly and -- oy. And when that happened, I took it away but before that, I didn't worry about it. As with the bed, once I changed it, he responded immediately -- no big deal).

    So ... yeah -- ignore 'em. Your household, your decisions. Go you!

  4. I ignored the shoulds, too. No real reason to listen to them.

  5. love. why can't we just focus on love? loving ourselves enough to love the people around us.

    I love the way that you love your little guy. I love the ways that you respect him and teach him such important values of love and respect from such a young age. If only we all received the kind of love and respect that you are showing Phalen - this world would be an entirely different place.

    I think that the next time anyone tells you what you SHOULD be doing, you should just reply that they SHOULD love and respect you for loving and respecting this perfect little person.


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