Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sleep Rules

When I was a new parent, I read lots of parenting books. How to get your child to nurse, sleep, poop and so on. There were a lot of very helpful things I gleaned out of those books.

One of the books was about getting your baby to sleep and keeping them on a schedule. I took that to heart. We kept the schedule no matter what. I read that they need to fall asleep on their own, self-soothe and not be dependent on the parent for sleep. Grant learned to cry himself to sleep.

I forgot everything I learned somewhere down the line. Most of our kids go to bed on their own anyway. Maren screams her head off and kicks the door until she decides to climb back in bed and fall asleep. I know it wouldn't help a bit if I decided to lay down with her. And if I thought it might help, I would totally do it. I mean when you have five kids who has time for books and schedules and sleep rules.

When my kids were all still nappers, I remember a friend saying that their kids didn't nap anymore and I was horrified. I could not imagine making it through a day without the glory of naptime.

But time has marched on and now we don't really have naptime in our house either. Generally if Maren naps she is up until around 1 a.m. so I try to hold her off. But there are those days when there's no way under the sun we'll make it without one. Yesterday was one of those days.

Sometimes when I am putting her down in the afternoon, she pats her pillow and says, "Mommy sleep with me please?" and I think about the rules. I think about the sleep book collecting dust in my basement. And I think I just have to break those rules. Maybe it's because I'm lazy. Or maybe it's because I have 5 kids and I'm stinking exhausted.

But I think I mostly oblige because there is nothing sweeter than cuddling up, exchanging some words and kisses and laying next to her warm little body as she drifts off to sleep.

Sometimes you just have to break the rules. Sometimes your heart knows better than a book. And sometimes you just need a nap.

1 comment:

Henny said...

i totally agree!