Wednesday, December 19, 2012

on encouraging others and doing what works for you.

Geez guys, my kid is adorable. Seriously, how can you not smile (I crack up) at that little face? He is such a fun baby.

But.But.But.

For the past two weeks, Si has started screaming his head off before going to sleep (for naps or bedtimes). He's tired, we know it, but he just won't calm down. A few times this week, he's screamed for over 2 hours before going to sleep-- no matter what we did to calm him. 

Oh also? He's stopped sucking his fingers and refuses to take a pacifier. 

So, we're at our wit's end. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen that last night we reluctantly decided to let him just cry for awhile. Essentially, he cried it out last night. 

One of the things that has surprised me in becoming a mom (even while being pregnant) is the amount of unsolicited advice I've gotten from other moms. Most of it is harmless and generally well-meaning, but I've gotten advice too, from moms who seem to think they know how to raise my child. And not surprisingly, I got plenty of advice from mamas last night with many different opinions. My head almost exploded and I think around 4am, the sarcasm that I attempt to suppress online came bubbling up. 

Granted, bloggers open themselves up to all kinds of advice and criticism when they share so much of their lives on Twitter, Instagram and their blog. I get that. 

But I think we all just could use more encouragement and less "You should try this" or "My kid does this". More high-fives, "Hang-in-there"s and "You-got-this, mama"s. Mommyhood is tough and feeling helpless when faced with a certain situation makes it even harder. A little encouragement and support from another woman, and I don't feel so alone. 

Heck, not just mamas, but women in general could use more shared encouragement and support, am I right? Enough with the comparing, judging and side-eyeing. Let's have more hugs, cheering each other on, and sappy stuff like that.


The verse above is from Hebrews 3:13 and it's a reminder that I need daily. (The print is by Lindsay of Pen and Paint, who is extremely talented. Go check out her shop here.)

Six months ago, as I learned about hypno-birthing and home births, epidurals and inductions, I realized that it's not up to me to judge why someone makes their plans the way they do. Each parent, each family has different reasons for the things the do, the plans they make and the way they choose to raise their child. Who am I to judge that? You know your child and your life better than anyone else, so do what works for you, girl. 

Ok, good pep talk. Now, I'll leave you with this video of Silas being cute. Have a great day, friends! 






Before 'What Does the Puppy Say?' from Lindsay Wilkins on Vimeo.

60 comments:

  1. Yes! I completely agree...I actually wrote in my post today for people to hold their comments if they don't agree.
    http://www.discoverystreet.net/2012/12/why-my-keys-were-in-fridge.html

    I hope you got a bit of rest last night Lindsay...prayers for tonight too.

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  2. Awesome post! I couldn't agree with you more. We are all moms struggling to try to figure out this parenting thing. No child or mom is perfect so telling each other what is best for someone else's baby just doesn't seem right. Everyone's baby and child is different and that's ok! Even when people may have good intentions, hearing their baby did this at this time or whatever can be tough to hear. Again lets all just encourage each other without any judgement. We need to stick together. Being a mommy is such a gift.

    I love the verse shared too. Is that print going to be available in your Etsy shop?

    Hang in there with the sleeping! Your little guy is so cute. You are doing great :)

    Blessings,
    Mary

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    1. That print is from the Etsy shop Pen and Paint-- the link to it is above! :) Thanks Mary!

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  3. I agree! I get tired of the help and sometimes have to tell people that I just need to complain for a moment without advice.

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  4. I am right there with you Mama! Think we as mom's need to be a little more encouraging to each other. I have encountered so much criticism from other mom's too, who think that if you don't parent like they do then you are a bad mother! REALLY! How did judging another mother on the way she parents her child become okay!? It just kind of boggles my mind. You know your baby and you know what works for you! Screw what those books and Dr's say to make money! You already know what to do, sometime it just takes time, and time is always on your side ;)
    XO
    That video is a crack up too! Such a fun stage to witness as they grow!!

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  5. No one knows your child better than you do.....just like no one knows mine like me! You do what YOU have to do to survive. If that means letting your sweet little guy cry, THEN DO IT. He won't be traumatized from it, I promise! I have three kids - the oldest of which will be 18 TOMORROW :( and I've made plenty of mistakes, wrong choices, bad decisions.....But that's how you learn. Kids don't come with manuals! And every single kid is different. Hats off to you for trying out different things until you find something that works for YOU. My little guy is 4 and half and he still wakes up in the middle of the night....we are still trying to figure out what works best for him. It's a never ending job, but the paycheck is SO worth it. Just look at his little face, huh?!

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  6. You are doing a great job.
    You and Dad will always know what is best for Si, when he is 15, YOU and Dad will know what's best for Si. Not grandma, or the neighbor or the man selling a juicer on tv. My daughter (age 15) had a nasty stomach virus that had her in the er for 7 hours, a few days later she went to grandma's and my mom asked me, what to do and when. That to me was a great compliment! And without hesitating I rolled out meds, doses, and times.
    Again YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.

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    1. oh man, hope she's all better! It's definitely pretty amazing to be in charge of a little person like that. ;)

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  7. I completely agree! I think that every mom has something that works for her and every child has something that works for him/her. It's so hard not to get overwhelmed when everyone thinks that the way that they've done things is best. I even get somewhat protective over sharing what and why we do things now, just because I often don't want someone's opinion. When I do, I ask.

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    1. Yeah, I'm definitely reconsidering what I share now. I think a lot of people just can't help offering their opinions and advice. I think a lot of those conversations are better had in person anyway!

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  8. Sleep training is tough! I know you're in the trenches now, and it feels like it will never end and the screaming will never stop, but I promise it will get better. This is something others always told me: The crying hurts you (like a dagger to your mama heart) more than it hurts the baby.

    You've got this, mama!

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  9. Agree with above - sleep training is tough but jeesh, being a new mom is CRAZY hard. Lots of challenges, layered with guilt and uncertainty. I agree that we could all use some encouragement from other moms - a knowing nod and a smile from another mom while your child is having a fit in a Target would go a long way don't you think?. However I will say that I have learned a lot from the advice of others. Opinions? Not so much...but the "this is what we did.." stuff was helpful to me.

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  10. As far as the non thumb sucking, be glad .. my girl ended up w/braces when she was about 8!.How about a music box to lull him to sleep? That usually worked with mine!.

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    1. We use a white noise machine, that helps sometimes, but not much gets through that screaming! :)

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  11. I left the house when we did sleep training! My husband could take her screaming, I could just not bear it. It is so so hard to be a mom. You are doing a wonderful job, though... just look at that darling, healthy, happy, goofy little guy and you KNOW you're doing a great job! Press on. :-)

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    1. Yeah, I can barely stand it myself. Thanks for the encouragement, Becca! Pressing on!

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  12. I totally understand to do whatever works for you to stay sane, but you might want to go get his ears checked... Nighttime fussing and not wanting to use a paci could mean an ear infection. My daughter was the queen of no symptom ear infections!

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    1. thanks! Thankfully, we just had a check up and his ears are fine. Will keep an eye out for that though!

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  13. I always figure that just because I prefer something one way doesn't mean that everyone else will prefer it that way too. I like to be able to give advice if I have advice to give but if someone wants to do something a different way that suits them better then kudos for them.

    And I gotta say, Si is pretty darn adorable.

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  14. So, here's a little anecdote: I have a friend whose 3 year old was having a major meltdown at the grocery store. She couldn't leave her cart, because her inlaws were coming to town that night, and her fridge was empty. Some lady in the checkout was saying, "Shame on the mother! Shame on the mother!" loud enough for my friend to hear. Well... Two other women ganged up on that lady, while another sent a Starbucks card out to my friend as she struggled to get her son in his car seat. So, high fives to you! And good luck tonight!

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    1. Wow, I can't imagine. How awful (and awesome of those other moms).

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  15. You are doing a great job. Hang in there. Sounds like teething and only you can figure our what will work for your baby. I still get that so called advice and my kids are 21 and twins that are 16... Hang in there.....
    Enjoy every moment... even the crying ones... and just sit down and have a cry yourself... it is ok... you have earned it.... :)
    Angie H
    in Mississippi

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  16. Excellent post. I think that we all need reminding sometimes to treat others how we'd wish to be treated, whether face to face or online. Sometimes the 'mask' of the internet means that people will say things to other that they might never dream of saying if the person were right in front of them. I think we're probably all guilty of saying the wrong thing at different times and I found this post really useful today to remind me that, no matter how tired or grumpy I feel I should think twice before I speak (or tweet) and make sure that what I'm saying is something positive and encouraging for the people I class as my friends. Thanks for the reminder :).

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  17. I am a Mom of three. The ways I soothed my 1st child did not work on my other 2. The schedule of my 3rd child was swallowed up by her older brothers' schedules. Advice has been, and is constantly being, given to me. I learned to just have a humble approach to parenting and to remember that advice is a blessing. I have found many new techniques and strategies in parenting from hearing what other Mothers are doing. "Without counsel plans go wrong: but in the multitude of counselors they are established." Prov 15:22. As I grow as a Mom I learn more and more that I need other people. I need suggestions and advice. But you are so right in your title - encourage one another - and whatever a Mom decides to try or toss is up to that family. I pray God blesses you with other Mommies in your community that you can link up with and encourage one another. I would not be the Mom I am today without my Mom-friends walking this journey with me.

    Blessings dear blogger.
    Janiene

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    1. I definitely agree, Janiene. We definitely need other mamas around that we can rely on. Love that verse you mentioned.

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  18. You should have seen the looks on peoples faces when I told them my newborn was not only sleeping in his own crib in his own room BUT he was also sleeping on his belly. Ya... The judgement, you could pierce it with a knife. He went through a very screaming/fussy stage right at first and that seemed to work {we also let him cry it out} and even though those who judged us might have thought it was just down right wrong to do it that way, ya know what? It worked for us. It sucks, there will always be parents who think they know 'more' then you do, especially with being a first time mom and it never stops either. My son is now almost 5 and I still get the non-solicited parenting tips from those who have 5/6yr olds. After awhile you get used to it and you learn to take everything and anything, solicited or not, with a grain of salt.

    Chin up mama {I know, hard right now}, I'll be sending some good thoughts and prayers your way, and that little boy of yours is seriously some kind of cute!!!

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  19. That video is amazing! Hang in there. You are an awesome momma!

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  20. Yep. Unfortunately we live in a society where everyone thinks that THEIR way is the only way to do something. You make the best choices for your family. That's the only ones that really matter. Si is absolutely adorbs, by the way. ;)

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  21. I love babies, but I do NOT love when they scream/cry/are unhappy and they can't tell you why! As for the advice, I feel ya. I don't have kids (and won't for awhile) but I do know when I moved to China (and now that I'm here) people LOVE to tell me what to do, what's best, etc. etc. As if I'm not an intelligent person who can make my own choices and do my own research!

    I will say, though, that I've found a lot of advice givers (and I am totally guilty of this) often are just trying to commiserate with you. Like, if I hear a story about a kid screaming all night, I've been there (babysitting. SO not the same, I know!) and know how miserable it is even when its not my child and want to help so whoever those poor parents are can get some sleep. So, I've totally been like "have you tried this" not because I think my way is better, but because I know how hard it is to think straight in that situation and I always wish I had a little voice in my ear. Ya know? That being said I also try and wait for someone to ask because I know how it comes across.

    Hang in there chica! Parenting is hard (I know *I'm* not ready!) and the only real rules of having a baby are feed the baby, love the baby, etc. Y'all most definitely have those things covered!

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  22. I hope you didn't take my comment on IG as unsolicited advice. I can totally empathize with you. Theron cried for nearly every *waking* hour for the first almost 6 months of his life. I was in a very rough place, never before had I been so depressed, sad, and utterly overwhelmed. The thought of him crying for just one more minute made me want to run far, far away. He's still a tough, determined, fussy little guy and he still cries himself to sleep more often than not at 8.5 months. I've had numerous people tell me a plethora of ideas on why he's "the way he is" and what I should do to "fix it". Instead of getting mad or offended {which i used to do} I'm trying to see it as them doing their best to help. I guess me sharing my story gave them the go-ahead to offer advice. Anyhoo...just thought I'd offer my two cents. Hang in there--like everyone says all the time, "It will get better!" It has to, right? : )

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    1. Hm, honestly, I don't remember your comment-- will you refresh my brain?

      Sorry your little guy is giving you a rough time, but gosh he's cute! Those lips!!

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  23. I think most women are just trying to help. Sure, there's that 'one' who thinks she's got it all together. But mainly, us mamas have been there and sometimes hearing what's worked for someone else might be something you haven't heard of. I know when I was a new mom, I wanted to hear all those things. I wanted to hear what worked so I could try it myself. If it didn't work for me, I'd move on. Anyway, be encouraged, people do just want to help. Hang in there, you'll be fine!

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    1. I agree, that people just want to help and probably just have good intentions. And I guess it depends on what you are looking for. Me? When I gripe, I just wanna hear some encouragement and not hear 60 different opinions and pieces of advice. I just wanna be heard and not necessarily have my problem solved by others (which my husband has learned slowly over time! ;)

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  24. So true! Women really need to encourage each other more! I think that in the community of women there is waaay too much judgement or comparison. It's just wrong, and God doesn't want us living like that and acting that way with each other. He wants us to share love! Just keep on doing things your way girl! You're a great mom.

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  25. Lindsay, he is the cutest baby!
    By the way - - I'm a canine mom - - - so I can't give any advice anyway!!

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  26. You've got this! He's happy, healthy, and cute as can be. What more can anyone ask for?

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  27. I agree:) My kid is about to be 4 months and we were having the same kind of problem...he wouldn't take a pacifier and we knew he was tired. The thing that helped us was trying a different kind of pacifier. It is just a suggestion, but it worked for us:)

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    1. That is a good suggestion and one that I've been meaning to try, but just haven't gotten around to. Thanks for mentioning it! He was sucking his fingers to soothe for awhile, which was great, but that stopped. :/

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  28. Every time a friend of mine goes through a tough spot with their kiddo I always say hey...we've all been there. it sucks & you're a good momma. It's all I needed in those moments. To know I wasn't alone that it does suck & is hard but most of all I'm a great momma. My husband knows what I need to so when I'm at wits end he always says "you are such a good mom."

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    1. Oh gosh, yes, that's always JUST what I need to hear-- "You are a such a good mom." Love when anyone (but mostly Chris) says that to me. Good to have husbands who know us, huh?

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    2. Nothings better than a great supportive husband who kind of just maybe loves us a lot. We are lucky women!!

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  29. I just came by to see how it was going and kind of started crying.
    So.

    I actually was thinking about you and how difficult this season is. To the point of feeling like it will never change. Feeling frustrated because you, as an artist, aren't getting the time you NEED to create. I mean, it's obvious you are getting a little time, but still, it's so challenging.
    So I say, you can do this. These hard nights/days/moments will fade.
    Do what you can when you can.
    Don't stop creating, but also know there's gonna be days down the road you can pour so much of your creativity out and do not be discouraged.

    I really really really try to let that be all the encouraging "advice" I give. I don't know if any of that makes sense, but I hope it will leave you feeling like you are a wonderful mama and a talented artist and that's all.

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    1. THIS is one of the most encouraging pieces of advice I've yet to receive. Cuz I have a gut feeling that you know RIGHT where I am. Love you girl, and so thankful for your beautiful heart.

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  30. I totally agree. Hang in there mama. My daughter had a spell like that when she was really small and all I needed was encouragement and "it get's easier" and "you can do this", remarks. Sometimes I got the complete opposite. Sending you warmth and encouragement as you work out this time. You'll find a way through.

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  31. Nicely said!
    We just spent the last 3 hours trying to get our 12 week old down. All the usual tricks didn't work. She finally went down after turning off all the lights in the condo, swaddling, pacifier and the hair dryer on full blast right outside her door. Desperate times!
    I've never prayed so much for comfort and sleep. Being a Mom is harder than I ever imagined, and I constantly have to remind myself that God trusts I am the right Mom for my baby even when I doubt myself.

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    1. Oh girl. 3 hours. Praying that she sleeps well for you tonight.

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    2. Thanks! Your prayers must have worked! She got up 1 hour later for a feed but then slept for 7 straight! Hope Si gave you a good nights rest.

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  32. I love the video! Si is so cute! I love this age- don't you?!
    I saw all the comments on your IG feed... couldn't believe some of the comments that came your way. Not only did they insult you, but they insulted those of us who are doing a similiar approach as you... yikes!
    You are doing a wonderful job, mama! Know that the majority of the people that commented love you and just want to help you. My 4 month old has been sleeping horribly the last week so I totally understand your misery and how advice is not always what you need during those frustrating times. Keep plugging along... you're doing great! xo

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  33. I always felt when I was pregnant that it was like wearing a sign that said "tell me what you think about me". It is even worse after the baby is born. There is TOO much judgement in parenting. It is especially crazy to me when I step back and remember that God chose us to be mommies for our special babies. He knows what's He's doing. You are perfect for Si and he is blessed to have you. Merry Christmas!

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  34. totally agree with you that we all need more encouragement. Being a parent is HARD! Just plain hard! :) And I think for me just finally admitting that was HARD too. LOL I kept thinking ok, people have been doing this for years, what's wrong with me? :0 Everyone is right it just takes time and even 8 yrs later I'm still learning all the time what to try or do with my 2 kids. Just a suggestion sharing from my own "screaming baby syndrome" experience, :) He might be starting teething? With the not wanting the pacifier or his fingers in his mouth it might be his gums are sore etc. Both my kids started at 4 months old and it sometimes manifest itself in "wakefulness" as the description of symptoms of teething so nicely put it! LOL Both my kids went thru
    this and I had absolutely NO CLUE with the first one what could be going on until someone mentioned it to me. I thought it wouldn't happen til like 8 or 9 months and it was just the classic drooling etc. Nope, turns out it can start as young as 3 months and sure enough a month after it all started my daughter got 4 teeth all at the same time when she was about 5 1/2 months old. I remember when I first saw them peeking thru the gums while she was on the changing table smiling at me, it was like someone had turned on a light bulb in my brain! LOL Anyway, good thing is there is a great all natural teething tablet and they work wonders. I got them right away when I suspected my 2nd was teething and we had a FEW less scream free nights than with the first. I still use them now when my kids have a really lose tooth that is just barely hanging on and NOW they can tell me hey those really do work! LOL Hang in there, you're doing great! We all are as we're all
    doing the best that we can everyday and that's all you we can do! Oh and the old give them something COLD to chew on for teething didn't hold for my daughter either, I figured that one out one night at 3 am when it finally dawned on me that whenever we gave her something COLD to eat she screamed but something WARM she was fine! So, yep, it's def all about figuring out what works best for you!

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  35. i think you should try...ehh, just kidding. i've been a silent follower since you were about 7 months pregnant with silas. who is ridiculously cute and adorable, by the way. i'm a fan. and i think you're doing a great job when it comes to you and your boys. only you will know what best for your family. :) keep up the good work. happy new year!

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