Tuesday, November 27, 2012

splitting the difference..

It's nap time in the Bisett household. The baby's only just gone down though so I'm hoping the boys will stay comatose for a wee while longer.

My head is thumping and I desperately want to close my eyes and succumb to the cosy darkness I know is waiting for me behind my heavy eyelids. But I can't.

I must resist as Baby is on her tummy, sound asleep.

I'm not a happy napper. It takes me far too long to switch off my brain - then when I've finally sorted through all the worries in my life, I start to worry that I haven't fallen asleep yet. That's usually when I throw the towel in and get up.

But on the rare occasions I do drop off, it's already time to wake up.

It's worse than being pipped to the post during sex. I'm left feeling grumpy and resentful - and unfortunately for the hubs, my wrath is unjustly directed at him as he's the one in the firing line...the one that has to wake me.

And the annoying fact that he can fall asleep at the drop of a hat makes him prey to my bitterness.

But right now I know I could do it. I would be asleep in seconds like my husband. He's always saying he's tired. Does he feel like this all the time, I wonder.

That blows for him.

I'd give my right arm now for a nap. But what I wouldn't give is my baby.

It's amazing how much guidance and rules and stipulations exist for raising a baby in this day and age. What's more amazing is how some of them terrify the pants off me, while others I don't give a monkey's about.

Who died and made me God?

God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.  ~Jewish Proverb

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.  ~William Makepeace Thackeray

He's got the whole world in HIS hands. Just like us Mommas. Our word is final and the choices we make have everlasting consequences on the people we love the most.

The professionals: the Doctors and the Government and the FDA and anyone else who has a say in how we raise our children don't always get it right. And what's more they don't always agree with each other.

Here are a few 'rules' I've had the audacity to overrule in my little kingdom:

Don't give your child cow's milk before they're 1.
Don't co-sleep with your child.
Don't let your child eat peanut butter until they're 2.
Don't let your child sleep on his/her tummy.

And these are just the biggies.

Before I get a barrage of well meaning advice, let me clarify:

I've mixed some cow's milk into cereal for my nippers. I did not substitute all my breast milk for cows' milk. It worked a treat.

I've co-slept with all my children and it's been an absolute honor. I will be eternally grateful and forever cherish every single cuddle and snuggle. Make no mistake though, the hype against co-sleeping chilled me to my bones. I have laid awake for hours on some nights simply watching their breathing. I didn't enter into co-sleeping lightly or on a whim.

I let both my boys eat peanut butter as soon as they turned 1. I waited for a weekday, within working hours and when Daddy was on stand-by for an emergency room run. This was a compromise. I actually wanted to feed them OUTSIDE the ER. I monitored them afterwards for hours until I was satisfied they weren't going into anaphylactic shock. I did this for the first few weeks of eating peanut butter.

I'm letting baby girl nap on her tummy. I NEVER did this with the boys.

So, that's why I can't nap now. Instead I'm sitting here on the carpeted hallway, just outside Momma's bedroom watching the gentle rise and fall of baby girl's back. My three year old is sleeping in the boys' room behind me and my 21 month old is sprawled out on the couch in the cabin. If I stand up I can just about see him through the strategic mirror placed in the stairway.

In essence I'm 'splitting the difference'.

This is what my most treasured pets have always done. When I was growing up I used to hold our red setter, Corby, down on my bed to defend me while I slept. But when I awoke I always found him lying outside my room on the landing. He'd be laying in a position so that he could see everyone's door. He watched over all of us.

Just like Venus (our big red dog) does at night.

And that's what Momma's doing now.

Behind me I can hear my eldest stirring. It's already after 3:00pm.


Break's over. Time to clock back in and get the boys ready for the park. We all need some outdoors time, especially Momma. It might just wake me up.


  1. That is a great post. I am with you on so many things...I am a terrible napper, too- by the time my brain shuts off,it's too late. Hubby can flip the switch to unconscious in 10 seconds. Not. Fair. I too did the co-sleeping thing, and not at all lightly, but so glad I did. AND, I also let my youngest nap on her tummy. She's 14 months now, and it all worked out. :)

  2. Thanks ladies! Julie, I love how you like my posts SO much you have to comment three times over!!! This time I'm keeping all three - it makes me look better;)

  3. Great post, Josie!

  4. New Linky follower from Mommy Mixer.

  5. I can so relate to your post about all the rules related to raising kids in today's world. I was overly protective of Zeva because she was the first baby I got to stay home with. I was like you and stayed awake when all I wanted was sleep when we co-slept with her. I also worried about her when she slept on her stomach, and now that's the only way she likes to sleep. She is not even 1 and is already sleeping in a day bed because she HATES to be trapped.

    We each have to find what works with our own kids. I have one kid who I have to turn into a rattle snake to get him to listen, one whom I have to just comment about how disappointed I am in him, and one whom I'm still trying figure out what is going to work because she laughs when I get mad and doesn't pay me a bit of attention when I calmly tell her something. Go figure. ;)