I don’t like structure. Rules, boundaries, routine, yuck. No, I’m more of a free bird, fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. I don’t need nap times or sleep training or bottles. I just need my boobs and a car seat. This baby can sleep anywhere. And I can nurse her while climbing up the side of a mountain, no problem. It will be fun, we can see the world. “The Hills are alive…” Bali, Italy, where should we go?
But this isn’t really me. Not anymore. Or not right now any way.
And I am becoming more and more okay with that. I know this sounds boring. But sometimes I like boring.
Before I had my son, sitting around a wooden table strewn with presents wrapped in blue, my wonderful co-workers at Hospice took turns sharing tidbits about parenting. One in particular really took me by surprise and has stayed with me ever since.
He said something to the effect of and I am paraphrasing here, “When your kids walk around the house opening up doors, they really want the doors to be locked.”
Say what? No, not my kids. They’ll want freedom and fresh air and open doors just like their free spirited mama. (This sounds better if you read this last sentence with dramatic flair…think of the Drama teacher from High School Musical with owl like glasses and scarf around her neck, there is always a scarf).
But I get this now in a way I didn’t then. I think what he was trying to say (and if anyone reading this has further insight into the matter, please share) is that children really do thrive with boundaries. And structure. And to an extent, we all do.
They want the doors to be closed because this enables them to feel secure. They might yell and scream when you tell them no but no really means, I care so much for you that I cannot let you eat 110 carcinogen covered candy chocolates.
Sometimes we just have to say no. And yes to creating boundaries and closed doors.
And in the structure, in this framework of security and comfort, we can relax a bit and find great freedom to roam and be. The closed doors might just enable us to feel comfortable enough to explore, dream, and eventually test the boundaries. Without them, it may just be, sometimes anyway, too much.
So last night we started sleep training our baby aka letting her cry herself to sleep. We, I mean I, have resisted it for a long time. It felt mean and I didn’t want to be tied to a schedule or a routine. Remember, I don’t like rules!
But she slept better than she has in a long time. We all did. And while I love the idea of traveling, I also love a good night of sleep.