I was reading a blog post earlier today over on The Feminist Breeder about babies. In particular, babies and sleeping. One commenter made the grand sweeping statement that “Everyone struggles getting their babies to sleep at night and every mother who says their baby slept through at three months old is lying to make us feel bad”.
Guess what? My second son slept through at three months. Really truly honest. In fact, he slept through even earlier than that. He continues to do so to this day, at six months old, teething. I swear he is the reincarnation of a sloth.
I have no interest in making other mothers feel bad. I have no need to lie. I’m confident in my parenting ability and I’m quite happy to tell you that my first son “slept” horribly (read: thrashed around, talked, screamed, head-banged and generally acted like a wee demon) and also continues to hop into mummy and daddy’s bed in the early hours of the morning to this day. He needed to be strapped to his bed with a Safe-T-Sleep Sleepwrap like some kind of psychopath until he was well over a year old.
I’m also happy to admit that the fact my second son sleeps like such a dream baby probably has zilch to do with my parenting. I’m no super mum. I’m just lucky. It’s luck. Sure, I’m a lot less fussy and significantly less strict on routine this time around – Byron is ALL baby-led. But at the end of the day, I still wholeheartedly believe that it’s luck. I’m sure glad he’s my second kid, too…’cause if he was my first I may have assumed that all babies were this “easy” and had a nasty shock when any future babies turned out to be the screaming banshees we all know too well.
Unfortunately, the fact that Byron slept through so early had the Internet know-it-alls crawling out of the woodwork, accusing me of underfeeding and starving my son to death. Meanwhile the kid’s guzzling down enough milk to satisfy a baby twice his age every 2 hours during the day and charting in the 95th percentile for length and the 60th for weight, not to mention pooping for Texas, but who really cares about those facts eh? Clearly the bouncing, laughing and jolly chubby boy I have in my lap is just wasting away and I deserve to be reported to DHS, so that someone can please take this poor child away from his disgrace of a mother.
Y’know. Because he sleeps through.
I mean, for real. In the mummysphere, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.
How about we all just let each other be and acknowledge that all babies are dramatically different?
And let’s acknowledge that hitting the holy grail in terms of “easy babies” isn’t about us lying to make you feel bad. That’s your paranoia talking. It’s about luck, as far as I’m concerned. Pure and simple. And at the end of the day, we are ALL lucky to be holding our wonderful bundles of joy. Whether it’s incessant wailing at midnight that you hear, or the soft sighs of a baby dreaming…our homes are oozing with life and the sounds of a family that some may never get to experience. We are all lucky, whether we have a sleepy baby or a nocturnal one. Stop judging, stop branding other mothers “liars” and accusing us of setting out to be queen bee just to make the rest of you feel sub-par. Stop worrying about everyone else; you may be one mother among many, but you are your child’s one and only. The two of you are all that matter.