When I was pregnant with my first born baby I was determined to be the most kick-ass mommy on the planet. I spent a solid nine months laying on the couch watching TLC’s A Baby Story and scouring the internet for blogs and websites about pregnancy and motherhood. There was no way I was going to be anything other than perfect- just was not going to happen.
Then the baby was born.
That first born, six pound, squalling, pink bundle of love sent my parenting dreams of perfection right to the bottom of the stinky diaper pail. In fact there were so many parenting blunders with that first child I had quite a time deciding which one I might choose to write about for this post. After much thought and consideration I decided to write about the blunder that did the unthinkable.
The rookie mistake that actually mad me MAD at my precious baby.
When my first baby was born I rocked her…and rocked her…and rocked her. I pressed her to my warm body and swayed back and forth deep into the night. This little lady terrified me. It was just her and I most nights and although I couldn’t admit it to myself, I was clueless and scared shitless of her, of parenthood, of everything. The rocking was more for my need to soothe myself rather than my need to soothe her. Some nights she screamed her bloody head off every few hours for no good reason. I literally felt like I was holding on to her for dear life. When all else fails…rock the baby.
But NO. We both got addicted to the rock for sometime and we were getting through the only way we knew how…rocking back and forth for countless hours. After a few months my husband returned to normal working hours, I grew more comfortable in my maternal abilities and I grew out of the “rock.” The problem was…the baby did not. If anything her addiction to it grew stronger. The baby and I had come to a crossroads. I was ready to break up with the rocking- but she was clearly not.
We tried to go cold turkey, which resulted in her screaming her head off until I could no longer take it. I was SURE that I had traumatized her and ruined her faith in humanity by placing her in her crib without any rocking.
We tried to provide her with lovies, soothing sounds, warm bottles. I think at one point we promised her a pony for her tenth birthday if she would just go to sleep, but she was six months old gave zero f**ks about my need to not rock her back and forth two to three times a day.
So we just continued on..rocking resumed.
Then one summer day when baby was nine months old, I remember rocking her in my room as she flailed and squirmed about in my arms. I was tired, hot, annoyed, overwhelmed and PISSED. I was PISSED AT MY BABY! That was the moment I knew that I had created a damn rocking-monster and we had to break her of the rock before the rock broke me. We tried to go cold turkey again. We snugged her, kissed her little cheeks and placed her in her crib. She screamed her head off…again. This time though we did not give up. We stayed strong and buried our heads in pillows and booze. No matter the cries exploding from the nursery we had to break baby of the rock and stay strong. It was not easy I will tell you.
After a few weeks…or months…of emotional torture we did manage to wean the little lamb from her addiction. At one year old we were finally rocking-free and had gained a good solid three hours of sanity in the process. Life was magical for about ten months…until we introduced the toddler bed…and spent the next three years sleeping on the toddler’s bedroom floor singing Gordon Lightfoot’s Pony Man every single night.
The monkey NEVER learns.
New mommies do yourselves a giant favor and put that little love DIRECTLY into her cradle and run from the nursery fast as lightening.
Rocking is crack to a baby and as Whitney has already explained…
CRACK IS WHACK.