Friday, 12 October 2012

The Mommy Effect

As my son gets older, he is starting to be much more independent and self-sufficient. Being in daycare has had some incredibly positive effects on his behaviour. His interactions with other children are better; he behaves himself pretty well at home or in others’ homes, and napping has improved exponentially. I mean, he literally puts himself to bed now at naptime and will sleep anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours. That is a far cry from the old 30 minute naps of pre-daycare days.

Well, maybe that’s the case when he’s at daycare or being babysat by others, or even when he’s alone with his father. But when it comes to Mommy, either I don’t know what I’m doing, or the general rules don’t apply. Because with me, he wants to be rocked to sleep, clinging to me as though his life depended on it. And God help me if I try to put him in his crib before he is ready (i.e. completely passed out).

As my loyal readers know, I’ve struggled with sleep training for the past 20 months. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is not my son. I am the problem. I am his mother and he wants to be with me. Period. Remove me from the equation and he can easily fall asleep on his own, take nice long naps and yes, sleep through the night past 5 am.

This seems to me to be just another case of not being able to win when you’re a mom. Your kids may love you but that’s not a reason for them to behave themselves like the little angels they are with other people. In fact, it seems like the very reason not to.

Not one person who has watched my son when I’m not there has ever told me a negative thing about him. And I don’t think it’s because they’re trying to be nice. He’s truly a good kid who behaves well with other people. Yes, they have commented that he is energetic and enthusiastic and very, very strong and sometimes those factors combined can be a recipe for mild chaos. But it’s never cause for more than a chuckle. And to go back to my sleep point, it’s simply not an issue for anyone but me. Well I try not to make it an issue anymore for myself but it never ceases to amaze me when he acts completely differently with others than with me. But I guess when you’re a mom, all bets are off.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just keep enjoying the hugs and kisses that come more easily to me than to others. Because that’s one thing I get to enjoy way more than anyone else! I guess it’s just the Mommy Effect.

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