I recently discovered that I'm not a failed "crunchy" mom, but a whole new breed of parent called a "scrunchy" mom. Scrunchy moms combine tenets from back-to-basics "crunchy" parenting and the modern-convenience-loving tenets of "silky" parenting. In other words, we mix it up and find what works for us. For instance, I breastfed for an extended period of time, but I didn't bed share. In fact, thanks to this "scrunchy" lifestyle, I've realized there are a lot of things a co-sleeping mom and a sleep training mom have in common.
I always thought I would be interested in co-sleeping as a mom, but my husband is a crazy sleeper and, after re-evaluating, I wasn't too sure it would be safe. He moves around a lot, swinging his arms and legs around with reckless abandon, so I have conveniently blamed him for the fact that we didn't share a bed with our baby. However, on a recent vacation and when we were forced to share a bed, I spent the night with a toddler's foot in my face the whole time. So, yes, I might have to admit that it wasn't, in fact, my partner's fault.
Parenting trends and practices seem to include an awful lot of passion and conviction. As a result, people can get quite upset about another mother's choice, so it's worth remembering that we're not so different after all. In fact, a co-sleeping mom and a sleep training mom have a lot in common, including:
They're Both Tired
Whether you share your sleeping space with your baby or they sleep in another room, rest assured your baby will find a way to get you up in the middle of the night. Probably multiple times a night, in fact. Babies are "fun" like that.
They Both Worry
In my opinion, worrying is just part of the job when you become a parent. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that all moms, regardless of how they choose to parent, will worry about their kids.
They Both Feel Guilty
Sleep training moms often receive a lot of judgment and criticism for allowing their babies to cry. On the other side of the sleeping aisle, co-sleeping moms are often accused of not allowing their kids to grow up, and even putting their kids in danger.
With all this judgment going around, it's no wonder both types of mom fall prey to the dreaded "mom guilt" which, unfortunately, seems to affect all of us.
They Both Consider Changing Their Mind
In my experience, when you're sleep training you'll experience more than a few moments of doubt, especially if your little one is having a hard time transitioning. Considering moving the baby to your room is, honestly, just par for the course.
Co-sleeping moms, on the other hand, may sometimes crave their own space and wonder if they should have trained their baby to sleep alone. Basically, whatever method you choose, prepare to change your mind (or at least think about changing your mind). Hey, no one said this was going to be easy, guys.
They Both Need A Break
Being a mom really is hard work. It doesn't matter how you parent, either. Regardless of your decisions, it'll be tough all around. As a result, all moms need a break and a chance to think about our own wants and needs.
They Both Feel Emotional
Combine a lack of sleep with normal postpartum hormone fluctuations and, well, it's no wonder moms can feel emotional.
Personally, I found sleep training very stressful. I would sit outside my baby's room, crying and looking at the clock, just counting down the minutes until I was "allowed" to go to my baby. It was an ordeal.
They're Both People, Not Stereotypes
Moms who co-sleep are not all hippies who make their own organic baby food. Some are, sure, but just because you follow a particular parenting practice doesn't necessarily mean you follow the suggestions of that practice through and through.
My decision to sleep train my baby confused people who didn't think that choice jived with my other parenting choices, like babywearing and breastfeeding.
They're Both Desperate For Their Baby To Go To Sleep
Co-sleeping moms probably have to pretend to go to sleep themselves, snuggled up with their baby, in an effort to trick their baby into getting some necessary slumber time. Sleep training moms, on the other hand, are probably standing on the other side of the bedroom door, wishing for the exact same outcome.
We all just want out babies to go to sleep.
They Both Love Their Kids
In the end and always, we all love our kids so much and just want the best for them. Sure, the mommy wars will wage on, but only as long as we continue to divide ourselves into sub groups based on the way we choose to parent.