Welcome Staci Hemlinger, 4C for Children professional development specialist, to the 4C blog team for 2016!
Hello all! My name is Staci and I am a mother of four. Breathe—I know, four! My oldest, Emily, is 11, Michael is 10, Natalie is 7 and Olivia is only 2. It is an amazing world of never-ending something’s-to-do. Just when I think I can sit, my full-time job, husband or children say different—and I love it!
Just this morning as Olivia made her way into our bed with her blankie saying, “Miss you Mommie!” I quickly pulled her up next to me and cuddled her close, paying attention to the smell of her baby lotion that had worn off over night. I know this because like so many mothers before me, I rock my babies to sleep. She is my last “baby” I will have and I am proud to say, I rocked them all.
Starting with Emily, I received a lot of backlash from my in-laws and other friends about rocking our babies to sleep. “They will never learn to sleep on their own,” or, “You are spoiling them!” If I only had a dollar for all of the times I would hear them say, “Just lay them down and let them cry!” My mother seemed to be a voice of reason when she said, “Do what your heart needs you to do.” Maybe it’s just what I needed to hear because it confirmed my feelings. When it was time for all of my babies to go to sleep I wanted to hold them and cuddle them, smell their newly washed hair and cuddle their cute little pajama bodies until I would lay them in bed, thanking the heavens above that I had that time with them and only wish for another to follow. But it wasn’t always sweet smells and cuddles! Sometimes my babies would fight like little devils and want down to play and the night would be filled with yelling and grumpiness. My husband would raise his brow as if to say, “If you just would’ve laid them down in the beginning, none of this would be an issue now.” Right away without saying a thing I would look away, accept the situation that I had created, and deal with my little devils that would soon be sleeping angels and hope that the next night would be easier.
Life gets away from us so quickly and getting to rock my babies to sleep at night solidified a way for me to bond and to take one last minute of serenity. The seconds that I would regret making the decision to rock my babies to sleep came nowhere near my lifetime of memories getting my sweet unforgettable cuddles in.