Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about trusting your inner mom. That is to say, believing in yourself enough to know that you can handle a given situation with your child.
I was faced with a challenging situation this evening. My son skipped his afternoon nap, and by the time bedtime rolled around he was miserably cranky. I knew he had to sleep, but he lay in the bed shouting “Go!” He wanted to go into the living room and play.
In my mind I was conflicted, I knew that he needed to sleep desperately, but my child is very strong willed. He is a Taurus with a moon in Taurus in case you didn’t know.
I’m laying next to him in bed (because he refuses to sleep alone) and he is screaming and sitting up.
Suddenly the ghosts of moms past started flooding through my brain:
My friend Josina’s voice (mother of Nelson- almost 2) was in my head! It said:
Remember, Sarah, it’s just like teaching…as a mom you have to win.
Then my friend Nora’s voice (mother of two) was in my head
You have to be the boss. You tell him, “Get in your bed, now!”
Finally the secretary at my school, Regina’s voice (mother of two) popped in for a visit
None of my kids ever slept alone. They always crawled into my bed.
I managed to silence the voices of moms past and listened to my own voice, which told me to sing. My son was screaming and crying and I sang “Kumbayah.” Don’t ask me why. I just sang. I sang and sang. My throat is still sore and itchy from having a bad cold, but nonetheless I sang through his screaming, through his crying until he fell fast asleep.
While I was singing, I kept telling myself that I was a rock. Again, I know it sounds strange, but I imagined that I was a giant still rock. I was unmovable. He could scream and cry but I would be stable for him. I would not freak out. As I repeated the words to Kumbayah over and over again, it became a mantra for me. Each time I said the words, I believed that I was more stable and more still.
I realized something as I was singing. The calmer I remained, the calmer he became. It’s so simple, yet difficult to master. Let’s face it, I’m a nervous neurotic person. To ask me to remain calm is a lot to demand. But I see, now, the benefit of trying to remain still and calm. I see that my son picks up on my energy.
Thank goodness he is asleep. I still feel like a rock, solid.