In this post I wrote that kids need us parents to be present through thick and thin. I stand by every word. BUT. I left something out. Something I believe in deeply.
What children need the most is a mother who takes care of herself. Mothers always come first.
I was on the verge of depression when Emily didn’t sleep for 20 months and I asked for help. Emily cried hysterically when Alex went to her while I was sleeping on the couch, but it was OK because I needed to take care of myself.
There’s a lot of shaming in Montessori about sleep training. There’s shame in everything when people live by the extremes and forget that there’s black, white and aaaalllll the shades of grey in between.
BUT there should be no shame, EVER!, in asking for help if we feel we need it.
A mother who sleep trains her children because she’s on the verge of mental illness is doing exactly what her children need: she’s not letting the demons take over, she’s showing up and finding a solution.
It might not be the solution I or you would go for, but that doesn’t allow us to judge.
We should never feel allowed to judge another mother, because what we know about her is most likely a tiny part of her life story.
On a plane, in an emergency, parents need to put on their oxygen mask before putting on their children’s. In life it’s the same: mothers always need to take care of themselves first in order to take care of their children.