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Parenting Rule #1: Any Song Sung Softly Enough is a Lullaby

A friend recently said “Parenting is like folding a fitted sheet. Nobody knows how to do it.”  This is more true than anything I’ve heard in a long time. And if I’m being completely honest, I roll fitted sheets into a ball and shove them into the back of the linen closet. So what does that tell you about my parenting skills?

My kid doesn’t usually sleep more than twenty minutes at a time during the day.
But he sleeps ten straight hours at night.

By our own choice, he doesn’t own many toys.
But he’s happy.

He’s not nursed.
But he’s fed.

He uses burp cloths half of the time, and my shirt the other half
(or a friend’s if we’re really having a good day).
But we have a washer. And my friends do too.

According to my app, he’s slightly behind in some milestones.
But he’s smart.

Maddox has one kidney
that’s functioning perfectly for two.

My son is familiar with zero nursery rhymes.
But he knows Jay DeNeff’s originals well – and some of Mumford & Sons songs too.

In the early, sleep-deprived days, my friends knew he was getting hungry before I did.
But that means I have a support system.

He sometimes wears sleep sacks out of the hamper
instead of the laundry basket,
and hardly ever out of the actual dresser drawer.

And I sometimes feel like I’m along for the ride when my husband knows where things are that I can’t find, when he knows what Maddox needs, and when he puts him to bed faster than I do.

When I feel I’m lacking as a parent, or when I’m worried about him, I see that my baby is just fine. We probably parent much differently than even some of our friends do. In fact, I know we do. We make different decisions – sometimes opposite ones, and that’s okay. We do what’s best for our babies and our families (and our sanities). My son is growing. He’s happy. He’s healthy. And he’s loved.

Oh, is he ever loved.

Ashley Cooper

I strive to find joy in each ordinary day.

  • Melanie Olson

    ❤️❤️❤️!!! There’s really no book on parenting…if there was, I would have found it, bought numerous copies, and given them out to every person I knew that was a new parent. I appreciate your honesty and humor. Thank you. You are doing this! And it sure looks awesome on you!!

    February 7, 2018 at 9:23 pm Reply
  • Terri Smith

    The ten most important words in this: “He sleeps ten straight hours,” and “Oh, is he ever loved.” You’re blessed–and so is your little boy.

    February 8, 2018 at 4:05 am Reply
  • Jessica Scramlin

    Wonderfully said, friend! You are an incredible mother! Thanks for sharing!

    February 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm Reply

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