How I view parents is certainly very different now that we are on the other side of having actually had a baby. I was thinking about it again while putting Grace to sleep for her nap yesterday.
In the evenings Grace goes to sleep on her own. We say goodnight, put her in bed and then leave her. At the moment there are quite a few trips back to her room in the evening (she seems to mostly just want to cuddle a bit), but eventually she goes to sleep on her own (after anything from 15minues to an hour and fifteen). Afternoons are a different beast – in some ways easier, and in others more difficult.
In the afternoon we go through the bed time process and put her down. The current protocol is to give her 15 minutes to figure out how to get to sleep, and then to go in and help her get to sleep quickly by rocking her. Currently we are struggling to even make the 15 minutes before she is calling for us, but she goes to sleep really quickly once she is rocked.
Yes, rocked, and no, it is probably less than ideal. But it works (for now) and is quick, which lets us get on with the things that need to be done. Also, if we just leave her she gradually gets more and more worked up and just does not sleep. And we need her to sleep – everyone copes with the rest of the day a lot better.
Rocking would have been a big NO-NO before I became a parent, but in practice it is working for us and helping us achieve what we need to. We know it won’t work forever, but also know we might as well make use of it before it stops working.
So when I see other parents doing things which I don’t understand, or which I might consider to be a big NO-NO, I just remember that we all do what we need to do to keep handles on the situation. Sometimes it is just about doing what you need to do so that you can keep it all together.