Dear Abby… er, Abbie, Part 2.

Dear Abbie,

As a first time mom, it’s so easy to second guess myself and my actions.  There are a million books on parenting, on infant care, on nutrition and sleep cycles, etc.  And while, yes, I want Bennett to be healthy and to get the good sleep that he needs, I worry about getting into a routine of implementing habits that don’t come from my own heart in any way, shape or form.  Lately I’ve been praying to the Lord to have a heart motivated by love.  First, I want to love Him.  But I also want to make decisions that reflect a heart that’s motivated by love for my family, both my husband and my son.

I feel guilty when I think that someone might criticize me for letting Bennett fall asleep on me too much, or perhaps carrying him around in a carrier while I do the dishes might develop a dependency that makes him seem weak and needy one day.

But the problem, if it’s a problem, is that I LOVE when Bennett falls asleep on me!  And I LOVE looking down at that sweet little face taking in all the noises as I clang things around the kitchen.

For the majority of my life I’ve been such a rule follower.  For so long I’ve only wanted to be objective and make long-term, wise decisions, learning from others’ mistakes first before making my own.  And now I’m discovering that this is the first time in a long time that I simply want to bask in the joy of taking pleasure in a moment, not worrying about the ramifications that might come from “over-loving” my son.

Now I’m sure that everyone would tell me that I can’t love Bennett “too much.”  I’m also sure that people could argue that “technically” I’d be loving him well to teach him to be self-soothing and not develop the expectation that every time he cries, I’ll be there in a flash.

(Yes, I’ve discovered the “I-Wanna-&-Don’t-Wanna-Sleep-At-the-Same-Time” cry and the fake cry, too.)

But I don’t want to “technically” and mentally love my son.  I want to love him right now with the heart that I have right now, with a big, slobbery, fascinated love.  I don’t want to love him in a calculating, planning sort of way.  I want to relish this time that he can fall asleep on my chest and on my shoulder and in the recliner and on the couch because one day, inevitably, we’ll be in a place where he sleeps in his own bed and is too embarrassed to be seen hugging me.

But for some reason, I feel like if people know how unstructured we are right now that they’ll be raising the red flag of warning and concern.

Is it possible to err on the side of big, sloppy, gushy love without spoiling?

Help?  Thoughts?

Holy XOXO’s,



For the first “Dear Abby… er, Abbie,” click here.


  1. December 12, 2012

    My only concern with him getting attached to falling asleep on you is when he won’t have you to fall asleep on …. like when you go back to work and the sitter isn’t inclined to do that sort of thing. Then there will be a period of adjustment for him, but that’s way down the road. Otherwise I think it’s a mahvelous idea … I love snuggly babies.

  2. December 12, 2012

    Love is right. All laws are summed up in love. Parents preferences are different, babies preferences are different. You are doing great, and my heart swells to hear of you soaking him up, and pictures of you wearing him while you work. Baby snuggles are a piece of God. (I have never perceived you as a law person, you are definitely a heart person.)

  3. December 12, 2012
    Heather F

    He’s a baby. Snuggling is good. Can it go over board? Of course, but you know what your baby needs. You will be able to tell if he is crying and fussing just to have attention…personally I think right now it is perfect to snuggle as much as possible..
    He’s little more than a newborn.mwah

  4. December 12, 2012

    I agree with your mama. As long as he can fall asleep on you and away from you then there should be no problem. With Kaden he grew up so fast. He was walking more like running by the time he was 12 month old. This time with Silas I’m totally soaking up all the cuddle time I can get. It’s such a short time. I think that all the pictures that bennett looks back on and sees his mama holding him, cuddling him, and him looking up at you. He will be able to capture those memories from the time that he couldn’t remember. I think you’re doing a great job Suzy

  5. December 12, 2012

    You are doing the absolute right thing in my eyes. I can’t tell you how many times my little ones fell asleep on me and I carried them in the carrier to have them close to me. The baby is ment to be attached to you since your his mama!! Now is the time they learn trust and by getting him when he cries it is teaching him that you will be there for him. My kids didn’t turn out to be weak and needy because of it either. I know I don’t know you much in person but I feel I have gotten to know you by reading your blog. Hopefully you don’t mind getting my 2 cents!! 🙂

  6. December 12, 2012

    Suzy & Brian, cuddle, kiss, love Bennett all you want; you are doing the right thing. He will grow so fast . Then the years fly. He will remember all the closness he has with you. He will be thankful he has you for Mom & Dad.

  7. December 12, 2012

    I think you are doing a lovely job. From my experience, I was a rule follower to THE LETTER with my first and, honestly, I regret it. With my other children, I enjoyed their babyhood so much more. Cuddling is the best. And you do have time to make adjustments for Bennett to learn to sleep without you. Savor every moment!

  8. December 13, 2012

    +1 for everything above, and, I think it’s great he falls asleep with you while you’re clanging around in the kitchen. So many people seem to get in the habit of tiptoeing to get the kids to sleep. Bennett, when he’s away from you later on, might be comforted to hear those homey noises from off in the next room. He’s learning you, your surroundings, your family noises. He’s even learning how to fall asleep around them. I think it’s great.

  9. December 13, 2012
    Janice Cline

    My oldest is 29 and my baby is 22 and with the first baby, I too, worried about people disapproving of my practice of holding my baby most of the day or wearing her in a carrier (when she wasn’t in the swing where her colic was soothed). When my second came along, I cared much less what people thought and did what seemed to comfort and help her the most. When our last child was born, nothing that anybody said, mattered anymore. We found our babies were less fussy when they were held enough to comfort them and give them the company they needed. And our last child was the most content of our three, because he was in my arms (or his dad’s) or a front carrier much of the time. You are doing great and he is clearly thriving. Keep it up!

  10. December 13, 2012

    I don’t know how to tell you this, but Bennett’s insides will be bathed by the way you handle him now. I don’t think his behavior will be influenced at all. A tiny baby lives mostly on reflex. He is hungry and wants to be fed. He is thirsty and wants to drink. He is cold and wants to be warm. He is hot and needs a blanket removed. He has a dirty diaper and wants to be changed. I truly do not believe he is trying to garner undue attention at any time. If his basic needs are tended to and he is still crying, holding him close to you is usually the cure. He needs love and who better to give it unselfishly than you and Brian.

    Treasure every hour of every day.

    I truly think you read enough books before you had Bennett to give you all the basics and use your intelligence to sort out those ‘rules’ of benefit to you and your family.

    As different as each baby and family is, how could one person’s opinion suit all situations. Start writing your own manual and bask in this wonderful period of your life dear. You are well prepared.

  11. December 13, 2012

    P.S. What a superb picture! 🙂

  12. December 18, 2012

    He is so cute in this picture! Love it. You know, I think in lieu of recent events, I can honestly say that more parents should have smothered their kids with sloppy love. Maybe then we wouldn’t have the tragedies we have now. 🙁 God + sloppy love= people filled with self worth. 🙂

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