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To monitor or not to monitor...

That is the question we are currently asking ourselves. Whether we still need to listen in to our child sleeping, just in case he wakes in the middle of the night. Do we still need to use it? Do we still want it?

We have a baby monitor that is the basest of technology. Half the time we are not entirely sure that it works. We listen to the sound thinking it is either monitoring our son's room and the sound of his wave machine, or it is simply the blank noise of static. When our son was first born, we had a video monitor that was honestly the most important and the best spent $ of everything on our registry. I cannot tell you how many times in those first weeks I woke in a start, only to hear the reassuring sound of his breathing, or to watch his little belly rising and falling from the little camera view I had of his crib. Now that he is a big boy, sleeping in his very own bed, and capable of sleeping through the night, I wonder why we continue to listen to his sounds through the night as we sleep. It is reassuring to know he is OK. But when do you decide it is OK to stop listening? Tonight was I was laying in bed, I pondered this. The arguments are that I want to know he is safe. I want to know he is sleeping and healthy and not in need. When do those needs as a mother end? at what point do you decide that it is OK to let your child begin to fend for themselves? I think even in when your child goes away to college you will want these same feedback mechanisms, to know they are OK, to know they are sleeping, to know they are well. I kept waiting for a sign to know I could let go of the monitor, but now I realize it is a wait for something that will not come. A wait for a moment that never arrives, no matter how grown-up they become...

As mothers, we always, always want the best for our children. We want to keep them safe, we want to meet their needs. They may need us less, but we never stop wanting to care for them and make everything OK.

I sat there tonight in bed thinking about how my son now wakes up in the morning, comfortable and well-rested. He sleeps through the night, he can soothe himself to sleep. He, most of the time,no longer needs us during the middle of the night at all (thank goodness!) He plays in his room until the sun comes up and we go into his room to meet him. He is blissfully unaware that we watch over him, that we hear him. Yet, I think that he knows it all the same. And that it helps him to feel safe and secure, I know that it helps me feel secure, when I wake in the middle of the night. To be able to hear my son breathing and dreaming. It gives me peace. So I guess I will continue with this unnecessary practice, at least for now. Until I decide I am ready to move on, and to let go of this attachment of closeness. For raising a child is a constant meditation of letting go, a continual balance of holding close, being fully invested, and yet being able to separate and release. The baby monitor is my nightly reminder of this ritual and this balance of closeness and separation that evolves and yet defines this relationship of parent and child.

Posted by globalmomma 11:22

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