Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. Don't enjoy. Strongly dislike. Pretty much despise. You get the idea.
It seems like such an essential part of motherhood, right? It's such a classic image: a mother, swaying gently with a sleepy, softly swaddled baby.
It's just not for me.
I've never really enjoyed it. Even when the twins were born...I liked snuggling them, holding them, and being close to them in general, but once it was time for them to sleep? NO THANKS. Probably because, especially as a stay-at-home mom, I was just with them already so dang much. I've been with you all day/morning/afternoon/whatever. So when it's time to go to sleep, c'mon guys, just CLOSE YOUR EYES and GO TO SLEEP. Maybe it was because the twins weren't particularly good sleepers, anyway. I spent countless hours and logged who-even-knows how many miles pacing around our tiny apartment each and every day (and night), fighting for just about every. single. ounce. of sleep. The carpet was surely worn out in a couple of frequently-trodden paths. I feel like I've done my time, y'know?
That's not to say I always hate it. Sometimes I enjoy it. Like when it goes the way I think it should. Y'know, where within the first 30 seconds or so the eyes are fluttering, the breathing is slowing, and it won't take much more than another minute or so before they're fully out and I'm free. I'm sure when I'm a blue-haired old lady I'll miss and reminisce about rocking babies to sleep. Or maybe I'll remember all of this with a clear head. But by then I'll be well out of the weeds of rocking babies to sleep all day every day. Right now it's more like I enjoy - I mean REALLY ENJOY doing it - maybe once every couple of weeks or so. The rest of the time? Eh. I could pass.
I used to beat myself up about it a little bit. What's wrong with you? Don't you have a heart? Who doesn't enjoy rocking babies - especially their own babies! - to sleep?!? You monster! This is what motherhood is all about!
Nope, Mr. Big Eyes, I don't usually want to rock even you. You're cute, though.
I finally had to realize and admit that, rocking babies to sleep? It's just not my jam.
I don't know. I don't think it's so essential anymore. To enjoy it, I mean. I still do it. It's not like I really have a choice in the matter. (Though admittedly it's not so super frequently anymore. Mega high-fives to super-sleeper Nolan.) (Dear Nolan: DO NOT MAKE ME SPEAK TOO SOON.) I don't have to enjoy or ooze love for every. single. moment. of motherhood (we can also add diffusing a toddler tantrum, cleaning up, yet again, from another messily-eaten meal or snack, and dealing with a diaper explosion of any sort to the list of I-could-totally-do-without-it moments of motherhood).
I'm good at other things. In fact, I'm downright phenomenal at other things. I know people that don't like reading to their kids. I would read aloud to my kids, and your kids, and all the kids, all the live-long day, if they'd let me. Art with toddlers? Bring it. Constructing towers and houses and castles out of all different types of blocks? And then having you knock it down and building it up again? Playing choo-choos and creating elaborate tracks? Getting three small kids and myself up, fed, dressed, and out the door before 9 am? I am your GIRL.
I enjoy all of those things, and more. I'm good at them. I like doing them. Even the getting out the door in the morning.
I'd just really rather not rock them to sleep.