When my daughter was born I fell instantly in love. There are no words adequate for the instant bond I felt. I held her constantly, let her sleep on my chest, I rocked her and nursed her to sleep, picked her up the second she began to cry, etc. I had friends tell me to put her down or she'd get spoiled, they told me to put her in her crib or she'll never sleep alone. They told me to put her to bed when she was awake or she wouldn't learn to fall asleep, and they told me to let her cry it out. I didn't listen.
When my son came along almost two years later I did the exact same thing and those same friends gave the same "advice" and again I didn't listen. And you know what? I am soooooo glad I didn't. My children are independent, they sleep in their beds, they go to sleep without having to be rocked or nursed, they aren't cry babies and they aren't spoiled because of being held too much.
My children still love to cuddle, they still like me to read and sing to them before they go to sleep. They still ask me to hold them and comfort them and I do all these things willingly and eagerly. I do them because I know there is going to come a day when they will just wander up to their rooms and go to bed. I do them now because I know there will come a day when they won't want me to hug and kiss them and shower them with affection. I do these things now and savor them because in the not too distant future my children won't want or need them done and I will miss doing them.
Time goes by so quickly. Anyone with children can attest to that. I am glad I ignored all the naysayers and did what my gut and intuition led me to do. I have precious memories of my children and wonderful moments that I will forever remember that I wouldn't have if I wouldn't have rocked them to sleep, let them sleep on my chest, or nurse them to sleep. For instance I wouldn't know that my son rubs my face in his sleep when he sleeps on my chest. I wouldn't know that my daughter whispered "mama" over and over again as I rocked her to sleep as a baby. I wouldn't know that my son clasps and folds his hands over and over again as he nurses to sleep. I also know that because both of my children were comforted and given an abundance of security as young children they now have the confidence and security to fall down, get hurt, get back up and not expect hysterics on my part or my husband's. They know they are okay and they know that if they weren't I would be right there to comfort them.
I think a parent's bond with his/her child is an amazing thing. It's hard to describe and hard to imagine ever feeling that way until you become a parent. Then you can't imagine ever not feeling this way. I know some amazing women who happen to be amazing mothers and we all do what we think and/or know is best for our children and I think that is simply beautiful.