I started writing this post a few weeks ago, but couldn't finish it because the wound was too raw. Now it's healed, scab free, and glowing! It's the best wound ever! I decided to post it now a) because I have results (wonderful results!) and b) because my cousins and some of my other friends are going through this now and I want them to have some support and know they are not alone in the Sleep Battle With Your Baby 2012: There Will Only Be One Winner - To The Pain!
As I'm typing this my baby is screaming her head off and I just stopped bawling long enough to pull myself together so I could blow my nose and distract myself with a Felicity episode. Or seven.
Nobody is hurt, everything is ok, we're just both crying because, well, because I'm a monster. At least that's what Adeline and some sort of uber-mom percentage of the population thinks.
That's right folks - we're sleep training our little sucker. Sleep training the snot out of her.
Now, I live in a very hippie-ish small town where no one (except me and my faux mother-in-law) wears make up, you can choose to cover up your breast feeding in public if you want but you don't have to, and kids are raised on soy beans and weird pastes made out of soy beans - so as you can imagine, there be some opinions up in this business. And everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have my own. And they're geared toward what I do with MY child, not what other people do with THEIR children. I have friends who do things I wouldn't do but that's because it's me, not because I think they're wrong, just because I like doing something different.
I could go on and on about equality and the right to parent how you want and blah, blah, blah but you get the point. No matter what you do they'll be talking about you in therapy in a few years anyway, may as well make the most of it!
Anyway, we made the decision to let our little chops learn to fall asleep on her own because sometimes it would take me an hour to get her down for a nap that only lasted twenty minutes. She wasn't happy and neither was I. But also, during the night she would wake up and put herself back to sleep so I knew she was already capable of doing it, so I didn't feel like I was throwing her to the wolves with no skills. She has mad skills.
Except that sometimes it feels like I'm throwing her to the wolves. And that's why I was crying. Because it hurts everything inside of me to hear her cry for even a second. But then right when I'm about to throw in the towel, give up and go get her and rock her to sleep for the next twenty years she stops crying, starts looking around her crib, and then gradually falls asleep, and (here's the best part) wakes up happy! Is totally thrilled to see me, and does not remember that an hour ago she was ready to ask to be adopted!
I still love you mama!
Another reason we decided to do it was because I couldn't really leave her with anyone except me and her dad because she's a demanding little napper-putter-downer. Like, she'll start to cry if you're rocking her wrong. That's right, ROCKING HER WRONG. Oh my gosh is she ever my daughter. I guess this is what I deserve for doing things like yelling at my mom for buttering my toast wrong.
Did I obsess about the sleep training? Uh, did Felicity ruin the show when she cut her hair?
Yeah I obsessed, and then I obsessed some more, so much so that I felt better by the time the night came because that's what I do - I OCD my ass off and then it's all good, but my neroses apparently doesn't go unnoticed, because my baby daddy was High Strung the whole night. Yes this could be because every two minutes I would say, "Ok, here's the plan. . . " and then reiterate the plan we'd had in place for months. I guess by time 907 he was sick of it.
(Seriously though. It's like an animal is on her head. Like a skunk. A skunk shaped like a curly mullet.)
So anyway, I'll let you all know how it goes, but so far despite the one bad crying sesh things have been totally great and worth it. And just so you know, I don't abandon her, I pretty much hold and rock her and smother her with kisses all day long, I just lay her down when her eyes get all droopy and sleepy cute. So far she seems relieved to be in her bed, like "Finally mom, I'm tired. Stop singing to me and put me to sleep already. Swing Low Sweet Chariot doesn't have a leprechaun in it either. Learn the words lady." I'm the one who seems to be having a harder time with it. For instance, she just went down for a nap with no protest and I'm tempted to go pick her up and hold her. Like a lunatic.
*End previously written post*
So, things are great. Really great. I'm so glad we sleep trained, she goes down no problem now for bed, like magic. So now I have time to actually talk to my boyfriend at night instead of whisper-shouting, "Quick she's asleep, get in bed and pass out now before she wakes up, EVERY SECOND COUNTS!"
There's hope all you other parents out there! Yes it's painful, but worth it. Just like how you made them babies.
(Not gonna erase it!)
(even though it's totally gonna embarrass my baby daddy)
(High School jokes FOR EVER)