I don’t even technically believe in God, but right now I am getting pretty desperate. Consider me crispy… fried… burnt out, whatever you want to call it I am just so done. My body aches all the time, my mind is screaming, my insides feel like tar, no I am not sick or dying of some incurable disease- I live with an 8 month old baby that would like to continue running our household. When she was little I subscribed to the babyled schedule thing and the feeding on demand, but now that she is getting older and starting to get into things it has become time for discipline, it is also time for the sleep training to commence. I believe that toddlers and young children thrive on predictability and routine and since Everly has not begun to create her own, we have had to help her along. I have used some ideas from the Baby Whisperer book to assist us in this massive undertaking, and when I say massive I mean huge, like universe never ending huge. We have a stubborn baby who doesn’t know what’s good for her.
For the last week sleep has been a bit of a non issue in our house which was a blessed event. The first 3 days were a bit hard, but nothing like the first 3 days of the Sleepsense program (lethal). We started getting into a routine, I can actually guess when she is going to nap withing 20 minutes of when she actually does and she was going down easy. I remember reading in the Baby Whisperer that around 1 week there is some backsliding, um, I think we hit that tonight. As I write we are going on 3 hours of lovely, melodic crying. As I write I am fighting the urge to grab the pencils from our pen jar and stick them in my ears, piercing my ear drums and thus my ability to hear. For the first 2 hours we stayed in the room with her, using the sleep cue words and gently layed her back down on her back every time that she rolled on to her hands and knees and stood up/pulled to stand. I lost count at 100. B took the first hour, I took the second hour and then I decided that maybe it was time we all took a break from each other. Funny thing was that she didn’t cry as hard when we weren’t in the room. Here I think that she is more comforted by us in the room, but I wonder if maybe it’s more frustrating for her because we are in there and not doing anything for her except laying her back down when she pops up. I just don’t know. My intention for tonight was to hammer through the “wall” and hopefully set the precedent that no amount of hullabaloo gets you out of bed when it is time to sleep (all things considered of course- she is fed, she has a clean diaper, she is not in pain, she is safe, she is loved). You know, if I cried for almost 3 hours I would be exhausted, I don’t even know if I could cry for 3 hours to be honest- where do babies find all this energy?!
For the past week she has been going to bed around 7:30pm, then gets up at around 4:30am or so to eat and then sleeps in until 7:00am; this was a schedule that I could live with, sure it’s not pure bliss, but it’s also not bad at all for a baby of Everly’s age and I would not complain if we could continue on with it. For tonight, I know it is wishful thinking, but it would be nice if she skipped the 4:30 and went right to 7:00, considering that it is now 12:20am. In the past I would have given in at this point, but not tonight, we have come too far and all of the giving in just causes confusion and makes this last longer. I do not want Everly to be toddler/child with sleep issues, I want her to be well rested, happy and ready to face her days and learn. This means that we pave the way now and undo all of our “accidental parenting.” Tough job this parenting. Ahhh, I am just waiting for the “you are a monster email” from a disgruntled reader about this, lol.
I think that the separation anxiety contributes to my crispiness too. All day she fusses and moans and screams if she can’t see me for 10 seconds. Then when we are next to each other all she does is claw and grab and scratch and bite (another reason the discipline is starting); I feel so claustrophobic. It’s confusing to me that I could love her as much as I do, yet want to be away from her as much as I do. I have had a lot of guilt around these feelings of wanting to get away from everything. Tonight, if someone had shown up at my door with a ticket to Vegas I would have left with just the clothes on my back and no toothbrush. Yeah, I might have had regrets once the plane took off, but all I could think about while standing next to her crib was escaping. My sense is that this is normal for anyone who is experiencing challenges with their child and I don’t think that it makes you a bad parent to think that way, I think what leads you to “bad parent” territory is how you react to those thoughts and feelings. I think that the fact that you are having them means that you need to get away a little bit and I also think that you will be a better parent for respecting that need. This is just my opinion of course and I am sure there is someone out there who disagrees and thinks I am horrible for writing this (but I bet even that person who thinks I am horrible for writing this has had that thought and just didn’t admit it to anyone).
12:29am, blissful, wonderful silence… (positive though)- this will last until 7:00am…