Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's all about perspective

[Note: I am not looking for solutions with this post - just sharing my experience with this part of parenting. Please refrain from suggesting we let him cry.]

Parenting is such a funny thing. One day, you'll be practically frantic trying to figure out an answer for something. The next, you have accepted it and moved on. Rinse and repeat over and over, and you have the last seven months of our life!

Lately, my obsession - and everyone else's - has been Joseph's sleep (or lack thereof). It's all anyone asks about, it seems. "How does he sleep?" About as well as we expect "Is he sleeping through the night?" Bwahahaha! "are YOU sleeping through the night?" Are you crazy? "How long will you let him sleep with you?" I don't know... Notre Dame has single sex dorms, so he'll have to leave my bed eventually.

When we were traveling, Joseph started waking up with increasing frequency. To the point that he was up 20+ times one night. That's not a typo or an exaggeration. We survive because he sleeps with us, so we don't "get up" with him in the traditional sense. I do wake up, and I do nurse him the majority of the night on bad nights. It's tiring, but not bone-numbingly so. He's going through a whole lot of emotional, cognitive, and physical changes right now so he needs us at night more than ever. And I'm OK with that. Really!

So what's the problem? Mostly I'd just like a little space to myself! I've found myself staying up until all hours of the morning (2am last night) and I think a lot of it has to do with not wanting to go to bed and be back "on the clock" even in my sleep!

The solution? I haven't found one, though I have 5 books on my side table to read on the issue. I finished one called "Good Nights" and it was just what I needed last week. A reaffirmation that we're doing the right thing and that it won't last forever! Sometimes that's all I need, I think. Then other times, I think I need to figure out how to get him to sleep without me! I vacillate, which is normal, I'm sure.

So, if you don't want to cry it out, and you co-sleep, I urge you to pick up this book. It's a nice and gentle reminder of why we torture ourselves so, and good fodder for critics, if needed! Highly recommend - it really rejuvenated my will to "go with the flow".

And now, I'm going to bed. Hopefully I'm not sleepy because this is such a boring topic!


Kim October 29, 2009 at 7:07 AM  

You will get through it and forget what it was like to be so sleepless! I remind myself that we don't expect babies to eat on their own, change their own diapers, play by themselves-- so why do we expect them to be able to sleep through the night by themselves?

kati_girl October 29, 2009 at 8:50 AM  

I'm so glad you read Good Nights - such a fantastic book! And for us, although I know every baby is different, nine months was another positive turning point in her sleeping habits.

And if it's any consolation, or further depression!, even at 13 months, she's still up about twice a night!

Lauren October 29, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

Thanks for this post! I'm going to look for this book soon.

shannon October 29, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

The same sex dorm comment cracks me up! The no-cry sleep solution is also fab when ever you are ready to stop cosleeping. We coslept for 2.5 years!

Charlotte October 29, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Thanks for the book recommendation! I need some reassurance because I too nurse a little one all.night.long.

Patricia October 30, 2009 at 12:48 AM  

Thanks for mentioning the book. I also nurse a little one all night long. He's 4 1/2 months, and people tell me all.the.time about how their children slept through the night at 3 months, and how I better break my son from needing to be in bed with me to sleep, and how he'll sleep with us for years if we don't get him to sleep in his own crib, etc. etc. I just smile and nod. Not worth my energy to argue, I suppose.

Besides, one day he'll be a big boy and he won't want me around as much, and he'll hate when I kiss and hug and snuggle him, and he'll try to act like he doesn't need me as much. So I'm trying to enjoy it for now. One day, this will all be a distant memory.

I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the other books you're planning to read on this subject.

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