Graduating to Sanity!
Typically, we think of "commencement" as the end of something, as we see it at graduations and such. But really, it means to BEGIN.
This weekend, I feel like we began the life that everyone talks about when they say how great having kids is, and how blessed they are, and how they can't believe how much they love their kids. Don't get me wrong, I've always loved Joseph, but mostly when people asked me how I liked being a mom, I answered with something like "It's really hard", or "Nobody tells you the real truth about parenting", or "It's about 95% drudgery and 5% joy" or my favorite of late when being asked when we were going for #2 "Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me". Sure, we had some great moments during each day where I was just happy, yet mostly it was a happy, BUT...
Have I bummed you out yet or made you think I'm depressed (I am - but that was another post)? Well, the reason I'm bringing this up is because we have crossed over to the promised land of parenting! What caused this, do you ask? SLEEP
Glorious, uninterrupted sleep.
This is probably the most difficult post I've written since I wrote my birth story. Sleep has been our Achilles Heel for the better part of 18 months, yet I was (almost) always adamant that we would not leave Joseph to cry on his own in a crib. Last week I decided to read the Ferber book and see what I thought. Although there was a LOT that I disagreed with in the book, I was ready to try and separate nursing and sleeping for my almost-18mo-old, so we started there. I warned T.J. that it might take weeks to "fix" and to get ready for rough nights. He pointed out that that's all we have anyway, so what the hell. Good point.
Saturday night, we mixed the routine up for the first time. We went with bath, nurse, toothbrushing, and book (vs saving nursing to sleep for last). Then I put him in the crib, told him to lie down and that I loved him, and I left. Let's just say he was a bit stunned! But he cried for TWO minutes, and laid down and fell asleep and didn't wake up till 5am. Since then he has stopped crying at night and today he didn't cry for his nap. We've only ever had to go back in 2 times for the first nap and once that first morning. Last night he slept from 7:45 pm to 7:15 am. Even more than that, he woke up this morning CHATTING to his crib toys. My son, the one who ALWAYS has woken up screaming.
So I set out to "Ferberize" but didn't even really get the chance!
I know what you are thinking - SHE IS AN IDIOT! Why didn't she do this months (a year) ago??? I was thinking the same thing, which is why it's taken me forever to write this. But I realized yesterday that THIS was the right time for us. We've let Joseph cry before - up to 15min alone and over TWO HOURS with me in the room with him so he knew I was there and safe. He simply was not ready for this before. We tried to do Jay Gordon's night weaning program with no success twice in the last 4 months.
I truly believe that he has finally learned that even when we aren't physically present, they are still there if he needs us. TRUST - the lynch pin of attachment parenting. Woo hoo!
This is the best I've ever felt while being a mom - the most I've enjoyed Joseph, the most I've enjoyed doing things with him, looking at him, playing with him, teaching him. It's turning me into the parent I've been struggling to be for 18 months. And it's only been 5 days.
I'm so excited to say that being a parent is the best thing ever and my heart is bursting just thinking about Joseph!