Another thing that's hard is that a lot of my friends who have young children have decided to use one of the many types of "cry it out" (CIO) sleep training. I know the research that says excessive crying is harmful to infants doesn't definitively implicate the CIO method. However, utilizing CIO goes against my natural instincts as a mother, and I don't think it's the right choice for our family. (No judgment on families who use these techniques.) It's hard for me to be among a group of other mothers, wanting to talk about what's going on with our family, and knowing that the advice I'll get from them doesn't align with how I approach parenting. (My local attachment parenting group recently dissolved, so that monthly resource isn't available to me anymore.) PhD in Parenting wrote a post called cry it out: 10 reasons why it is not for us, and those are ten of the reasons it's not for us, either.
I get frustrated when I'm in a group of other mommas and they all seem like shiny happy people with their happy, calm babies. I want that for Daniel. I want him to feel happy and not feel like he needs to cry so much. I want it for me, too. I could really use a day when he doesn't get hysterical over something like being put down for a few minutes so I can go to the bathroom or take a shower. I also get frustrated with those mommas because I feel like they must be lying. It can't be all sunshine and rainbows for them, right? Lately, I'm finding I have little tolerance for this act from other people because it's hard for us. We're having a hard time.
|"No, Momma! I don't wanna nap!"|
I know that as Daniel gets older, the things that are challenging for us now will reveal themselves as delightful aspects of his personality. He's a wonderful person already and I'm glad I get to know him as he grows up. I can tell he doesn't much like being a baby a lot of the time. This is not his favorite phase in his life, and I can understand why. I empathize with a lot of his behaviors and the ways he has trouble with things because he's a little like me.
I've apologized to Jaymz a few times lately for whatever impact my genes have had on Daniel's current state of discontent with life. (Although, I'm well aware that his genes have had just as much of an impact—good and bad.) I will not apologize anymore, because Daniel will know that he's like me. He'll know he's like me and I don't want him to think, "Momma doesn't like those qualities in herself, so she must not like them in me." Those things aren't even true. I'm glad I'm a sensitive person. I also know it's made my life hard in some ways, and I just want Daniel's life to be easy. I want him to have an easy go of it, because I don't feel like I got that. It's hard for me to watch him struggle right now.
So for now, as we navigate this difficult period, I'm identifying with the ebb and flow concept of balance: things will get done eventually, but everything will never be done at the same time. Sometimes the laundry will be done and sometimes the kitchen will be clean enough. Some days I will go out and spend time with my friends and help Daniel through his processing time afterward. But sometimes, we're going to stay home on the couch or in bed all day, so that Daniel can get more sleep, and Momma can have a day without hearing so much screaming.
I'm not necessarily asking for any advice on this one, but please feel free to leave words of encouragement or commiseration. If you feel compelled to leave suggestions about sleep, please be respectful of our decision not to use CIO methods of sleep training. My kid cries enough already.