Thursday, January 26, 2012

crying-it-out confessions, part one

I don't even know how to begin this post.

I guess I'll begin by being frank:  Frankly, I don't want to write this post.  For some reason, it feels way too vulnerable to me -- too much of my-mom-self out there on the internet for people to criticize.  But I cannot get it out of my head.  It's almost as if it won't let go of me until I write it -- like nothing else will come into my brain until I get this down.

It's a vulnerable post because a lot of it is admitting that I was wrong.
Because I said never.
And I'm going back on that never.
And I'm swallowing some pride because of it.

I'm convinced that every parent experiences at least one, "I said I would never do this, and then I did," with their kids (my sister-in-law wrote a post about it a couple months ago).  We always want to be the parent that would never give their kid a pacifier, that would never let them watch TV, that would never give them sugar, that would never let them cry-it-out...

...that would never let them cry-it-out...

Please, dear reader.  Be gentle with me.  I know that I am connected to many wonderful people out there in blogland that are so anti-cry-it-out (indeed, I was one of them) that I fear some sort of backlash about posting this confession.  But I must.  And so now that that whole disclaimer is out of the way...

Long before I became a mom, I had decided I would never let my baby cry his/her-self to sleep.  I knew that parents had their reasons, and I respect each loving parent's decision to know what's best for their child.  But I knew I would be that kind of a parent.  Instead, I would be the kind of parent who took their child into bed with them -- the kind of parent that would sacrifice hours of sleep to rock or walk with baby until they felt secure -- the kind of parent that would do whatever-it-took to make sure baby didn't cry.

Well.  I'm not that kind of parent.

The thing is, babygirl had always been such a good sleeper that we didn't need to do any sort of "sleep training" to get her to sleep.  She seemed to take good naps and slept well at night.  We always put her down while she was awake and only rarely would she fuss a bit to get to sleep.

All that changed a few weeks ago.  I don't need to rehash it, because you can read about it here (and a thank-you to everyone who left me such loving, encouraging comments).

The short of it is that things weren't working.  And I can't hold her every time she makes a peep at night. And the lack of sleep was making me depressed.

It wasn't a good situation.  For anyone. 

So we had to make a drastic change.

Although, the thing is... I don't think it's been all that drastic after all.  Sometimes, I think I just get myself worked up over simple decisions.  Like, I've pre-determined in my mind the things that I WON'T-EVER-NO-WAY-IN-THE-WORLD-WILL-I-EVER-WE-CAN'T-EVEN-TALK-ABOUT-THIS-THING-IT'S-SO-TABOO- do, so much so that I nearly have panic attacks just thinking about them.  But really, I've done this to myself.  There are valid reasons people make informed decisions about the way they raise their children, and the decisions are much easier to make when we (I) take the expectations away.

But more on this subject tomorrow...

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