Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It Won't Be Like This for Long

"One day soon that little girl will be all grown up and gone...."

I never let Jonah cry. Not when he was a little bitty baby, not when he was a little older, and not now, at the age of 2. When I first became a mom, I never told myself that I was going to parent under the "attachment parenting" lifestyle, because frankly, I had never heard of it. But as my husband and I grew as parents, we quickly discovered that there were things we (atleast I did, maybe he just agreed cuz he knew it was important to me) felt very strongly about. And letting him cry was one of them.

With all the recent (why am i fooling myself, it's not so recent) attempts and trying to make Jonah sleep by himself, alone, all through the night, it had been lying heavily on my mind and my heart that I don't want to raise Lily to be such a bad sleeper too. So, I have been trying my best to lay her down while she is still awake, but really sleepy. I am trying not to get her too dependant on rocking and bouncing to sleep. I am trying to be completely silent and uncommunicative when she wakes up at night, so she knows nighttime is NOT playtime. I am trying not to respond to her whimpering right away (of course, I do go to her when she full out cries), the thing is, I am hoping not to spoil her. And I know, I know, you can't spoil a 10 week old baby, I've heard that before.

But I am starting to realize, that by laying her down so quickly after rocking her, and not interacting with her in the middle of the night and so on, that I am missing out (and she is too!) on those special moments that I remember and cherish so much from when Jonah was just a baby. Looking into his eyes by the light of the nightlight at 2am. Feeling and seeing how content he was after getting a clean diaper and a full belly, while the rest of the world was sleeping. By hearing the precious little lullabies softly play in the background as I rocked him to sleep (and quite often fell asleep in the rocking chair with him in my arms). And how just watching him sleep in my arms was enough to bring tears to my eyes (it still does).

Those are moments I will never get back, and will forever live in my heart. I don't want to miss out on these times with Lily, because I know I may later regret trying to do things the right way for everyone else, and not the right way for us.

I guess I am scared she will become too dependent on me to fall asleep, and we will have another horrible sleeper like Jonah on our hands.

But really, is it so bad that the kids need us there? It's not like Jonah is a messed up kid. He is quite normal for a two year old, and yes, he still wakes up in the middle of the night, and yes, he still needs Mommy or Daddy (yeah, he is taking well to me again) to fall back asleep. And yeah, it sucks to get woken up every single night and to have not slept a full night in over 2 years. And yeah it is draining and tiring and exhausting.

But you know what, I'm okay with that. Because we will never get these moments back. And if it takes sleeping in bed with Jonah for a few hours a night, all wrapped up in his cuddles and getting a chance to spend that quality time making him feel safe and warm and content, then so be it. And even if it keeps Todd and I from sleeping the entire night in the same bed, that's okay. We have the rest of our lives to be together. There will come a time when the kids no longer want us around, and they'll be all grown up and gone.

And we're gonna miss this.


Astro said...

I know that it is tiring but they will slowly grow out of it. I also do not believe in letting the baby cry it out. My 2yr old still wakes up a few times a night. I have been 6yrs years without proper sleep.

Marcy said...

It is all about what YOU are ok with and what YOU want to do. Clearly there are some other hard-and-fast boundaries, but for most of these decisions we make as parents it's up to us as a family to decide what works best. We weigh the pros and cons and then act on it. There is no one clear answer for everyone.

The Rogozinski's said...

I haven't slept in the same bed as my hubby for almost 6 months (I'm currently bedsharing with my almost 10 month old). My older daughter went through a phase where she was waking every night and sometimes climbed into bed with me and my husband when she was almost 2. She's now almost 3 and sleeps quite well so keep your chin up! It will pass.

And you should definitely enjoy these early moments with your daughter. They really do go so quickly!

Together We Save said...

I think you have to do what you think is right.

I was so blessed with my first child and she slept thru the night at 8 weeks, I know it is crazy, but she did.

Then child #2 comes along and she slept thru the night around 8 mos and I had to rock her to sleep.

Then #3 she is 11 yrs old and still gets up at least once most nights. I have no idea why she just can't sleep straight thru.

I felt like I did pretty much the same thing with all 3 of my girls in terms of sleeping habits. So go with your gut your son my just not be a great sleeper.

Jennifer said...

Just because your first is a bad sleeper does not mean your second will be a bad sleeper as well. I had many of the same worries with my second child as you are having. My first coslept with us until just a few months ago (she will be four this summer. She still woke several time a night and I was exhausted just thinking about having to deal with another who would be just like her.

You know what? I did the same thing for both of them as babies (well within reason, different children so obviously some small differences in routines)and my second child slept through the night by 5 months. She always prefered sleeping on her own, fell asleep in her own crib, never ffought or fussed bed time or naps.

They are different kids, they will sleep on their own in their own time. For some it is quick and easy, and for others you fear that they will be crying for you from their college dorm room each night.

Do what you feel is right in your heart. Only change something if it is not working for you, your baby or your family. Good luck!

Mommie2be said...

beautiful blog, very touching...I completely understand what you are