What DIDN’T we do wrong? You know as a parent, when you see yourself making these classic parenting mistakes … and you are well aware of why you shouldn’t do what you’re doing … but you can’t seem to stop doing it?
As brand new parents, we brought my daughter home from the hospital 6 years ago, not having a clue about what to expect. Since her bedroom was upstairs, and ours was downstairs – I put her in a pack and play in our room.
See, we at least we draw some lines in the sand. We usually have a handful of things we have all planned out ahead of time, like…
- “I will not have the baby sleep in our bed”
- “I will not send the baby to sleep with a bottle”
- “I will not cater to picky eating, and prepare a separate meal for my child each night”
- “I will not be That Lady in Walmart… responding in a harried, nasty voice to my child’s repeated inquiries and/or begging in a public place”
- “I will not tolerate insubordination – the parents are going to be in charge around here”
… you know the Plans. (Did you ever vow any on that list?) All the Plans you have floating around in your head, before you actually find yourself in the real life situations, with your real life child and all their delightful characteristics and habits! Yeah.
I’d say for many of us, we end up with about a 50/50 success ratio of follow through on those initial, early dreams. I mean Plans. And I think that’s not too shabby. You quickly learn to pick your battles. And when you are drained physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially by this new little bundle of joy – you slip into survival mode. You will pretty much do whatever you need to do to get by.
Enter the poor sleeping habits of my baby boy. My daughter in no way prepared us for this challenge. As mentioned earlier, asleep in her little pack and play, she slept completely through the night by age 4 months. Aaahh, and all was right with the world. Not so with Child #2.
My son has woke up every 2 hours throughout the night since we brought him home from the hospital. (My husband was a trooper during this time – often taking a shift with a bottle in hand.) You crunch those numbers. Put him to bed at 8:30 PM. Exhausted, you crash and head to bed yourself around 9:00 PM. (Late night “me” time, what’s that?) After your brief hour to hour and a half snooze … baby wakes up at 10:30 PM. And 1:30 AM. And 3:30 AM. And lastly (this one’s the killer, after an exhausting night where you don’t feel in the slightest bit rested) at 5:30 AM – after which you lay him back down around 5:50 AM, look at your alarm clock and realize it’s 10 minutes before you need to get up and start your day. Really, what’s the point? Sigh. You get up and head to the shower.
Giddy with happiness and relief, I am finally able to report to you, after almost a year and a half of utter and complete exhaustion: for the past week straight, my baby has slept through the entire night!
Have any of you struggled through similar challenges?