Here’s another entry in the LMaF Blog Carnival! When you’re done reading mine (if you’re not too depressed), click the link at the bottom to get others’ takes on the theme. This week’s entry is on disappointment.
This is actually pretty timely as I was all ready to write up a post about my disappointment in myself. Pre-Monkey, I was always extremely patient and able to put aside frustration or anger in order to get through a situation. I am surprised and unhappy with how little patience I have lately with my own child. I am not dealing well at all with losing so much sleep. The last week has been exceptionally bad in terms of lack of sleep. I think Monkey is on the verge of a talking breakthrough and is experiencing a major sleep regression. His sleep has never been good (as long-time readers of this blog are aware), but every now and then, we descend into truly horrendous nighttime conditions. I haven’t had more than 5 hours of interrupted sleep a night for many nights in a row now. Monkey is tired and crabby and tantrum-y. Mama and Mommy are the same. We have been sniping at each other for the last couple of days – yesterday there were tears.
Now, I would NEVER hit or yell at Monkey and try to follow an attached parenting style, but I find that sometimes I’m a little rougher physically or verbally than I feel I would be if I were well-rested. I squeeze him a bit tighter, rock him a bit harder, and/or talk through clenched teeth when he refuses to go to sleep and I am fall-down tired. I know I’m not physically hurting him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it scares him a bit and that just breaks my heart. Whenever it happens, I feel horrible and tell myself, “Never again.” But when it’s 3AM and I’m walking the floor with him for the fifth time that night (or nursing him for the millionth time), I just can’t seem to control myself. I have a lot of help from DW – we switch off and she does a ton. I am just surprised and really upset that my way of dealing with sleep deprivation is to feel rage and want to lash out. That is so not me and it is certainly not the way I want my baby to perceive me. I would be devastated if he ever felt afraid of me. For the record, I have not seen this in him ever, but like I said, I sometimes frighten myself in my reactions so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did feel that I was on the brink of losing control.
I find myself thinking that I may need to do what I have committed myself not to do: sleep training and/or night-weaning. He gets such comfort and is so sweet about nursing that it really hurts me to think about taking it away from him. We both worked so hard for this BFing relationship and he still feels like such a baby. It makes me teary to think of it – I’d really like for him to initiate weaning. I don’t truly believe that is ever going to happen, though.
In terms of sleep training, I just don’t believe in it. I’d never let an adult or older child cry themselves to sleep if I could be of some comfort to him/her, so why would I let my little baby? Since I don’t feel it’s the right thing for our family (and DW agrees), I doubt I’d be successful in even trying it. I think (no, I know) I’d be in that room within 5 minutes of crying. It’s especially difficult to think of when his initial bedtime is generally no big deal. He usually nurses for about 5 minutes, then I walk him around singing for about 10-15 minutes, and he’s out. No crying, no fuss, no upset. It’s the middle of the night and super early wakeups that are the problem. NOTE: I do not condemn others who choose to CIO. Your child, your family, your decision. We all make decisions that we feel are in our family’s best interest and I would never presume to tell someone else how to raise their child.
I feel I should also note that I did (and possibly still do?) have some PPD and am on a low dose of medication. I take half of what I would normally take since I’m still BFing.
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