Posted by: Shireen | January 14, 2011

Grey.

I know…I promised to write everyday til the end of the year and then I didn’t!  Well, I kept trying and then the posts turned out to be mega personal and while you all are my special friends, a girl has to keep some things a mystery, right?  Well, it was good for my personal growth to write it all, but not good because I didn’t post.  Oh dear.

Not to worry, I am back with something to say!!  (Warning….long, ranting and raving post)

So here we are at the 17 month mark.  And we all know that Mira doesn’t sleep.  For a few months, I tried to pretend that she did, but let’s just face it, she doesn’t.

My mommy friends and my mother have been getting frantic phone calls, emails, texts and bbms with me asking, no begging, for them to give me a solution to this problem.  F and I are going crazy with lack of sleep….it has been way too long.  And there is only so long that you can blame maddness on the baby!  So we began looking for a solution.  But I am so annoyed with the results of our search.  Basically, I found out that there are two ways of dealing with this:

1.  Sleep with her in the family bed until she on her own accord sleeps through the night.

2.  Sleep train her.  Various methods, but training in some form.

Now, those of you who know me know that I wanted to be the mother who had a baby sleep through the night in her own bed without using sleep training.  I wanted to be that mother…who could do it without sleeping with her and without making her cry.  I wanted there to be a way to do that.

I HATE the idea of my baby crying alone in her crib.  HATE it.  But it comes to this; collapse due to lack of sleep and complete exhaustion or find a way to end the night wakings 4 or 5 times a night.

What annoys me is this.  With all the knowledge and “experts” on babies in the world, they still all fit in to two groups.  The Dr Sears/Attachement Parenting experts, and the Gina Ford/Sleep Training type experts. They are on two opposite sides of the spectrum, for goodness sake.  Let me just add that Dr Sears has 8 children and Gina Ford has none!  Hellooooo, how extreme can you get?

Where are the Inbetweeners!?  Where are the experts who really understand that parenting doesn’t fit into these two categories?  Because pretty much all the parents I know are inbetween the two camps and never follow any school of thought exactly to the T, so why are the experts so extreme?  I know The Baby Whisperer is awesome…we love her.  But even though we followed all her advise, we still have a little non-sleeper.

What makes me sad is that whatever side of the parenting expert spectrum that I read…they all seem to make me feel bad either for the habits that I have mistakenly taught my child by cuddling her to sleep on the one hand, or the fact that I might be unknowingly psychologically damaging my baby if I don’t co-sleep on the other.

Neither side ever reassures me maybe parenting might be a grey area inbetween all this “expert” advice.  Neither side tells me not to feel guilty that I can’t leave my baby to cry or that I did leave the baby to cry.  Who cares how we did it….we only did it because we thought it was the best thing to do (or we were walking zombies).  Where is the book that says…it’s okay, that some days in parenting are just about getting by and about taking all the advice and mixing it all around to create the perfect cocktail for your family.  And, no matter how many books I read, I am learning that Little Bee came with her own gifts….and we can’t really change that.  Some babies sleep.  Some do not.  Its not the parent’s fault.  Trust me.  I would not intentionally raise a child who wakes 4 times a night 😉

Where is that book that makes me feel brave instead of guilty for all the parenting decisions I make??? I want it.

Momma Zen:  Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood is the closest I have found to a book that says, hey, this is tough, but you are doing a great job, even if you do make a few mistakes along the way!  If you relate to this post some days, then check out that book.

So here it is:

Hello, my name is Bee.   I don’t have a parenting camp that I subscribe to. Gasp!  I just make it up, with the help and support of my amazing F, and hope that it works.  There are lots of tantrums and tears (both mine) but at the end of the day, I really hope that whatever we decide to do works because we did it out of good intention for our Little Bee.

 

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Responses

  1. best sleep book out there is healthy sleep habits, happy child. and, in my opinion, sleep training is the way to go. it worked for z anyway. it will be 2-3 days of hell, but much much better after that. but, i know every child is different and no one method works for everyone 😦 so difficult parenting can be sometimes, eh?

  2. wow! that was fast, salma! you have broken your own record of fastest to comment 😉 will get the book to add to my library. we are sleep training now….it sucks…mira can say mama and she calls us. 😦 i am glad you did it early….when they can talk it really is sucky! i really hope that it will be better in the long run. we are on day 4, so will see how it is in a few days….xoxo

  3. Hey there, It is great that you can write about this and have the peer support. You do what is best for your little person and both your sanity. All will come out in the wash and little Bee will not hold it against you, I can promise. The good experiences far outweigh the ‘supposedly bad’ ones.
    loveyou

  4. Great post and I can totally relate – we went through the exact same thing with N and it was awful. She didn’t fall asleep by herself until she was three and a half and was waking through the night all of that time. Decided with S to bite the bullet and sleep train at 6 months and it was amazing how much of a difference it made. Also did it with the help of a book – I liked Sleep Easy Solution as it pretty much held my hand through the process. It’s awful though as I know you’ve experienced made all the more horrible by Mira’s age but, if you decide it’s what you need to do, realize that it is worth it on the other side! While of course you need to do what’s best for Mira, please also don’t feel shame for doing what is right for you guys too. Happy Mommy = Happy Baby. Take care of yourself too!

  5. Big BEE, sometimes in life it doesn’t hurt to cheat being a mother and appoint hired help-night nannies. They may be expensive @ 80-110 pounds per night but within 3-4 nights of having someone else negotiate sleep with little bee in a way that you never imagined might be the big break your family needs. If anything, at least you will have caught up on your sleep within 3-4 days….lol. But I’m sure if you maintained what night nannies routine is (in little bee’s head: the aliens have took over my parents)….little bee will not mess around as much and will get straight to the point again—which is to get a good night’s sleep.
    BTW: I understand your frustration with Gina Ford but I loved her schedules and I lived by them as a guide and found it to be weighted in gold at the time I had not had enough breast milk in initial stages and also when I was ready to wean my girl onto solids after 10 months of breast-feeding. Every child is different and needs to feel special, comfortable and safe all at the same time by the ones that hatch them.
    Love your blog site!!!!x

  6. Imi – agree with you about Ms. Gina Ford….but sometimes she is so extreme. I have to admit I did find her schedules very helpful when I was so clueless about babies (I still am quite clueless, actually!) My only issue is that as a mum, I sometimes feel like the parenting books insist that we follow them to the last letter rather than providing a starting point and then encouraging a mother’s intuition. And yet at the other end of the spectrum, the experts expect us to be sleeping with our children until they are 15! What happened to our marriages?
    So much of what we do as parents with Little Bee come from the Shariffs of Priory Road 😉 You guys are fantastic parents…I want to be like you when I grow up!
    Will follow up on the night sleeping thing in another post….
    x


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