“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.”
— Leo J. Burke.
I know it’s probably the most common complaint from moms, but I am tired! The thing is, although I have 3 kids it’s sorta a new thing for me. I actually used to be one of those moms that bragged about how well my kids slept and how much sleep I got. Basically, I had the poster child for sleep training and I was the poster mom! That was up until a few weeks ago. My darling Anna, she is my middle child and will be two in a couple months, has decided she prefers not to sleep alone. She used to be a dream to put to bed whether it was for a nap or for the night. I would pick her up, give her a cuddle, place her down and walk away. Seriously, it was that easy.
When I had my third, Anna was 15 months old and still in her crib. I didn’t really want to buy a new crib and figured I would keep the new baby in a bassinet in my room and when he was ready for the crib then Anna would move into a big girl bed.
Things went as planned! At about 3 months we moved Wesley to the crib and Anna loved her bed. As I hoped, it was just as easy to put her down for the night.
Oh how times have changed. And to be honest,I am not really sure what to do about it.
When she wakes up in the night all I hear is Mama! over and over again. Or worse she is yelling it in my ear at the side if my bed. Now part me, the part that really loves to sleep, knows it would be easier to let her crawl into my bed and go back to sleep or I could cuddle up with her in her bed. Co-sleeping and family beds might work for some people, but it’s just not my thing. I could let her cry it out and fall back asleep but if it goes on too long then the other 2 children wake up and then I have 3 awake babes.
What I did last night was sit on the edge of bed, which seemed to be good enough for her, and listen for that ever so slight change in breathing that signalled she fell back asleep. Just as I stood up thinking Job well done mama, Anna shot up like a jack-in-box and yelled No way!
After a couple more attempts , I finally just left, closed her door and hoped for the best. She did cry it out, but only for a couple minutes and thankfully the other 2 stayed asleep. If it happens again tonight, which I am pretty sure it will, I will let her cry for a few minutes and hope once again the other sleep through it.
I really thought once they were “sleep trained” that would be it. I was wrong.
I do have more sympathy for those mothers whose children have kept them up since day one. I will no longer take for granted those undisturbed hours of sleep I do get and I hope those hours of sleep lost by not letting her sleep with me do pay off in the long run.
That’s just the way it is with kids, once you think you might have things figured out, they throw you a curve ball and remind you that parenting is a dynamic process that keeps you on your toes or up at night.