One of the Hardest Things…

Now that I think about it, in the scheme of life, it might not be a such a big deal, but to me right now, it is. I’ve always been a really nurturing person. When my first sister was born, I was two and my mom says she had to remind me that she was the mom. There are lots of pictures of me feeding her, etc. I started babysitting when I was 8. Kids like me. Maybe because I really like them. I guess it’s no wonder that I ended up with seven.

Anyway I digress. I am an attachment-style parent. I was before I ever took one child development class and knew what one was.. In a nutshell it means the caregiver is sensitive and reacts to an infant’s needs in order to create a bond, which leads to a feeling of security in the child. Secure children grow up to be dynamic adults. When I was 15, my baby sister was born. My mom laid her in the crib to cry herself to sleep. I couldn’t stand it and asked if I could please sit in there and stroke her forehead until she went to sleep. She told me if I did it once, I’d have to do it every time…and I did. Happily. It’s one of my favorite memories of her as a baby. I wrote an entire book at night sitting with my back to my daughter’s crib until she fell asleep each night. I do not believe you can spoil a newborn. Neither do I think you should hold a baby all the time. They do need to learn to self comfort…I just want to be near so they know they’re not alone.

So now to the title of this blog. Princess Em doesn’t sleep well. She was born not sleeping well. I’d never heard of a newborn that didn’t sleep the majority of the day. Until now. I told my husband I wouldn’t even consider letting her cry it out until she was 4 months old. She’s 4 months old. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a happy baby. A happy tired baby, but all giggles and smiles.

Don’t let the cuteness fool you, I am a zombie maker.

She is still eating every 2 hours during the day, every 2 to 3 hours at night. It generally takes me between 15 to 45 minute to fall back to sleep even if I’m exhausted. Yup, the math on that one sucks. I am sleep-deprived to the point I’m forgetting really silly, and some important, things. And I’m spending the majority of the day trying to put her down for a nap or feeding her. Did I mention the three-book contract I signed with the aggressive publishing schedule before I knew I’d be dealing with this?

So, after talking with the doctor, it was decided that she could eat every three house and she needed to cry it out. Dr assured me she would not be harmed in any way by doing so. The first night I stayed in the room with her. The doctor nixed that idea and told dad to do it. Apparently I smell like comfort. ; ) So last weekend, I slept (yay) and baby cried. Today I was supposed to let her cry it out for naptime. I was going to let her cry it out for naptime. Really I was. I still haven’t. Intellectually, I know I should and that she’ll get over it. Emotionally all I can think is she needs me.

This parenting thing is not for sissies.

So tell me, and help me feel I’m not alone, is/was there anything you struggled with as a parent?