We haven’t taken the plunge into sleep training Miss E, and the more I think about it, the more I feel like we won’t. I’m paranoid about compromising my supply (she still wakes very hungry twice a night to nurse), and she’s not a bad sleeper, generally. She goes down for naps without too much fuss, and usually right back to sleep after she nurses at night.
But honestly, I’m a wimp. And I feel like I should take advantage of the fact that we don’t have to sleep train her before she’s ready to sleep through the night on her own. I work mostly from home, which means I don’t usually have to be somewhere in the morning, and can share her long morning nap with her if I’m really feeling like a zombie.
But whether you choose to sleep train or not (and it’s a question we all must tackle, and often in the bleary-eyed wee hours of the morning), I was really moved by this piece. Namely, the writer’s sentiment that “when we sign up for parenthood, we don’t expect to be excused from our responsibility to our children between the hours of 7pm and 7am.” The things is, none of the fabulous mamas I know aren’t present for their children when they’re sleep training. They’re toughing it out in the next room and maybe crying themselves.
I don’t think any parent should feel guilty for the very few times we can choose self-care over infant care. A mom or dad who is putting in forty plus hours a week at work and getting up several times a night isn’t being the best parent they can be. I know the nights that Miss E has really run me ragged, I end up lying on the couch the next morning in my pajamas, hardly able to turn the pages of one of her fuzzy cloth books and hoping she’ll go down for an early nap. Not some of my best moments. But I’m doing what works for us right now, and that’s ultimately what every parent has to do.
We all have to make such hard choices, I just can’t see the point in being hard on each other, too.