Are You Sick of Me Talking About Sleep Yet? It’s That or Poop, You Pick.

this just sucks. i have an intense visceral response to my crying child and yet i have determined to let him cry himself to sleep.

for his own good. for all our good. so that he can get to and stay asleep and then sleep deeply for lengthy periods of time. the tiny brain needs sleep to grow. he’s not being traumatized by feelings of abandonment. we are not creating a serial killer in the 12 minutes we let pass between visits to his room to calm him down and reassure him we’re still here.

i just keep telling myself that.

but here we are, on night #4 and we are 28 minutes into snotty tearful crib gymnastics.

my resolution has failed me a few times, but overall, we’ve stayed the course. i’m just so hoping it’s worth it. because this is brutal.

church helped yesterday. the message was exactly what i needed to hear. it was all about parents’ duty to their children. parents have this forceful, almost ravenous love for their kids and we want to pile it on them, throw it over them and keep them safe always in it, but we can’t. our job is to prepare them for life. to be on their own, independent and self-sufficient. as our very keen speaker said, ‘if we do our jobs right by training our children to not need us, we’ll put ourselves out of work.’

it feels self-less but it’s actually self-ish to keep them dependent on us. we feel needed and important but then they feel uncertain and weak.

but that’s so much easier to comprehend than it is to execute.

each decision to let them do something difficult on their own, to let them learn painful lessons without cushioning their fall is so hard.

and we’re only 8 months in!!

i’ve been writing these last few minutes in silence since henry finally fell asleep. on his tummy, sideways at the bottom of his crib, but asleep none the less. and when i righted him and moved everything around just now, he didn’t wake at all. 🙂

dear God,

please show me how to be a parent, since You’re very good at it. i always know that You’re here, but You let me make my own decisions and learn my own lessons. you always ALWAYS hold me when i’m hurting and reassure me when i’ve totally blown it.

like that, i want henry to be confident in venturing out into the world, but to always ALWAYS know that my arms are ready. thank you so much for the blessing of having any of these ‘problems’ at all! thank you so much for this tiny perfect critter you put into our care. please keep him safe and strong and help us to do right by him every day. and if you help him learn how to sleep consistently through the night, that would be groovy, too. but if not, that’s cool, too. we’ll just keep trying. 🙂

amen

Comments

  1. Carol

    John and I are reading this book called "Sacred Parenting" by Gary Thomas which I would really recommend (well the first two chapters at least) :). He writes "Out of love for our children we must become strong enough spiritually to watch them hurt, to see them become disappointed, to hear their cries. Otherwise we risk raising safe and compliant kids with an empty core." Yipes! It's challenging to think how God will use our kids to shape us. Frightening, really – in a good way.

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