Sleep = Judgement.

As a mom, I have come to question why sleep equals good parenting.

Why do people so often meet a new baby and immediately ask, “Is he/she sleeping through the night yet?”  I can’t count the number of times I fielded that question before Ronan was two months old.  I didn’t even hope that he would be sleeping full nights at that point, I was surprised other people thought he should be.

See, for me, sleep is something kids need help to learn to do.  And parenting a child to sleep isn’t all that terrible.  Yeah, getting up at night really sucks, but what part of being a mom is about making MY life easier?

To get back to my point.  I hate the fact that so many people associate whether or not a child sleeps with the quality of parenting.  I want to take a stand here, because I have a beautiful, happy, healthy little boy.  He’s sweet, and funny, well behaved, smart, and growing like a weed.  By all accounts, he’s wonderful.  My friends love him, my family loves him, my sitter loves him… even when he was in daycare, they were constantly telling us what a good boy he is.


He doesn’t sleep.  And therefore, my parenting skills are suspect.  I must be doing SOMETHING wrong, and so I am probably doing EVERYTHING wrong.

You know what makes me feel better?  The friends that I have that ALSO didn’t listen to convention that have three and four year olds that still wake in the night.  The parents that DID cry-it-out and still have trouble getting kids to sleep sometimes.  Sleep is not easy, and there is no quick fix it… not one that I’m willing to employ, anyways.

My problem, and all of my complaints about Ronan’s sleep have never had anything to do with the fact that he would wake at night.  It has always been about the WAY he would wake up, and how he seemed to be in such terrible pain.  Ronan has been on Prevacid for over a month now, and the night wakings that included screaming have stopped COMPLETELY.  Sure, he still wakes up.  But he wakes up, and rolls around a bit, and can be put back to sleep.  That is all I’ve ever wanted.

This blog is all disjointed and has no flow because I just got up from my two midnight shifts.  My brain hasn’t officially moved back into gear yet.  But really, here’s what I want to say:

If your baby sleeps through the night, it doesn’t make you an amazing parent.  I don’t think more highly of you simply because you get sleep.  I think you probably lie about the amount of sleep you get because you think you should.

If your baby does NOT sleep through the night, it doesn’t make you a horrible parent.  You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to lie about sleeping habits to impress people.

  • Janus

    I think I know what the problem is. Ronan is afraid that he is going to miss something if he goes to sleep, or stays asleep. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, he’s wondering, “Hey! What’s goin on out there?”
    .-= Janus´s last blog ..I Distinctly Said Beef . . . =-.

  • Brock

    I honestly think he gets it from me. To this day I hate going to sleep. Even if I am dead tiered I would rather stay up.

    It’s the way I am and always have been :/

    • Mandy

      … I wonder if it’s because you were left to cry yourself to sleep as an infant.


      (Of course I’m just kidding. Mostly.)

  • Cate

    I’m totally with you! Our daughter was a fantastic sleeper for the first few months. Lately, she’s been a terrible sleeper. Nothing has changed about our parenting. We weren’t doing anything “right” before, and we’re not doing anything “wrong” now.

    I think people are too quick to put kids (and parents) in boxes.
    .-= Cate´s last blog ..Ask me anything! =-.

  • freckletree.

    you know where i am here. don’t completely judge something that worked for us right? it obviously isn’t right for your family. it was no prob for us and we really didn’t feel like we had a choice. i don’t regret a minute of it. but i don’t think less of you or ronan that things are different for you. you have a baby that reaches out to kiss little sleepy girls. i have a little sleepy girl that is already fighting kisses. everyone is different. i am sorry that you don’t get a full night’s rest– but i also know that loving a baby in the middle of the night isn’t the worst thing that a mommy could do.

    just remember that letting a baby cry doesn’t mean that you are bad, if that’s what worked for your family– you wrote the post yourself.

    i love you.

    and i WILL kill for you.

    .-= freckletree.´s last blog ..inspirational figures in my life. =-.

    • Mandy

      Woah. I totally had to re-read my post and make sure I didn’t say anything horrific. Because you KNOW I love you, and you know that I don’t think you are awful for anything you’ve done with your girls.

      I think you are an amazing mom BECAUSE you are an AMAZING MOM, not just cause you have amazing sleeping babies. I’m super sorry if it came across as judging you or any other mommy that has. I didn’t mean it like that. :/

      You are not bad, and I’m am terribly jealous of your sleep. And this is the most amazing line ever: “but i also know that loving a baby in the middle of the night isn’t the worst thing that a mommy could do.”

      Sorry I came across more bitchy than I meant to. My bad. :(

  • Tiffany

    Ive gone through the same thing with all 3 kids, and its very up and down. But kids also will start not sleeping fr certain reasons. teething, growth spirt whatever. but i did learn that a child will start waking up when they go through a faze or a change. I you pay really close attention like for example leland started waking up the night for a few weeks and i tied everything to change it and nothing worked then he started walking and after he started he started sleeping normally again it was weird.

  • Kristie

    Brooklyn sleeps through the night and has since she was around 3 months old.
    I do not think I’m an amazing parent tho, and I do not lie about how much sleep she gets either. Why would I? She sleeps 12hrs a night, plain and simple. Nothing else to it.
    I hope you and Ronan can get his sleep issues dealt with soon :)
    .-= Kristie´s last blog ..Sweet Baby "G" =-.

  • Mandy

    Oh Kristie… you are an amazing parent for FAR more than just her sleeping habits. I promise you that! You got lucky… and I know you know how hard it is when something happens and she STOPS sleeping through without waking.

    We’re okay with Ronan’s sleep, now that he doesn’t scream at night. I can deal with the wake ups, I just couldn’t deal with knowing something was wrong, and being unable to figure out what it is. We’re in bed for 12 hours a night, now… if not sleeping the whole time. That’s okay with me. :)

  • Holly

    You said it makes you feel better so I will say it again …

    Kai will be 4 in May and STILL comes to our bed 96% of the time at some point during the night. (We even moved out room upstairs and he still finds us!)
    I thought he came to breast feed but we cut that out almost a year ago and he continues to come.
    Luckily, he barely wakes me up and I cherish the cuddle time. Scott on the other hand usually has to deal with his kicking feet while I get hugs and kisses 😉

    Our solution: currently Scott is building a King size bed

    • Mandy

      Holly… can you please move somewhere closer to me? I’m pretty sure I need a friend as awesome as you are.

      You ALWAYS make me feel better, and you always make me laugh. People act like it’s outrageous that I sleep with Ronan, but you are TOTALLY right, I absolutely cherish the cuddles. And he wakes up SO happy. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

      I’m lucky… we have a king sized bed… Brock insisted when we were shopping and I’m glad I gave in. You will LOVE it!

      Thanks again. <3

  • Supa Beff

    don’t hate me because my baby sleeps thru the night…because he didn’t always, and besides, teenager’s do that. sleep, i mean. they are sleepin MACHINE’s!

    it’s all about the molars, when those sucker’s are all in, he’ll sleep thru the night…well, that’s what The Scallywagga did, anyways….he was 2 1/2 then tho….ya, it’s so in the past and i finally forgive him!