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.