This isn't another article about your choice of sleep training method. Whether you cry it out or cuddle it out, swaddle or no swaddle, co-sleep or no co-sleep, this article is not to judge the way you choose to raise your children as they are just that, your children. Only you know what is best for them and your family. Instead, this is just an insight into something all of us struggle with sometimes.
I've read my fair share of "sleep baby" books, blogs, articles and advice from fellow parents. My daughter seems to think those are a waste of time as she has her own thoughts on sleeping, or lack thereof. My daughter is a fighter some days when it comes to sleep. She can be an absolute bear.
I found my mind wandering as I was rocking her to sleep the other day. This has been the usual run of the mill, get Bee to sleep deal lately. I kept telling her to "just go to sleep, you are tired, close your eyes it's that easy," as I rocked back and forth, back and forth and after 45 minutes the light bulb turned on. Here I was telling my daughter to just go to sleep, close your eyes, it's that easy and I caught myself in a lie.
We expect our children to be easy sleepers. We expect them to lay down, close their eyes and go to sleep. We get angry when they don't, we get angry when they get up to play or get a drink or even want some snuggles. We do not allow them to lay awake or comfort them into la la land but yet as adults, how many of us can say that it truly is that easy? I know for many it's not.
Personally there are times when I lay down to sleep and my mind wakes up. I start to wonder about everything. There are times I lay down and I start to feel ill. Sometimes I get too cold or too hot. Sometimes I need to go to the bathroom. Sometimes even though I just had a snack I need to get up and eat something else or get a drink. Sometimes I just need to feel comfortable. Sometimes I feel alone and scared.
I do what I have to, to comfort myself yet I tell my daughter that it's "just as easy as closing your eyes and going to sleep" when in reality as adults we struggle with going to sleep and I don't know why we expect anything different for our children. Is it because it's an inconvenience to sit with our children and read them a book? Is it because you have a TV show to watch and your child not sleeping is keeping you from watching it? Is it because you have nine million things to do and you don't have 10-15 minutes to lay with your child and see that they feel comfortable enough to close their eyes and fall asleep?
As parents sometimes our priorities are not where they truly should be. We overload our schedules with so many things yet we never overload them with what is truly important. Our children deserve more. Our children deserve to be comforted into la la land like we do ourselves. Now when I sit and rock my daughter for 45 minutes I take the time to look at her, stare at her beauty and recognize the miracle I have created. Sure, I have floors that need to be washed, dishes that need to be out away, laundry that needs to go into the dryer, blogs that need to be updated, meals to cook, etc., but more important than all of that is my daughter's need to feel safe and secure.
I have come to realize that my daughter is a tiny human being. She is new to this world and has no idea how anything works. She gets scared and needs help navigating through life. Even as adults we sleep better with someone next to us, I know at least I do. For most of us we have significant others and some even have lots of pets. We have the need to be around other human beings and we should expect no less from our children. So next time you are cursing your child to sleep just remember, sometimes it's not as easy as just closing your eyes and going to sleep. Take time to comfort your child.