How did I manage to miss that this was such a big thing in the world?
I fear that this blog that was supposed to be about me wrestling with the divine has quickly become a place where I’m dumbfounded on how people treat parents.
I have been having trouble putting words to my experiences the last month, but time doesn’t seem to be helping.
I knew it was coming. I expected it around preschool when on the playground another mom or dad would make me feel bad that while Bennie was currently licking the swing-set, their young prodigy was already playing at Carnegie Hall.
I have been getting it from all directions.
My husband’s co-workers? Check.
One of my students? Check.
Two of my professors? Check.
Even just yesterday, I was walking the dog with the baby when a neighbor a few doors down introduced herself to me for the first time. Was this a good time to let me know how much she disapproves of me? Apparently.
This has quickly replaced the topic of graduation as my most dreaded conversation topic…
Baby sleep. Parent sleep. Sleep.
How did I not know that this should be included in the list of politics, religion, and money as things you should never discuss with people?
Do I wish he was a unicorn baby that slept 12 hours straight after I put him in his crib awake? Of course. I also want to have a supermodel’s body. What’s your point?
“But he’s almost 6 months old!!!”
Exactly. He is barely 6 months old. He can’t even sit up unsupported.
My child, who can’t sit by himself yet and who in the last few weeks really realized that his feet and hands were a thing has not learned to put himself to sleep and stay asleep for more than a 5 or 6 hour stretch of time (high five to myself for even that).
I can barely do that and I’m an adult.
It hasn’t all been bad though. I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t want to hear what others have learned during their own sleep battles.
I’ve got a few moms and dads out there who have offered us advice with no judgment. I appreciate the conversation and crave it. I like hearing what worked for others and seeing if it can work for us too. This is how I thought a parenting community would work. Especially in the beginning stages.
And it does sometimes! I think you non-judgmental parents who have helped us out know who you are!
I spend a CRAZY amount of time researching sleeping habits of babies and sleep regressions and sleep training methods. But sometimes we as a family decide that we would rather try something else, because this. specific. baby that we have isn’t responding well.
Of course, this isn’t apparently a solid argument. Two weeks ago when I tried it out I heard, “Is it what’s best for the baby or what’s best for the mommy?”
I would get it if people thought I might cause harm, but are we? Are we really hurting him if his crib is in our room until he makes it through the night consistently?
I don’t have a conclusion or a cute ending.
I’m still trying to work through what it means that once you have a baby you become public property – and most people don’t seem to like what they see.
This is hard all on its own. I don’t know why some people want to make it worse.
((This is the boring part where I give credit to these gifs so that I don’t get sued. Ignore this part. These were all found on Giphy.com. In order of appearance: cytoblr.tumblr.com; iamaf-ckinglady.tumblr.com; oneonlychancee.tumblr.com; wifflegif.com; minddribble.tumblr.com; sonychacha.tumblr.com; popkey.co; wifflegif.com))