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Confession: Just because they didn't "Cry It Out" doesn't mean they didn't cry

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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Confession: Just because they didn't "Cry It Out" doesn't mean they didn't cry

I think I was a little misleading in my last post about Sleep Training, or the lack thereof, in our household. My quip, "I can't listen to my cat cry without going to see what she needs, never mind my kid" makes it sound like I am Super Mama, leaping out of bed without a single peep to comfort my offspring.

It was not (and is not) easy for me to come to terms with my kids inability to stay in their frakking beds all night long. I felt like a failure when our crib sat empty in the nursery while babies #1 and #2 slept in our bedroom (by #3, we had given up all pretense and donated our crib to my sister).

And I most certainly was not the picture of tranquility as I soothed my children late at night.

Often, I was the exact opposite.

It pissed me off to be woken up again and again and again. I'd curse my sore butt from my position on the floor, by the door, reading until sleep overtook their tired bodies. I'd "shhhhhh SHHHHHHHH!" them angrily when their wails threatened to wake up the rest of the household at 3am.

Does this come with the territory? Either they cry as babies, or they cry when they are older and we've drawn that line in the sand.

I have a couple of friends who put mattresses on the floor of their bedroom and do the "family bed" quite literally. But even with our big king-size bed, we could never comfortably do the family bed with more than one child in it. You do the math: If one was in our bed, that meant there was one, usually two, children who were not sleeping with us.

And often they were pissed.

This is a big reason why the girls now share a bedroom: To keep each other company at night. Jilly is my restless one, often screaming out in the middle of the night, and Belly has taken over my role with her "It's ok, go to sleep" murmurings.

And, it's another reason why I let D into my bed so easily. Not only is he my last one, but he is also the only one who has his own room. When he asks, "why do I have to sleep alone?", I have no answer and just tell him to scooch over to let me lie down.

I know in a few years, he will be so, so happy to have his own room. And then the girls will be crying for their own too.

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Blogger Mom101 said...

You know, we all do what we've gotta do to get us through the days--and especially the nights. I would have done CIO with Sage in a second except it would wake Thalia, them being in uh, the same room and all. For that reason she's still in our bed at 3 and making us miserable.

Whatever choices we made or could have made, someone would see them as right and someone would see them as wrong. Either way, I'm hard-pressed to believe that any major trauma will come to our children based on any of this stuff. Only, maybe, to us.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Boston Mamas said...

Hang in there friend, and don't be too hard on yourself. This phase *will* pass eventually. HUGS.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

We still wake up with 1-2 kids in our bed every morning. It's close quarters. I know it's a stage that will be over soon, so I TRY not to get angry at getting kicked in the face, but damnit! Get out of my SPACE. I need to be able to roll over in the middle of the night without breaking up a fight!

Ugh. THey're driving me nuts this morning. Ignore me.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Heather @Critter Chronicles said...

I didn't comment yesterday, but whenever a friend with a new baby complains that her 4-week-old isn't sleeping through the night, I always chime in with, "Neither of mine slept through the night until they were two." I think that makes me a doomsday sayer or something, but I don't care. Not all kids sleep through the night, and it doesn't mean there's something wrong with them or with their parents who didn't incorporate CIO as a parenting technique.

My kids shared a room at our last home, from the time our son was 18 months old until just after his 3rd birthday. When we moved into our home here they both got their own rooms, which my almost-7-year-old daughter loves. But my son, who co-slept attached to my boob for the first 14 months of his life, has only ever been on his own at night for 4 months of his 37, and he doesn't like it. My husband has to lie down with him in his bed for a good 30 minutes each night, and he usually ends up in ours anyway.

I'm not good with my kids at night, either. I leave middle of the night stuff to my husband, except the changing of wet bedsheets. He's not so tolerant of that, where I'm okay with a swap-out. We make a good team.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Heather @Critter Chronicles said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Mama said...

This post and yesterday's are so, so me. Neither of my boys (ages 1 & 3) will sleep through the night alone. We gave away the crib shortly after #2 came along. Hubby sleeps with #1, I'm with #2, who still night nurses at 16 months. I work full time and don't think I can take another academic year of this. I'm hoping that we can get the two of them to sleep together at some point.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

Well, never say never. I used to hear your horror stories about sharing beds with flipping toddlers and wandering up and down the hall at night and thought "NEVER!" Well, my daughter NEVER slept in her crib and still wanders over to our bed most nights. And we often hear from the five year-old as well.

I've gotten soft. I just can't imagine ordering a scared or crying toddler back into their bed. Snuggling with a half-asleep child is one of those things I know I will miss all-too-soon. You win.

7:47 PM  
Blogger The Mom said...

I haven't read your other post yet, but it sounds like you did similarly to us. I hate being woken up, but I couldn't listen to them cry either. Don't tell anyone, but my kids like to share a bed most nights. They still like being next to someone and since nobody has told them it isn't ok, they continue to do it. It completely freaks my mother out though.

12:17 PM  
Blogger joliebiles said...

My kids are older now 13 and 16, but I remember those nights when I could not keep them out of our bed! I used to beat myself up for it, but not all children are the same! Some, can sleep all night from a fairly young age and others just don't! My oldest faired better than my youngest, but now those nights are just fond memories. They are now productive and independent fine young men and are not damaged cause they slept with mom and dad!

9:22 AM  
Blogger Krystan said...

I always tell new moms my kids took years to "sleep through" because I want them to know first: it will end someday, and second: there's nothing wrong with it. I'm not sure why people seem to feel guilty or "weak" for not being able to CIO. It's a valid choice to be proud of, not embarrassed by. So even though I was by no means wonderfully patient in the middle of the night, I miss sleeping with my kids tons - it went by in a blink of an eye!

9:55 PM  

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