I have a history of fucking up my children’s sleeping habits. If it were up to me, they’d sleep in in my bed for all of their brief little babyhood. I love falling asleep holding them. I love nuzzling their sweet little faces. I love making them feel safe. I love smelling their little shampooed heads. I love feeling them breathe and hearing their content little baby noises. I love waking up next to them and being the first thing they see. I love all of it.
Unfortunately, my husband does not. It’s one of the parenting aspects where we differ most. He believes they should sleep in their own cribs early on and get used to soothing themselves (arguably, the right way to do things. I recognize that. Shut up.) He likes to fall asleep looking at me. He likes to cuddle with me and have time for us together at the end of a long day. He likes to wake up next to me, and just me, in the morning. The bastard.
For the past 6 months we’ve been battling over our sleeping arrangement. Initially, I’d promised 3 months in our bed, as we’d done with Ben (a fabulous sleeper after my nightmarish first born.) Three months came and went. So did four. And five and six. I’d made futile attempts to get Evan used to his crib here and there, but always caved when the crying became too much to bear. It gets me to the core, while Jeff can simply put a pillow on his head and fall asleep. I simply cannot, knowing that all my baby wants is my touch. Months seven and eight came and went in a blink.
That brings us to now. Back from our ten days away, and as promised, Evan is in his crib. For the past couple of months I’d refused to torture him, knowing that being away would just shake things all up. I swore up and down that when we got back, I would whip him into shape. And whip him, I am. He has been crying off and on for 6 hours. He cried from 8 to 10:30, eventually passing out from exhaustion. It’s 3 am now and he’s been crying for an hour and a half. I am downstairs and wide awake, trying my hardest to block his tearful pleading out. I am miserable.
It’s the right thing to do, for all of us. Evan needs to be able to sleep on his own, without grabbing onto my face for comfort. He needs to be able to wake up in the middle of the night and fall asleep without the aid of a pacifier. He needs to soothe himself without needing my help. Jeff needs me too, and I know that. And I could use a good nights sleep myself, for a change. Someday soon, I hope to get one. But for now, it sucks. And I only have myself to blame. And that really sucks.