December 22, 2008

Crying It Out

After over an hour, I break, and tears stream down my face as I cry it out too.

We've gotten into some patterns in this house over the past couple of months. Sam is 2 1/2, but he's back to not sleeping through the nights. He GENERALLY goes to bed fairly easily, but almost always wakes up. It could be only a couple of hours after his bedtime (like tonight). It could be at 12, 2 or 5. And even though Justin says we should make him stay in his crib, that's not how it goes down. Because at 2 in the morning, I just want to go back to sleep. And, I admit it. I like the feel of him cuddling up to me to sleep. And I can't stand the sound of his crying.

I debate it in my head. I know that Justin doesn't sleep as well with Sam in the bed with us. I don't sleep as well either. But there is a part of me that doesn't understand why it's so bad to co-sleep, why we can't give HIM the comfort of cuddling up to us in the night, being close to his parents. All I want in life is to make him feel safe, loved, and happy.

Unfortunately, there is a lot more than that to being a parent.

We have to take care of our kids, but we can't forget to take care of ourselves. Not getting good sleep every night does not make for a happy mommy. Having a daddy who is stressed out because he can't sleep well with the kid in the bed, which leads to a stressed out mommy? Really not good.

I feel like I've been here before, but this is so much harder.

I don't remember it being this hard the first time around. Sam slept in our bed until he was about 4 months old. At less than a year, we moved him into his own room. I remember letting him cry it out. I remember it being hard. But I don't remember him crying for close to two hours then. I just don't. It was only a week before he got down to only crying 5-10 minutes (sometimes less) per night. And for the most part, sleeping through the night.

But things were different then. He couldn't talk yet. He was so young. Now I worry - is he going to remember this? Is he going to wake up tomorrow and be mad at us? What is he thinking? He also couldn't scream like this then. He didn't have the windpower and intensity that can be created by his two year old lungs.

The cries of 'mama' and the screaming are ripping me apart.

I can't handle it. I feel like I might throw up. The combination of the glue from the Christmas cards I just sealed, the tiredness, and listening to him yell are almost too much for me to take. I want to run away, I want to leave the house and not think about his screams anymore.

I feel like a bad mother.

It's been close to two hours, and Justin goes back in for the fourth time. He gets him a glass of water. He stands next to the crib, and listens as Sam asks for mama, asks to be rocked in his chair and whines. He calmly tells him that he's sorry if he's scared and angry, but he needs to sleep in his crib. He waits it out until Sam finally lies down, and lets his blanket be pulled up to cover him.

Thank God for Justin, right? Because I don't know if I can.


Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I had one of those - who could just cry and cry and cry... but in our case it was my husband who couldn't stand to listen to the cry and would get them out of bed.

It's not easy... but I promise it will pass.

rachael said...

aww, i am so sorry. i know how much it hurts as a mommy to let your little one cry. hugs!

Mimi said...

I remember those days. The only way we finally fixed it was by doing what your husband did last night.

It will be so much better if you can get past this now, while he is in a crib. Once they have a bed they can climb out on their own & then it gets harder!

Kori said...

I don't believe in letting kids cry it out. I know I am not going to be popular saying that, but I think it is cruel. I understand that everyone has to work things out the way that is best for their family, but for us, it is definitly kid-centered, not parent centered. I also don't believe that you are harming your children by co-sleeping, nor do I think that giving them the security they so obviously need, is a bad thing-but I think making them scream IS. I guess I am one of the few who also believe that they are only little once, and they should be loved and cherished and, yes, "spoiled" as long as possible, because in a few short years he will have to face the outside world and he is going to need your security. In my opinion (and that is ALL it is, MY opinion and what has worked for us), you can't really spoil a kid anyway unless you are not balancing the attention and love and coddling with firm, matter of fact discipline.

Edie said...

It's a matter of opinion and what works for you. We never did the co-sleeping thing because I needed the time to refresh myself in order to parent effectively. Getting burned out is a really bad thing for patience and a lack of sleep can make you crazy. The ability to self-soothe is an extremely important skill in life. You can't always be there to make everything better all of the time. He needs to be able to be okay even when he is alone. There are ways to teach a child to be independent that aren't cruel. I did what Justin is doing for you guys and I don't think you were traumatized by it. Being child centered does not mean giving up what you need to be okay yourself.