Dear Mama who Uses CIO,
I recently became aware of a thread on a forum that linked to my post about “Wait it Out” sleep training. One person stated “I hope the author’s intent was not to make parents who CIO feel shitty and it was solely to make moms who WIO feel better about doing so. ”
I’d like to make my intentions clear.
In the dark of the night when I am unable to sleep and I’m snuggled down in a rocking chair with my eyes half closed, holding a child that will not sleep… The thing that fortifies me is the positive, not the negative.
You do not cross my mind. I do not sit awake in the dark and stew with anger over the people who use CIO. I do not sit awake all smug and clever and snickering and giggling about my superiority. I sit there crowding out any frustration or sadness with happy responsive thoughts and digging deep to try to feel empathy for the child in my arms. I sit there witnessing her smallness, her rapid growth, and the too-fast but too-slow passage of time between her first breath and her now. I sit there looking for ways to blissfully surrender to the moment.
Because that is what fortifies me.
People with hard jobs look for the things that fortify them, the things that help them continue a job that they see as worth doing despite difficulties.
I know that moms who use CIO do the same thing. I have seen it on the forums. You talk about your reasons why. You talk about independence and the value of sleep and the need for a baby to have a happy mother.
Not because you are thinking about /me/ and trying to make /me/ feel shitty about my choice to WIO instead of CIO. You’re not talking about MY baby and how she will be a dependent whiny clingy child with bags under her eyes and an indulgent irresponsible mother who was so afraid of five simple minutes of crying that she sacrificed her entire family’s happiness to be a martyr. All while rocking in the dark of the night and dreaming up ways to make CIO-ers feel terrible.
I don’t think that you are taking the easy way out. I feel like I am taking the hard way out. And you don’t think that I’m taking the easy way out. You feel like you are taking the hard way out. We both feel as though we are doing what is healthy and necessary for our children.
Don’t waste a second wondering if I judge you. I’ve seen enough judgmental language on the internet to know exactly what words each of us could use in an all-out war against each other. Words that leave no doubt about what each of us thinks.
It would be a waste of time. A pointless war.
I don’t judge you. I see you as a parent who is doing the hard job of parenting, just as I am doing the hard job of parenting. And I see you as someone who will fortify their choices in whatever way you need to fortify your choices, just as I will fortify mine.
And this is a good thing. Children benefit tremendously from parents who are strong, loving and consistent in their responses.
You’re a good mom. Now get ME out of your head. Don’t worry about my judgement or the judgement of some whackadoo mama on the forums who thinks that everything should be done HER way or MY way or YOUR way. Wasting time worrying about me or her just takes away the energy that you need for doing what you feel deep in your heart is the right and healthy thing.
Just don’t be that mom who predicts dire misfortunes shall befall all of us who don’t sleep train. The predictions of dire misfortune are the reason for any “snark” in my letter about WIO. They are a reaction to false things being said about MY baby. Not about things that you know to be true about yours. My letter is shared by others who WIO for the same reason- frustration with others false predictions about their children, and a joy in their choices. Don’t predict doom for us. Our babies will sleep just fine. Two of mine already do, and the third is already starting.
<3 A Wait-It-Out Sleep Training Mama