Dear Mama Who is Still Waiting It Out,
I can’t tell you to enjoy your time. I won’t. I just spent the last Very Hard Six Months not really enjoying the wait on top of the other months that I only sporadically enjoyed in moments of bliss that were sought out.
You might not enjoy it while you’re waiting.
I waited six hundred and eighty six nights with my daughter. With my oldest I waited nine hundred and twenty nine nights.
I know it’s hard to read about a child sleeping through the night when yours won’t sleep. I spent the last six months avoiding reading about any of that, as I had a toddler that would rather practice speed crawling and standing on my flibbery belly while trying to jump. A toddler that would be ALMOST asleep and that would then pop off, yell “MOMMY! DANCE!” and dance around the bed in the dark doing jazz hands while I wanted to both laugh and cry.
Just a week before she slept I was Very Very Unhappy and didn’t know if it would be another six months before sleep came. In fact I was battening down the hatches for just that. In fact, when she randomly slept through the night for the first time I was preparing myself mentally for a very bad “regression” to hit because that’s what always happens. A random night of good sleep before a lot of bad.
So the second night that she slept through? I woke up repeatedly waiting for her to wake up. I woke up 6-8 times that second night that she slept through.
I don’t know if her two year molars (which are still shifting under her gums) will wreak havoc on her sleep for a bit. What I do know now is that she is able to sleep through the night and that the things that come after now are truly “regressions”. Temporary periods of worse sleep for a child that knows how to sleep.
Looking BACK at the past 686 days they seem minscule and tiny. Looking at my oldest’s 929 nights also seems tiny in the face of the seven year old that he has become. But no, those nights didn’t seem tiny while I was waiting. The first 60 nights didn’t seem tiny.
It’s a thing that only gains context when it’s past.
So don’t feel guilty about struggling, about not enjoying every minute. If you sometimes wonder if you NEED TO MAKE CHANGES NOW.. I understand. I sometimes bounced with a toddler in the dark of the night and wondered if I should possibly ditch the whole WIO thing and just go straight to extinction training because I was exhausted.
I can tell you now, at the end of it, that I am so very happy that I waited it out. That I got to witness that transition in my daughter. That I trusted her enough to wait. Of course I can. She’s sleeping now. I can probably also solve the question of World Peace and do other impossible things just because the impossible has already happened.
Was I happy two weeks ago? Not so much. Should you be happy in your now? Nah. I won’t tell you to be happy. If you can find happiness it makes it easier. But that is something that has to be found. It’s not a thing that anyone can hand you.
Just like this sleep thing. It’s a thing that your child is looking for. Not something that you’re failing to give or to teach.
You’ll get there, mama. And yes. It’s hard running blind.
<3 – Sarah