As a mama of three littles, I am a seasoned veteran in the ways of “broken sleep”. If you’ve been following my posts for a while, I’ve shared tales of the ridiculous antics my girls get up to after we put them to bed and mistakenly assume we can finally catch a break.
So while you can survive on broken sleep, you end up being a lot more crankier, more unproductive, more guilty for being unproductive, and eventually you crack. And then you go running to the nearest mommy group to share your woes. And inevitably, someone will respond to your venting session with the perceived golden solution to all broken sleep mom’s problems: SLEEP TRAINING.
I’m SO over it. I’m three kids in to this parenting business and I can tell you one thing for darn sure – sleep training is not all that.
It usually works very well and success rates are high. You end up with finally getting more sleep, your child gets a quick tough lesson on self-soothing, and they’re out of your room – allowing for peaceful unwinding at the end of the day or finally some quality time with your spouse.
But sometimes it doesn’t work. Every kid truly is different. Some might not be ready for it at one age and a few months later it works like a charm. Some don’t see both their parents all day and just need that extra snuggling at night for emotional security. Some kids have nightmares. Some are just clingy little pests determined to have you balance on the edge of the mattress for the rest of your life. Lol.
With mine, it didn’t work for one, worked perfectly for the other, and failed the first time we did it with the third, but three months later worked so easily that we would actually keep sneaking into the room to make sure she was still breathing because she would quiet down so quickly.
Regardless, it should be common knowledge to all parents by now, that what works for your kid will not always work for someone else’s. And we all know how tough parenting little ones can be – so why do we still belittle other moms by endorsing our method of doing things as the best or most intelligent way? I was actually guilty of this today at a kiddie birthday party. It was totally unintentional – but I was quick to share what I did with my girls and why I felt it was the right thing to do.
And when I’m looking back at the conversation, who cares if you sleep with your 5 year-old or if you successfully transitioned out a 6 month-old? It is possible to get a full night’s rest in both scenarios. It is also equally possible to have broken sleep in both scenarios too! No matter what side of the sleep training argument you’re on, ultimately there is no right and wrong on how to deal with sleeping situations with little ones, nor does it take away from your abilities at being a super mom.
I think what any tired mommy is looking for is just a little sympathy. She most likely has already tried various methods to help her family’s needs and is just looking for someone to tell her that she’s a great mom and that it’s gonna be alright. Because truthfully, in all aspects of parenting, you just keep experimenting until something works.
So to all my fellow broken sleep moms – hang in there. If sleep training is not for you, then ignore all the success stories that make you feel like crap. Just know that eventually everyone learns how to sleep through the night and your little ones will get there too.