Sometimes being a mommy is so darn hard.
We were naughty. I know we were. We rocked Milo to sleep at bedtime every night for at least 3 weeks. He'd been doing fairly well at just lying down and going to sleep on his own, but sometimes he cried a little. And it was easier to just let Nate rock him. And on top of that, I looked at it as some daddy/son time at the end of the day.
Well, then Milo stopped just letting himself be rocked to sleep. In fact, he'd rock to sleep, lie down, and then wake up 10 minutes later and expect to be rocked again. And we realized that we needed to start just laying him down again and letting him learn to go to sleep on his own, because goodness knows it's a lesson he'll have to learn in the future.
Somehow it was much easier to teach him when he was a newborn, though. Because now he knows that if he cries hard enough, his mommy is a big sucker and will be desperate to pick him up. So this week we've been firm. We've started a bedtime routine that involves a sleepy-time bath and plenty of book-reading before we've laid him down. We've patted him every 15 minutes or so while he's in his crib, just so he knows that we're still here and we love him. Still, he's screamed and screamed for at least an hour every night. And I do mean screamed. I've checked on his diaper, patted him to see if there's a burp, sung to him, prayed over him, and he has screamed on. There's been nothing wrong except his little temper flaring up and demanding to be rocked, and he wakes up completely cheery and well-rested in the mornings.
Maybe you know me well enough to know that I alternate between snapping at Nate and crying myself while this is going on. If we had any ice cream, it's gone now, because that was at least a slight distraction. The tv doesn't work, because I can hear him screaming in the background. Being a mommy is hard, especially when you know you're doing what's best, yet you can't quite explain that to your infant... Or your toddler... Or even your high schooler. Guess I'd better be ready for some disagreement between what's best and what he wants, right?
Anyway, this is my Monday lesson-in-progress: Always do what you know is right, even if it's not the easiest method. It only gets harder the longer you put it off.