Friday, March 18, 2011

Thoughts on Sleep

My biggest thought on sleep these days is, it's really shocking how well my body remembers how to function on minimal sleep. Which is not to say I'm functioning WELL, but that I am LIGHT YEARS ahead of where I was at this point with Grace. She was, admittedly, much much fussier, and her sleep was a lot worse, but she was also our only concern, and I could sleep when she slept. (Although, to play Devil's advocate with myself, I also have LOTS more practice at the whole, "ok, she's sleeping, take a nap NOW!!!!" thing.) All I know is, it's just not as overwhelming as it was the first time around.

Katie is not really a better sleeper than Grace at three weeks old. She's not one of those babies who's born knowing how to sleep, even if she acted like she might be, for a little while. The trick, like I said, is that she's far less fussy, so co-sleeping is an option. Co-sleeping was never an option with Grace, because she screamed as much in our bed as she did anywhere else. For the record, I totally hate co-sleeping. I've taken care of too many babies who rolled off the bed and cracked their heads than I can even count, not to mention the worries about pillows and heavy blankets and smothering and overheating and just plain not being able to roll onto my stomach, put the pillow over my head, and pull the blankets up to my neck. So I'd really like to stop this as soon as possible...I'm just not sure that's going to be possible very soon.

And when the time DOES come to get her to sleep in the cradle at the foot of the bed, or in her crib in her own room? Oh man. It's gonna suck. At the same time, I feel like there's this tiny window, where I need to do it before she's firmly convinced she needs to sleep with me for the rest of my life, but after she's old enough to be able to do it (and have it actually be worth the sleep deprivation). My mom thinks she's ready now. I know there's a school of thought that she should be in my bed until she decides to leave, even if that happens when she's, like, eighteen years old. To me, the right answer is somewhere in the middle. I just haven't decided where. To be honest, it's not so much feeling bad about it, as it is wanting to have it all go as smoothly as possible, and I don't think there's any one answer to that.

...Although? I say that now, but we all know I'm a lot softer than I try to make myself out to be. And I thought I'd toughened up about some things, but nope. Just today, my mom stopped by and offered to take one of the girls. Grace promptly LOST HER MIND, and I had two bottles that didn't get used when we went out to dinner last night, so I sent Katie with her. It used to be almost physically painful to leave Gracie, especially when I went back to work. Eventually, it got easier, and I actually enjoyed my time away (like ALL parents should). I thought it would be easy-peasy with Katie, what with all the practice I have. Nope. I almost stopped my mom at least five times between deciding to send Katie with her and having them actually walk out the door. It sucked. I'm SO glad I did it, though, because Grace and I had a great morning and got a lot done.

And I guess that's the rub, no matter what you're talking about when it comes to parenthood. Sigh. You'd think two years after becoming a mom, I'd stop being shocked by how difficult it is.


Torrey said...

It really is. That. Difficult.

Isn't it?

RE: Co-sleeping, I remember for us it was like one day (somewhere between when E turned 4 and 5 weeks old) when we woke up and thought, she can't sleep in our bed anymore... so we moved her into the basinet next to our bed and that was it. She just went. Maybe Katie will too once you both are ready.

Donna said...

Yea, it's become apparent to me that with all the books and advice and whatnot, in the end you just have to go with your gut, and there really is no one right answer. We do what we have to do to survive, and we do what we want to do because we thinks it's in the best interest of ourselves and our kids to do so. I think the hardest part of it all is that just it goes by so quickly!