Girlio likes to visit. At night. A lot. And nurse. And chat. And practice her fake sneezing. and pick our noses. And cry. And just generally make sure we are still there. We are. Still there. But just barely.
I know lots of folks are comfortable with the cry-it-out method. It works for them, and they are happy with its results. I never have been. I feel like it works because kids just eventually learn that their parents just won't come for them. The idea that Girlio should have that very realization about me makes my heart hurt. A lot. I wonder how parents differentiate between a "my baby wants my company" cry and a "my baby has a fever and threw up all over her bed" cry. I tell myself that I signed up to be a parent, and I can't just turn the job off when it's inconvenient for me. Those are my issues, and my worries (Again - I don't begrudge other folks doing things the way that works best for them. I'm a pro-choice kinda parent).
But I am at a total loss. Total, total loss. Yes, Girlio is teething. 10 teeth and counting at 13 months. That's a lot. But this isn't just teeth. And it has been 13 months since I have had any kind of decent sleep (I'm talking 3+ wake-ups a night. And usually on the + side of 3). That's a fair chunk of wakings and a fair chunk of time to function (though the word function might be a bit of a stretch) with such craptastic sleep. It affects my mental health. It affects my ability to parent. It affects all of my relationships. It affects my ability to live. It affects L.'s ability to stay awake at work.
So what next? How do my lofty-ish parenting goals and my ever increasingly desparate need for sleep meet in the middle? The sleep experts are polarized into two camps. You have varying degrees of cry-it-out, or no-cry, attachment parenting and each camp thinks the other camp is full of neglectful idiots. The general arguments go: It's actually kinder to let your child cry because you need to teach them 'valuable sleep skills' vs. you will cause long term emotional damage if you let your child cry and need to be there, connecting and nurturing, etc. etc. (The truth is likely somewhere in the middle, I'm just not entirely sure how to pull that off.) Though they like to call them all sorts of different names to make us buy a zillion books, thinking they might tell us something different, two camps is all it really boils down to. I know this, because I've pretty much read them all. Desperation is a highly effective spending motivator.
Something's gotta give. But is it going to be my morals, or my sleep?
(Just between the lot of us, I';m beginning to wonder if morals are just a teensy bit overrated.)