Driving That (Sleep) Train

We’ve started thinking about sleep training.  Baby is almost 6 months old and she has us up multiple times per night, plus the hour-ish it takes us to get her to bed every evening.  We dread it, and honestly she doesn’t seem too happy with the situation either.

When she was small and new, Baby was actually a remarkably good sleeper, and I used to think that I would never consider sleep training, in part because it seems so mean, but also in part because I thought I wouldn’t have to.  And then of course we hit the four-month sleep regression and all hell broke loose.

So now here we are, and I find myself having some pretty intense emotions around the idea of sleep training her.  On the one hand, I feel like it’s a must as far as my husband’s well-being and my own well-being, and I feel like it’s also a skill that I want Baby to have for herself.  On the other hand, up until now, for her whole life, it’s been all about Baby.  We’ve catered to her in all things, as is developmentally appropriate.  And now, her paradise is coming to an end.  I know that as a parent, there will be many, many times when I set limits with my daughter, it’s just that this is the first time, and I feel some kind of way about that.

Add to that the deep, deep dysfunction in which I was raised, and all of the developmentally inappropriate demands that were placed on me, expectations that I take on an adult role that I was much too young for, and well…it gets complicated.  I get scared by the idea of putting any kind of demands on my daughter, because what if it’s too much?  What if I do to her what my parents did to me?  It took years, and a LOT of therapy, and meds, to get to a place of being okay (and then of course I lost my okay place by getting pregnant, but the fact is that there was a time when I was okay, and that it took a lot to get there).

Before having Baby, I really thought that I’d somehow resolved my past, moved on.  But now I see that was wishful thinking.  It’s coming out in the places I least expected it.

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