I read another blog pretty regularly called Young House Love. It's one of my favorite blogs because I get a lot of inspiration for home projects from John & Sherry. They have a daughter named Clara who is about 2 1/2 who seems like the sweetest baby. Every post about Clara is her smiling or being adorably cute and independent. I've read YHL for years and ever since Clara was born, I've been waiting for a post about Clara having an off day. Day after day I would read and when the post was related to Clara I waited for it. And day after day, it didn't come. Then finally one day a post related to blogger questions came up and reader asked about Clara's disposition. J&S mentioned, though Clara is generally a very happy child, she occasionally has her meltdowns or hard days. I'll be honest, I was happy to hear that.
I'm happy to hear when other people have a tough time with their toddlers because my has daily meltdowns. She doesn't like hearing no and is constantly pushing buttons (literally and figuratively). The word "no" to her is like a dare, a double dog dare. The most difficult though is her sleep.
Addie's never been a good sleeper. When we first brought her home from the hospital, we were instructed to wake her every 3 hours until she was back to birth weight. Looking back, this may have been our first bad move. Addie was born at almost 8 lbs and we should have just let her sleep if she was sleeping. Yes, I was nursing so it was important that she didn't wake completely starving for her frustration as well as my supply, but we didn't need to wake her. That may have been when we set in motion her bad sleeping.
At 13 months, she finally slept through the night. From 9 to 7, it was great. But then around 16 months she hit a sleep regression and started waking in the middle of the night. She would eventually put herself to sleep but she was no longer consistently sleeping through. Closer to 20 months she was sleeping through again but would wake at 6:30, then it moved to 6, then 5:30, and just last night she woke at 5am. That was after waking at 2am as well. My two year old is still not sleeping through the night.
It's rough, it's very hard. I've maybe had a good nights sleep 10 times over the past 2 years. That's 10 out of the last 730 sleeps which equates to about 1%. I'm telling you this because not everyone has a great sleeper. I don't, she's a terrible sleeper. It's not easy at all. This morning at 5am when she woke and screamed for 45 minutes straight, calling out "mama, are you?" trying to get me out of bed to come get her, I laid in bed and thought, this is the worst. No sleep makes me cranky but hearing her scream for 45 minutes is painful. I get anxious and think, should I get out of bed and get her? No, don't do that because that's not going to help her future sleep pattern. So I laid in bed, awake for 45 minutes listening to hear her scream and sob uncontrollably.
When I left the house this morning around 7:30, she was still sleeping. Yes, she had spent about an hour in the middle of the night awake, but maybe this will help things. Maybe, by us being more strict and not bringing her into bed with us, this will teach her that she needs to learn to sleep in her bed. And just maybe, one day I'll sleep past 7am on the weekend.
I didn't intend for this post to be depressing or boring for any of you to read. I wrote it because it's the truth. Parenting is amazing, you get to watch your child grow and learn every day. You get little baby kisses and hugs and she walks up to you and holds your hand or runs her fingers through your hair because it comforts her. But it's also really hard work, it can be frustrating and exhausting. I think we need to be truthful with each other and use other parents as a source to vent and talk about our experiences so we don't feel like we're the only ones experiencing the tough times.