It’s all in the implication (isn’t it?)

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of messages on Twitter, around the blogosphere and on my moms group message boards about how being a SAHM is the “hardest job” and also the “most important” and that if you’re not a SAHM “you just can’t understand.”

And I have to admit, it starting to make me mad. You know, when I wrote my SAHM post  – the one that pissed a lot of people off – I wasn’t sure quite where all of it was coming from, but now I know. It was in response to what feels like an underlying assertion about the ever-important work that SAHMs do, a message that their work is the most challenging, and important, work any mother can accomplish.

I’ve read so much about how hard being a SAHM is. How they work 24/7, 365. How they get no sick time and no lunch break. How they don’t even get to go to the bathroom by themselves. How their boss is a tiny tyrant who won’t take no for an answer. I’ve read it all, some of it cleverly presented, some of it less so. It doesn’t anger me that SAHMs are venting about their situation. It doesn’t upset me that they say their work is difficult, I’m sure it is. What frustrates me is that by declaring it the “hardest” and the “most important” they are implying that those who aren’t SAHM are somehow less. If I’m not doing the “most important” work than what work am I doing? Why does anyone’s work have to be declared “most important”?

WOHMs are moms too. They don’t get sick leave or paid vacation days from motherhood. They work all day, all night, and all weekend. WOHMs are also subject to the whims of their tyrannical, two feet tall bosses (along with those of their similarly unpredictably and demanding five foot plus tall bosses). WOHMs have it hard too.

And you might say that declaring one has it hard doesn’t imply that the other doesn’t, but that’s not always the case. There are certainly ways you can say it inclusively – SAHMs have it hard just like all mothers have it hard – it’s when we start throwing in superlatives that things get sticky and implication abounds. At least I feel that is true and I’m curious what you all think.

Let me present a different example. I cloth diaper. I can give all sorts of reasons for why I cloth diaper: I want to reduce waste, I feel cloth is better for my daughter’s skin, I can save money, it just makes sense economically and environmentally. Presenting my case in that way is relatively judgement free; I’m just stating why I choose to cloth diaper without reprimanding those who don’t.

But what if I said it differently? What if I said that I cloth diaper because I couldn’t abide my guilty conscious if I didn’t. What if I admitted that the idea of throwing away thousands of disposable diapers made me literally sick to my stomach and that every time I use a disposable at night I see the cup of crude oil required to produce it. What if I shared that I felt it would be morally wrong not to cloth diaper when there are so many easy options to do so and the alternatives are so destructive to the environment. What if I argued that if I can make it work with a coin fed laundry machine I think the majority of other people can, and should, make it work too.

The truth is, I believe what I wrote above; I really feel that way about cloth diapering. I don’t understand why more people don’t do it. (And while you might argue that it’s none of my business if other people cloth diaper or not, I might counter that until those diapers end up somewhere other than landfill on the planet where I reside, it’s not irrelevant to my life.) Of course, I never say these things because doing so feels the same as judging people who use disposables. Simply saying that using disposables makes me feel incredibly guilty implies that others should feel guilty for using them too. And so I don’t say it that way. I present our reasons for cloth diapers as our reasons. I never criticize those that don’t. I choose my words carefully – I feel like I have to.

My point is it’s all in how you say it. And when SAHMs declare that their lot is “more/most challenging” and “more/most important” they are automatically implying that what others do is not. At least that is what I believe. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I’m just jealous and resentful. Maybe my guilty conscious is the only one doing the implying. I’m honestly not sure.

So I leave the question with all of you. When someone declares their job the “most important,” is the implication that the work others do is less than? If someone says they would feel horrible for using disposables, should others assume that they should feel horrible for doing the same? If these implications are really being made, should we avoid making them to spare the feelings of others? Or is life too short to walk around on egg shells? Should we just express how we feel honestly, implications be damned?

Confessional Fridays: Flirting with my past

For all my complaining about not having enough good IRL friends, I’m sure not doing much to remedy the situation.

In fact, I’m not take advantages of situations that would help me meet IRL friends. Like a meet up of local moms at a wine bar near my house. That I didn’t go to last night.

I planned on going. I had emailed that I would go. I marked it on my calendar. I was even looking forward to it. And then the time came and I didn’t go. I just didn’t want to.

And now I feel pretty disappointed in myself.

The truth is I’m struggling right now. A lot. And I’m not completely sure why. I also don’t know why last night the thought of shooting the shit with a bunch of mothers between sips of wine felt reminiscent of writing a thesis paper. I really, really didn’t want to go. But then, part of me was so disappointed when I didn’t.

When I was in high school and college I wanted desperately for someone to love me. I was never in a relationship during that time and I was sure I would live my life without anyone to ever tell me they loved me. I was also certain that if someone did love me, my life would have been indescribably better, perhaps perfect.

I know now that I was depressed. I knew it at the time, but not in the way you can know something that you’ve had a chance to walk away from and examine with the benefits of time and distance. I don’t believe you can ever really see something when you’re completely immersed in it. The reality is I started struggling with depression while becoming an adult. I knew that something wasn’t right, but I also didn’t know what it felt like for that something to not be wrong. Surely “not depressed at 23” felt very different from “not depressed at 16.” Eventually, I came to find that the difference was significant but only later could I understand what “not depressed at 23” meant for me.

Now I see that I couldn’t be in a relationship during that time not because I was unlovable, but because I was incapable of love. Not only was I unable to extend love to others, but I couldn’t love myself. We’ve all read in a fortune cookie once that we can’t love others unless we love ourselves. And you know what? It’s true.

I’m reminded again of that. I’m also discovering that when you don’t love yourself the love of others does little to remedy the situation. On the contrary, it feels strangely burdensome. When you sink into the thick, sucking muck of a depression the love of others is just another responsibility, another reason to struggle and fight to pull yourself out when you’re so tired and all you want to do is succumb.

When you’re in a relationship others depend on you. Your moods aren’t just your own, they belong to both you and your partner (or your family). Or perhaps they belong only to you, but your family has no choice but to live with them. Like your annoying guest who has outstayed his welcome: he may be your responsibility but ultimately your family has to shoulder all the inconvenience that he creates. And it’s even more frustrating for them when the bathroom is unavailable for hours at a time or the TV is keeping everyone up because your family can’t do anything about it. You should be telling that guy to just get the hell out, but you don’t.

And just like you will ultimately have to kick out your own unwelcome visitor, you will have to find away to kick out the low feelings that are affecting not just you, but everyone around you. The problem is, sometimes you don’t know how.

I got some really devastating news from a close friend yesterday. The kind of news that makes you question everything. My heart breaks for my friend and I feel so helpless in the wake of her tragedy. I wish I knew what to say or what to do but I feel so helpless. Maybe it’s because I know that nothing anybody can do will ever lessen her pain.

It makes me so sad and it also reminds me that I have so much. In four days my own beautiful daughter turns one. Why does writing that sentence make me cry? Do I mourn her babyhood so intensely? I absolutely adore the toddler she is becoming; I would argue that the next twelve months will be more wonderful than the first. And yet I feel the reality of it wrapping around me, constricting my lungs until I can no longer draw breath.

In seven days I start summer vacation. I will have eight weeks of blissful, almost uninterrupted time with my daughter. I am very much looking forward to this. I am so pleased to have this opportunity. This is why I became a teacher! This is why I tolerate the low pay and the combative parents and my district (and state’s) complete lack of professional respect. I do all of that so I can have these weeks with her, to be her mother without also being someone else.

I have so very, very much and yet all I see is the emptiness between the things I should be celebrating. I see the holes in our bank accounts that cause us such financial stress. I see the scarce hours at night when we’re too tired to pursue our interests. I see the stretch of bed between us and feel the emotional distance it represents. I see the space that would be there if it weren’t filled with all my useless crap. I see how perfect my house would be if I weren’t too lazy to clean it. I see how much more effectively I would teach if I could just muster up some enthusiasm. I see the sympathetic ears that would be available if I knew how to cultivate friendships. I look past everything that I do have to focus on what I don’t.

I know it just takes the slightest shift in perspective to celebrate what is there instead of focusing on what is not. I just can’t remember how to make that shift. Instead I remember this muddled, gray, exasperated feeling of depression. This morning a song I used to love came on and the familiarity of how I felt was shocking. It was almost like nostalgia. Can you feel nostalgic for one of the harder times in your life? Was it just a nostalgia for the familiarity of it, for the effortlessness with which I could resume that role?  At a time when everything in our lives is being changed by our “parent” identities maybe I just want something that doesn’t require so much work, even if that something makes me miserable.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the same even if I did succumb to the depths of depression. I have no time for the self-indulgence required. Too many people depend on me, one of them entirely. And I love my family too much to invite that obnoxious visitor in for an extended stay. He may have been a good friend back in college, when we could stay up late and sleep in later, when we could get drunk without worrying how to work through the hang over, when we could leave pizza boxes in the kitchen for a week because we didn’t need the counter space anyway. He may have been tolerable back then when self-destruction didn’t cost so much, when I didn’t really have anything to lose. But now? Now I have a everything to lose.

And I need to go tell this asshole to go wallow elsewhere because I have no intention of doing this depression thing again.

Mindful Mondays: The Heaven of the Moment

It’s no secret that Mi.Vida and I have been experiencing a rough time of it lately. The first year of parenthood is a difficult transition for many couples and we are not an exception. Yesterday my therapist and I put together an action plan to address some of the issues Mi.Vida and I have been struggling with. When I got home we implemented the plan with considerable success. (I hope to write more about this tomorrow). We still have a long way to go but I am confident that we will get there.

Recently I found a book that was given to us after our commitment ceremony. It’s called The Couple’s Tao Te Ching by William Martin. This morning I turned to this page and was stuck by how relevant it was to us.

The Heaven of the Moment

Always thinking of what you like / and what you don’t like / exhausts the energy that could be used / to fuel your passion.

Events of life are always changing. / Everything is made new in your life / between the time you read this line … / and this one. / Difficult times and joyous times / can follow each other as swiftly. / When good times arrive welcome them. / When they seem to pass, let them go. / When pain arrives do not despair. / It will pass as well. / You will sometimes feel strong and whole, / and sometimes weak and partial. / This is not a problem. / Do not let these things distract you.


It is important to remember that this difficult time will pass, as have passed the difficult (and joyous) times before it. Just as one should not get attached to the good times, we also must not become so entangled in the bad. Hopefully this simple reminder will help us navigate through this challenge and those that are sure to follow it.

Confessional Fridays: I wish I could make it easier

For my partner I mean. I wouldn’t mind it being easier for me, but I really want to make it easier for him. I see that he’s struggling with this transition into parenthood and it breaks my heart. I used to feel guilty about it (because I wanted kids now and basically had to persuade him to come along for the ride), but I think I’m finally past that. I know my partner loves our daughter. I have no doubt it my mind. I see it when they are together, I hear it when he speaks to her, when he speaks about her. I feel it when the three of us are together, playing on the floor, at the park, at the grandparents’ house. I’m certain he has no regrets and that he never has, not even for a second.

At the same time I can tell he’s not entirely happy. I don’t want to declare that he is unhappy, because I don’t feel that is my place, and I doubt he would say that himself. I also doubt he’d argue that he’s entirely happy. There is so much to do, so much responsibility. He feels trapped at his job, saddled with obligation of supporting not just himself but his daughter. He’s tired all the time; the fact is he’s exhausted, constantly. It doesn’t matter how much sleep he got the night before or if we order in for dinner, every night he climbs into bed a haggard mess. He seems weary, in body, mind and spirit.

I understand how he feels. There is always something to do; there is rarely, if ever, down time. Mi.Vida has really stepped up since Isa was born, taking on more and more chores around the house. While I still shoulder a significant portion of the “baby-related” duties, Mi.Vida does so much to keep things running smoothly. Using our interests and our skills as guides, we’ve divvied up the burden in a way that (I think, I hope) feels equal to both of us. The result, it seems, is we’re both equally overextended at the end of the day.

I’ve mentioned before the book When Partners Become Parents, which I read before TTC. It’s reports the findings of a study which intimately followed about 100 couples during pregnancy and into their child’s fifth year. Overwhelmingly the couples were less satisfied with their relationship, and daily life, after having children. I’ve encountered similar findings in other articles (which I don’t feel the need to source at the moment). They all seem to say the same things, the overall satisfaction of having children is incredibly fulfilling and ultimately no one would (or admits) to wanting to give it up. But the day to day drudgery of having kids can be brutal, on both the individual and a relationship. While children might boost the over all happiness of their parents, a random poll sent out at different times of the day asking how those same parents are feeling right then will show that they are more tired, distracted and overwhelmed than their childless counterparts.

I see this in my partner (and to a degree in myself). Would he say that having his daughter has made his life better? Absolutely he would. Would the results, from before becoming and parent and after, of randomly answered surveys throughout the day support that claim? I’m guessing they wouldn’t. That is where the disconnect happens.

When we were in counseling about having children, Mi.Vida mentioned time and time again that he was worried he wouldn’t be able to do the things he loved: continue working on his local music website/podcast and seeing live shows. I assured him that he would be able to do that. I told him I would support him, giving him whatever time he wanted to make those things happen. He predicted that even with my support it would be hard, because he’d feel guilty leaving us alone. I was adamant that we would find a way.

What neither of us predicted was how the sheer exhaustion would make seeing live shows all but impossible. Even if I support him 1000%, offering to “babysit” whenever he want to go out,  just being too tired can hold him hostage at home. Sometimes I feel guilty about that part, because he was right – he can’t pursue those interests in the way he wants and I told him that he’d be able to. I didn’t lie, but I was wrong and I feel horrible about that.

On Mothers Day the love of my life gave me the most amazing card, declaring what a great mother I am and thanking me for helping him embrace fatherhood at his own pace, in his own way. He added something to the effect of, “if you told me I could be this happy and this tired at the same time, I’d wouldn’t have believed you.”

I know my partner is happy. I’m certain of this. But I also see that he is struggling with the day to day. I recognize that he feels overwhelmed with chores and responsibility. I hurt that he misses many of the things he loves and that make him feel whole. I want to help him but I’m not sure how. I consider assuring him that it will get better but I worry that isn’t so.

We talk about having a second child. While he seems concerned about how we’d handle the stress of two children he never asks me to wait, he never requests a reprieve. Will having a second child be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Because we all know that a second child is a much more significant weight than any single straw. Will waiting make a difference anyway? Is it better to just get the difficult early years over with?

I have struggled a lot in my life. I handle disappointment and sadness in my own way. I know what steps I need to take to resolve my own feelings. Mi.Vida is not me. He processes things differently than I do. The strategies I use may not work for him. I don’t know how to “fix” this for him and I hate that. I feel insignificant and powerless and… sorry.

I knew parenting would be difficult but I didn’t foresee the degree to which it would test me and my partner. I also don’t know how to lighten either of our loads. I assume it will get easier. I hope that it will but I can’t be sure. In the meantime I wish I knew how to make it better. I wish I were strong enough to carry extra weight so my partner feels less burdened. I wish I had the power to make it all better. But I’m not. And I never will be. And I suppose I have to accept that.

Are you surprised by how parenting or IF/TTC/loss has affected your partner or your relationship? What do you do when your partner is unhappy you don’t know how to help him?

Mountains and Valleys

Saturday morning I wrote the following post:

Mi.Vida and I are fighting. Or we just fought. I don’t know. I’m too tired to discern the difference.

Somehow I haven’t mentioned it much here but Isa’s sleeping has been really rough lately. Gone are the days of our amazing sleep trained baby. I don’t know what it is, but my baby girl is crying through long parts of the night. Never more than an hour at a time, but sometimes 40+ minutes, three times a night. It’s wearing on me. Making me sad, depressed even. It is sucking the joy out of my days, my last days with my daughter. It’s really, really hard.

The problem is I don’t know how to make it stop. Do I just start picking her up and comforting her, throwing away all the sleep training we did? Even if I did pick her up, would she stop crying? I don’t know what she wants, what she needs. Has she been thrown off by the time shift? Is she cold at night now that the temperature has dropped? Am I not producing enough milk? Is she napping too long? Not enough? Is she now used to sleeping next to me with her binki in the day and wants to do so during the night? Will simply rocking her be enough? There were so many nights when she screamed in my arms for hours on end and nothing I could do would help. Is this a similar situation? What is happening to my baby girl?

Mi.Vida and I are fighting because I feel like it’s my responsibility to solve this problem, or at least offer possible solutions and try them out. I spend so much of my day reading about sleep issues, trying to contact sleep consultants or enroll in sleep solution classes (which are all wait listed this month). I mull over possible problems and decide on how I might tackle them. I attempt different strategies and when they fail I return to the drawing board equipped with this new, and many times, unhelpful, information. Every once in a while I run my ideas past Mi.Vida and invariably receive an “okay” or “sounds good” or “that makes sense” in reply.

I didn’t get to finish that post but I was going to talk about how overwhelmed I feel and that I can’t handle being responsible for making all the important decisions about raising Isa. I know Mi.Vida has had much less experience with children and can’t spend as much time as I do researching these things but I need his help. I was going to talk about how resentful I was feeling. I was going to broach the subject of the rift I forming between us.

I was going to talk about how I was starting to worry that the stresses of parenthood might actually come between us, like really come between us, like cause irreparable damage. I was going to talk about how I worried that, eventually, I’d lose him to these challenges.

But then we had a really good day. Despite being exhausted and frustrated and unsure of how to proceed we picked ourselves up, dusted each other off and actually found it in ourselves to support one another. We made jokes about how the bottom felt like it was falling out. We scrambled to take the blame for both “covert and overt needling”. We laughed. We giggled. We doted over Isa and reflected on our incredible fortune. We assured each other that we’d make it through this.

And to my great relief, Mi.Vida showered me with affection and showed me that he had it in him to get through this, despite how hard it might be. By Saturday night I felt so much better.

Then Saturday night, despite a very difficult start to the evening, Isa allowed us 8 straight hours of sleep and we both woke up so well rested and refreshed. Literally the first thought through my head upon waking was, I don’t feel tired right now. It was regenerative.

Sunday was a busy day. Isa and I went to visit a family I used to babysit for while Ben headed to airport for a 24 hour business trip to Chicago. After visiting two girls who’s diaper I used to change but who are now almost in high school we rushed back to the city for a sleep solutions seminar. It was GREAT and I can’t wait to put all I learned into action. I promise I’ll tell you all the great stuff this Useful Tuesday.

To finish up the day, I dropped Isa off with my in-laws so I could turn in a paper that was due by 8pm.

Finally we headed home, I got Isa in bed (and asleep) by 7:30 and then I started the first of many loads of laundry.

All in all it was an eye-opening and ultimately endearing weekend.

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?

BUENAS NOTICIAS – Mi.Vida took Friday off and we took Isa up to Sonoma for some wine tasting. Isa was a great sport and I got to wet my lips with many a wonderful vintage. I also took some great pictures of Isa, but you’ll have to wait until Wednesday to see them!

Thoughtful Thursdays: Dreading it

Today I found out that my cousin has left her job (as a teacher) to stay home with her daughter. I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty jealous. I wish I could stay home with Isa. Knowing that my cousin will be home all year with her daughter makes me realize how much I’ll be missing while I’m away.

I oscillate dramatically in my feelings about returning to work. For the first three months I cried almost every time I thought about it. I was sure it was the worst thing I’d ever have to endure; I felt desperately sad, and many times angry, when I thought about going back.

At around 4 months the days started feeling longer and more monotonous. I was beginning to wonder if it might be okay to go back to work, if I might actually appreciate being out in the world again, returning to spend three or four hours of intense time with my daughter. While I knew that the best case scenario would be a part time position of some kind, I hoped that I would not loathe being back at work full time. There were even moments I was eager to return to work. Of course these moments occurred over a month before my return, but I hoped that excitement would linger as my start date crept closer.

But as the month of my return to work looms large I’m starting to panic once again. I can’t believe how much I’m going to miss. I can’t accept that someone else will spend more of her waking hours with her than I will. I can’t stand that my daughter might actually want to be with her aunt than with me. It’s just too much, it’s just too overwhelming, it’s just too disappointing.

The thing is I don’t have a choice. I have to go back to work. I have to work full time so I can pass most of my check right along to my child care provider and use the little bit that’s left to help pay the rent (and the insurance and the other bills and everything else). I have to leave my daughter every morning and drive 30 minutes to work and then I have to engage middle school students who’d rather be anywhere else, and then I have to grade papers and attend meetings before finally braving traffic all the while wondering what my beautiful daughter is doing without me. All the while asking myself how many times has she smiled today? How many giggles have escaped her lips? How many firsts took place in my absence? How many milestones did my sister-in-law hide from me so I’ll think, when I see them, that they’re happening for the first time? How much of her precious little life passed me by today?

My friend told me that life is hard and there are difficulties we just have to endure. I guess, in the end, that is what it comes down to. This is a difficulty I have to endure. I’m not going to like it, in fact, I’m going to loathe it, but that is beside the point. I’m going to have to live with it and maybe even try to make the best of it. What do I preach on Mindful Mondays? About impermanence and acceptance… I guess I’m going to have to give those a try even when returning to work tears me up inside.

BUENAS NOTICIAS – I kind of let “Buenas Noticias” (Good News) fall by the wayside but I want to pick it back up again. And today I have very good news to share. A good friend of mine at work, whose been trying to have a baby for over eight years, was matched for an adoption today. Her little baby boy is six months old and waiting for her in Korea. They should be able to bring him home in four to six months but they are hoping to do so sooner. I’m SOOOOO happy for her and her husband. They will be such amazing parents. I can’t wait to meet their beautiful baby boy.

Useful Tuesdays: Sleep Training

As you know, we’ve been struggling with sleep issues for many a night. Weeks really. Or is it months? I feel like I’ve been so wrapped up in sleep solutions I’ve hardly experienced the past month or so. I’ve spent so much time on it that now that I feel our sleep problems are solved, I don’t know what to do with myself.

Sleep problems solved you say? But how?!

Let me preface this post by saying that I read the No-Cry Sleep Solutions book from cover to cover. I tried many of their suggestions and was able to make minor changes in Isa’s sleep patterns. But after weeks of intensive work, we really hadn’t made much progress and I was starting to suffer for it. As my graduate class started and I the sleep nights started piling up, I realized I needed to make more significant changes. While I totally respect people who only use no-cry sleep solutions, I had to accept they were not the best for me and my family. And while you might not agree with the method we ultimately used, please don’t attack me for what I choose to do with my daughter. I absolutely believe that we made the right choice for our family and I’m very happy with how everything worked out.

We ultimately used the “progressive-waiting” approach from Richard Ferbers’s Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems. The “progressive-waiting” approach could be considered “cry-it-out” and if you believe that, it’s fine. I’m not against calling it that, because my daughter did cry as she learned to self-sooth. But I do believe she learned to self-sooth and was not just “crying it out” aimlessly, tortuously. I believe she was learning because every night my daughter was better at falling asleep on her own, until tonight, the fourth night, she fussed for less than three minutes before she settled down for the night.

The system we used works like this. We put Isa down, drowsy but awake, in her crib with no pacifier and no noise machine; she had to be put down in the same way she’d wake up, so she could teach herself to fall asleep that way and would be able to fall back asleep that way when she woke up later in the night. Every night we put Isa to sleep that way.

On the first night we let Isa cry for three minutes then five minutes then ten minutes. At the end of each of these intervals one of us went in for about a minute, rubbed Isa’s tummy and told her we loved her and reassured her that she was okay. Then we kissed her on the forehead and gently left the room. If Isa had continued to cry past the first ten minutes, we would have gone in every ten minutes to comfort her briefly. We never did though, because she never continued to cry past the third interval, not once in three nights.

The next day we went in at five minutes, ten minutes and twelve minutes. Actually, we went in at five minutes because she was asleep by eight minutes. The reality is, she cried about 15 minutes twice on the first night, then 8 minutes and 25 minutes on the second night. The third night she cried less than five minutes both times she woke up.

The first two nights I fed Isa when she first woke up around 11pm, but did not feed her when she woke up at 2am or 3am. The third night I decided not to feed her at 11pm, opting to pump instead. If Isa had woken up any time after midnight I would have fed her, but the thing is, she didn’t. Isa went 11 hours last night without eating, she didn’t breastfeed until 6am! That means I got to sleep for SIX HOURS STRAIGHT, from midnight to 6am. And the only reason we went to sleep so late was because we were having important couple time (wink wink), which we never would have been able to do before the sleep training.

So far, I think sleep training has been a resounding success. My daughter can fall asleep all by herself, without her pacifier and best of all, she can STAY asleep throughout the night. Every morning she wakes up with the biggest, brightest smile on her face. During the day she’s happier and more alert. I truly believe she is benefitting as much, if not more, from the sleep training, than we are.

And boy, are we benefitting. I feel like a new person. I never knew how stressed out I was about nighttime until I stopped being stressed out about it. Now, when we put Isa down, she falls asleep and stays asleep. We can cook dinner, watch TV, have conversations without being interrupted by crying (or phantom crying, which was starting to drive me literally insane). I can feel the tension melting away from the two of us, from our relationship. It’s like having a restart button. It’s like having a life again.

I know that “crying-it-out” is not for everyone. For many weeks, I wasn’t sure if it was right for us. When we finally did choose to do it, I felt that it was absolutely the right move. I’m thankful to be able to look back on that decision and know it was the right one for me, Mi.Vida and Isa. I feel like this was my first “mom” mandate and I’m proud of how it turned out. I have more confidence in myself and in my partner. I feel like a more capable parent.

If you have any questions about our sleep training approach or what we plan to do in the future, please don’t hesitate to comment or email!

And now, a toast – to sleep!

UPDATE – Isa slept for 12 hours straight last night, without waking up once. Now I’m worried she’s not getting enough to eat with only five feedings during the day. Ah, a mother’s job is never done…