Thursday, August 23, 2007

to cry or not to cry....

I am not a woman who can listen to my children cry. It sends me over the edge. When they cry, I cease to have any ability to think or, for that matter, function. Driving in the car is second to crying before falling asleep. No woman on the road is safe when he child is crying. She is so distracted that her mind can only think of two things, "should I pull over and nurse/feed?" or "how long will it take me to get home if I drive 15 miles over the speed limit?" followed by, "will I be able to get out of the ticket with my child screaming?".

Lily is 6 months today and by all means, size, and age, she should be able to go 10 hrs without eating. I know she can do it b/c she has done it before. Since and during vacation, we seem to have take a large leap backwards resulting in several wake-ups throughout the night.

I am fine with one wakeup. I seem to function quite well on a little amount of sleep. What I don't function well on is my child taking an hr to two hrs to fall back asleep. It drives me MAD. Literally, I feel like I'm losing my cool. And patience is something I feel like I'm good at.

I have issues with letting my child cry-it-out (CIO). I do not think that it harms a child. I CIO at 3 months and I trust my mother, do not feel abandoned and function like a normal adult. What I have issue with is listening to it. I let eloise CIO one night at 8 months for 20 minutes. For her it didn't work. She woke about 12 times after that. Her issue was learning not to eat in the middle of the night. Lily, on the other hand, is more difficult.

I have no idea what her problem is at this point. I've eliminated all but one feed, which I'm fine with at the moment, but she is rolling over and hating to be on her tummy when she wakes up. Plus, she takes a binki and can't quite figure out how to get it back in or how to sleep with it in.

Most mothers say to me that i just need to let her cry. That's fine. I KNOW it works for some babies, but they say it as if they put their child to bed and go watch a movie. It seems so easy for them. Or they turn off the monitor so they can't hear them. I could NEVER do that. My fear of something happening to them haunts me. I don't think these woman are heartless, I have many friends who have done it. And I know they love their children very much and hate to listen to it. I just don't know what mother gene I missed to be able to, sorry to use these terms, "get some balls" and do this!

I feel hopeless. I don't even feel like praying about it because I'm sure God is annoyed by it. Every night I'm praying for mercy, "just one more hour...please". Dave is extremely frustrated with the situation too and it results in us being agitated with one another when we aren't even the ones with the problem!

I have not made a decision yet and that is what drives me crazy. I'm secretly hoping the issue will resolve itself. Our family will function better when sleep is normal.


Cutzi said...

Oh dear Kate - I don't want to give you any unsolicited advice so I won't.

What did strike me about your post, though, was when you wrote, "...I just don't know what mother gene I missed..." It struck me because I have thought the EXACT same thing about myself.... for the exact opposite reason. In fact I think I have wondered about myself using the same words you used: Am I just cold and heartless? And I felt just as frustrated with myself as you have expressed here.

You see, I let my children cry and cry. Totally not kidding. When Steele was learning how to "CIO" I let him cry for almost an hour once. Adia cries all the time because sometimes I just can't feed her (or put her down for a nap, or whatever) RIGHT when she wants. Sometimes the thought crosses my mind that what if they have abandonment issues or what if they grow up and blame me for all the issues in their lives? Am I so unfeeling that it doesn't bother me when they cry? I REALLY thought I was missing something!

My point here is that neither of us missed the "mother gene". God gave us each specific traits to raise the specific children He has given us. Yes, sometimes our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses. Sometimes, a lot of times, we can be refined in certain areas. But don't be too hard on yourself. And for heaven's sake - don't give up praying! That's when you drop to your knees and pray your heart out. It may just be our only hope! ;-)

James 1:5

Jodi said...

Kate, I'm so sorry sleep has been such a struggle with Lily. I know that you and I have already had numerous talks and phone conversations about sleep, and I know that you've heard and read all possible suggestions.

I can still so clearly remember nighttimes with my strong-headed little Jack, and just punching things- my bed, the couch, the air- because I was so deliriously angry that he wouldn't stop crying. Yikes....

I support whatever you guys choose. God knows Lily intimately and he is only going to impart wisdom on these matters to her parents. You're such a good mama, and you love and care about your kids so much. Lily will always know that.

And I know it's cliche, but it still has brought me comfort so many times....this too shall pass.

kate said...

Thanks ladies. Cutzi, maybe we could balance one another out :) Jodi, I'm just jealous you have a sleeper the second time around. Wasn't that supposed to happen to me too?? ;) I guess the Lord is using Lily to shape me.

Anonymous said...

I have no sleep advice, I think you are doing great and that you are extremely patient and loving. I wouldn't expect anything else from you!
I just got such a laugh from what you said about driving and it is so true for me!!