There’s a curious phrase I’ve heard more than once since delivering my second (my husband’s third) child just over a year ago. It always induces some weird feeling that I can’t identify, even as positive or negative. I heard it again recently and have spent a bit of time sorting out my feelings. Now you get to read all about said feelings. You lucky duck.
Today I mentioned how tough last night was. No, not because of springing forward. While turning the clocks forward or back is an annoyance in any household with young children, that honestly wasn’t the culprit this time. Atticus woke five or six times, which is not completely unusual for him. Half of those times he just wanted to cuddle and nurse and be laid back down, and half of those times he just wanted to play. Nate took turns trying to rock him to sleep, I took turns trying to nurse him back to sleep. We tried putting him in our bed to nurse and cuddle so we could all get some rest. Nothing worked perfectly, and Nate ended up giving in and getting up early this morning and taking him downstairs to start the day, leaving me to get some extra Zs before work. “I can’t just let him cry on his crib,” I said.
He must be your first baby.
No. He’s not. Trent didn’t cry it out either. Nick, apparently, was an excellent sleeper so it wasn’t ever an issue. When Trent awoke in the night I nursed and rocked him back to calm or sleep and lay him back down in his crib. But if I was too tired I just had Nate get up and bring Trent to our bed. When Atticus wakes at night I rock and nurse him until he’s calm or asleep. But if I’m too tired I just ask Nate to get up and bring him back to our bed. We don’t co-sleep from the start of the night because I’m a light and picky sleeper, but after a few waking a we give in. Babies are only babies for a short while. I know they are capable of manipulating but I also don’t care. They won’t need me forever, and being tired isn’t a big deal. I will give them what they want while I’m still able to easily provide it for them. Some nursing, some cuddles, and some help getting back to sleep never killed anyone, and in fact we love it.
Yes, I’m tired. Yes, I sometimes pretend not to hear the baby waking at night in the hopes that my husband will somehow magically turn the baby’s tears off. And yes, I find myself dreading the first (and second, and third…) middle-of-the-night waking. But when the day is on and night is over I’m just fine and my baby is happy and fulfilled. And another day older.
He must be your first baby.
No, dear peanut gallery, he isn’t my first baby. I make just as many mistakes and give in just as much with this one as I did with the first. My first baby is four now and won’t ever again need me the way he did when he was a baby. I’ll never get the baby time back, and I intend to baby my babies, and to spoil them completely rotten. And I’m okay with that.