Go ahead. Cry yourself to sleep (I’m right there with you)

Last night I sat and listened to my daughter cry herself to sleep. She sobbed for over an hour before she gave in to the uncontrollable urge to pass out. It felt like a lifetime for me (and probably longer for her). It was a little slice of mommy hell.

Before I had kids, I always thought of myself in the future as a  perfect parent.My child would never sleep in our bed. She’d always sleep in her room, without a binky and stay there the entire night. If she’d ever fuss, I’d tell her not to and she’d POOF like magic, just go to sleep.

It never happened.

Rosie came into this earth with a mean case of GERD and from the moment she tried to feed we knew we were in for a wild ride. So, I broke all those pre-mommy rules that I made. She slept on my chest. She dozed in the car seat in the corner of our room. We walked all night and rocked all day. We did whatever it took to attempt to sleep.

We never did.

Somewhere around the age of five, Rosie’s tummy problems leveled out a bit. We were able to put her in her own room. But, somehow, in the middle of the night she slept-walked back to ours. Time and time again.

We’d see her staring at us in the dark (or through us, sometimes we weren’t quite sure) and she’d mumble a bunch of gibberish. We’d spin her around and lead her back to her room. And, if that didn’t work, we’d have a sleeping bag ready so we could all get some sleep.

It worked for a while.

Until she was sick (which happens a lot with a kid with tummy troubles. With frequent nausea, it’s easier to have her close.) Or scared (we often found ourselves afraid to be sick). Or just wanting to be close to mommy and daddy.

Sometime around eight, she no longer wanted to be with us all the time. She wanted to sleep alone. And, she has.

Before I had kids, I was always going to be the perfect mom and my child would always go to sleep without me. And, if she couldn’t sleep, I’d always be tough enough to let her figure out how. I’d let her cry herself  to sleep.

I sat last night listening to my eleven year-old sob uncontrollably in my room in a sleeping bag on the floor. She’s worried about an EGD she’s having on Monday.  Her tummy troubles have never gone away. But, my desire to be the perfect mom has. If I could have done anything to soothe her, I would have.

About debcb

All Deb wanted to do was work, until she had Rosie. For the past decade, she's juggled a full-time career, high-profile volunteer work and mommyhood.

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