As you can guess by the title of this post, we have had our share of sleepless nights around here. Last night was just awful. I was up most of the night with Avigail, until my dear husband sent me to the guest room to get a couple of hours of sleep before the day began.
I’ve always been a huge proponant of attachment parenting, ever since Eliza was born. I’ve been able to enjoy the priceless fruit of parenting through connection with each of my kids as they’ve grown. And I’ve never regretted my decision – truly, I haven’t!
Many look at AP from the outside and think that all of us crazy AP moms must reach a point where we just completely snap – that this lifestyle is impossible to maintain for the long-term. And speaking from 6 years of experience, there is some truth to that thought. If you let yourself become ruled by certain “AP Rules”, burnout is inevitable.
That’s why Attachment Parenting International has its principle #8: Strive For Balance in Personal and Family Life. And this is what I’m going to be focusing on in my own life this week.
I love co-sleeping – I really do. We have been sharing our room (and our bed) with our children since Eliza was born, at one point having a family bedroom for all 6 of us! I love having everyone I love most gathered in one room all night. And I love how easy it makes nursing. Baby wakes and fusses slightly, mama latches baby on and drifts back off to sleep. It’s awesome.
But with every pregnancy comes that lovely feeling of being completely over-touched and exhausted, and co-sleeping loses its charm for a season. With each of my pregnancies, I have chosen to night-wean my toddler. This helps a lot with my overwhelmed feelings and allows me a bit more sleep. So a couple of weeks ago we decided to begin night-weaning Avigail.
With each of our other kids, night weaning was hard for a few days, then things clicked and sleep-filled nights ensued. But Avigail is a different story! First of all, she hardly eats solid food. She is perfectly healthy, but requires night nursing to maintain a high enough calorie intake. Secondly, she absolutely loves me at night. Our other kids were ok with having Mark help put them back to sleep (which helps avoid the nursing issue), but she gets SO mad! And her stamina is incredible. She cried and fussed (with us, not alone) for the majority of the night last night. And it seems like things are getting worse, not better. 🙁
So, all that to say that figuring this dilemma out has quickly become my highest priority. My first step is to my darndest to find food she will eat. I must get those calories into her during the day! We might introduce a sippy of cow’s milk too if need be. Mark volunteered to take her next weekend to try the night-weaning boot camp again. So I’ve got until then to get the food thing figured out.
Anyway, I know that this whole scenario might sound a bit foreign to some AP families, but it all goes back to balance. It is so important.
How do you find balance in your parenting life? Do share with us! 🙂