One of my biggest challenges, as a mother, is constantly convincing myself that I'm not a "bad" one. It's so easy to get caught up in self-doubt and fear and, when exhaustion is thrown into the mix, assume that I'm doing anything and everything wrong. When you love someone so much, it's difficult to live up to the very high standards you set for yourself. That standard was particularly high when it came to my son's sleep, and it took me a while to realize that changing my mind about "crying it out" didn't make me a bad mom.
I want to have all the answers and make all the right decisions and never have to "double back" because a choice I made was wrong. As a mom who is tasked with taking care of someone so precious and wonderful and important to not only me, but many other people, it can be hard to let myself make "mistakes," or even admit that what I thought would work for us, wasn't and won't work at all. That realization hit me smack in my sleep-free face after two nights of trying to "cry it out" with my son. We had co-slept in the hospital, as skin-t0-skin contact helped his tiny body regulate its temperature, and while co-sleeping was wonderful, my partner and I wanted our bed back (and were tired of getting kicked and hit by tiny little fists and feet). We did our research and found a particular "crying it out" method that we thought would work for us, and went to work. Yeah, 72 hours later we were shaking our heads, wondering what we were thinking and back to co-sleeping.
Different things work for different parents and kids, in every single aspect of parenthood. While I saw other parents getting fantastic sleep because "crying it out" worked for them, I realized that it just wasn't in the cards for my family. I don't consider my attempt at "crying it out" to be a failure, and I definitely don't consider myself a bad mom for changing my mind after a few days. Here are just a few reasons why: