Sleep training is challenging. Like, being a mom is hard, but sleep training is unbelievably hard. Ultimately, it was my partner who steered the process, because I was a deeply sad every single time I heard my baby cry. This brings me to my next point, which is that struggling to sleep train, or struggling with the 'cry it out' method in particular, doesn’t make you a bad mom. I was terrible at it, and I’m OK with the undeniable fact that I was terrible at it. I know I have other strengths, like snuggling and toddler outfit styling and chicken nugget preparation. I could do all of these things on repeat, but sleep training? Nope.
It's not to say that I didn't feel guilty or "less than" or "lacking," in some way, when I had to look at my partner with my, "You have to do this," eyes. I wish I could have gone into the room and been able to handle my child crying. I wish sleep training didn't fall so heavily on my partner, and I could have been more of an active and equal participant. Still, we're also a partnership, and being in a partnership means that two people help one another get through something together. For us, that meant my husband handling the sleep training, and me trying to act like he wasn't handling the sleep training.
We had plenty of friends and family recommend a number of different methods to us, too, and each were intriguing in their own way. Ultimately, we found a way that worked for our family (the fact that our son slept in our room for the first ten or so months complicated things a bit), thanks mostly in part to my partner’s ability to stay strong at 4am, which is pretty much where I lose all sanity. Still, I want to offer a shout-out to any other moms struggling. It’s normal, you're not a bad mother, you're not lacking or "less than," and here’s why: