As an expectant mother I felt I knew everything about parenting. My child would be Ferberized, would sleep through the night, go to bed early, and would never have my baby sleep in my bed, never, ever, ever.
Of course, I was an idiot. Many people have a lot of success on the sleep front, I just happen to not be one of them. Ryan fell asleep standing up on many occasions while I let him “cry it out”. I rocked him for 2 hours many nights. He rarely fell asleep before 9:30pm. He cried, I cried, my husband vetoed my plans and decided for all of our sanity he would lie down with him in our bed, while watching tv, and let him fall asleep. It worked, and continues to, to this day.
When I was pregnant with our second, Ryan started to fall asleep in our bed, and stay there. Matty was never Ferberized because I was petrified that two children awake and crying would send me over the edge. Then, my new little angel decided he hated the crib. I transferred him to a bed at one year and my body was the barrier that kept him off the floor. So it was official, I no longer slept in the same bed as my husband, but I had two happy kids who slept through the night.
A year later nothing has changed. My husband and I only share a bed on vacation, and with two kids under the age of four there haven’t been many weekends away. However, tonight, with lingering colds in tow, we all climbed into my and Matty’s bed at bedtime for fun. It was early, it was unlikely, but I thought why not? Twenty minutes later I was the only one awake, and it was before 8 pm. I won the lottery. I can’t stop smiling.
In the almost four years of parenthood I have learned to relish in the small wins and ignore the noise that surrounds me and challenges all of my parenting instincts. Too much tv, not enough vegetables, oh well. Toilet training remains a struggle, but Ryan told me he had to pee during his bath tonight…and he didn’t do it in the bath tub. Win. I’ll take it. I may still be an idiot, but at least I have two sleeping children and a bath tub free of urine.