This year has been pretty eventful to say the least. This nation has experienced some undeniable ups and downs. But nothing we haven’t seen before. Maybe not in my lifetime or yours, but this nation as a whole, has experienced far worse. This year has been the best of times and the worst of times. Why?
Direct your attention to my daughter. She’s 21 months old now and for a long time had been a fantastic sleeper. She’d abandoned the middle of the night feedings around five months and my husband and I were elated. We’d go to sleep and wake up feeling less like we sipped a laced drink and more like positive well functioning adults. It was heaven. And then it changed. Shortly after her first birthday she started waking in the middle of the night again. Unable to be settled back down unless we put her in our bed. We mourned. Rest peacefully sweet rest. More so, we were frustrated. What happened? We thought she’d grown. We thought she was capable of sleeping through the night. We thought she was past this.
Until the election, we thought we’d successfully put our major issues to bed. 2016 got real ugly, real quick. It took people by surprise. Not because we haven’t seen this before. The injustice, the poisoned politics, the warped media. We’re totally familiar with it (see this entire nation’s history for more info). The problem is that we’d gotten comfortable. We made so much progress through such heartache and bloodshed that we thought we’d never revisit these issues of racism, sexism, and religious intolerance. Like me and my husband, we settled into bed, pulled our covers up over our heads and failed to realize that the baby was stirring again. Growing and changing. Reverting. And it’s a real freaking thing people. We’re experiencing the mother of all sleep regressions in this nation.
My husband and I were not expecting our sweet little girl to turn into a midnight hellion. We scrambled on Google trying to find remedies to a well known issue with toddlers and babies. Literally, there is so much information about it I felt stupid. It doesn’t help to be informed about the stages of success if you’re not equally informed about potential pitfalls, risks, and regressions. If we’d done the proper research we would not have spent nights putting her in our bed to hush and soothe her and thus creating a whole new damned issue of having to wean her out of co-sleeping. We fumbled this shit bad y’all and for 2017 to be successful we have to hope that things positively progress but be prepared for the absolute worse and have a strategic game plan on how to deal with it. Evil wriggles in during weak times (see Donald Trump and this nation’s entire history for more info).
For 2017, I’m betting, nay, hoping, that the we’ll all get it together and think like a Mom for a second. What’re we going to do when our bad habits won’t get out of our bed when their thirteen years old? Are you going to get used to toes pressing into your spinal cord or are you going to sleep train that mess into submission?
Do you know the most important thing to master in order to nip sleep regression in the bud? Consistency. Clear goals, sticking to a schedule, and following through everyday no matter how exhausting it may be initially. If I can bottle this little nugget from parenting and send it out across the world…and charge a buck per bottle i’ll be a lot closer to clearing all my debt. That went left didn’t it? Feels like the right way to end this crazy year. Happy 2016 everyone and onward to 2017!