I would say that sleep and nighttime parenting
have been my last frontier of gentle parenting.
It is my most challenging.
I was sleep trained as an older baby; it didn’t work.
I remember being awake in my room alone for hours as a small child; terrified of being alone, but also afraid to call out.
I still have nighttime anxiety and issues with sleep.
I stay up until I’m so tired I can’t stay awake,
so I don’t have to lie in the dark for long.
Having been through this, it confuses and frustrates me
that I have had such a hard time giving my children
what I needed so badly.
According to the anthropologist Alice Miller, it is no mystery at all,
but the guilt I live with is a huge weight regardless.
I know I can’t undo anything, but like everything else in life that
requires true and profound change, there was a point when
I just decided I would not allow my impatience to get the better of me.
With the exception of a few temporary lapses,
quickly followed by apologies and cuddles,
I am doing very well, and not surprisingly,
the girls sleep much better too…a side effect of this decision
is that I enjoy those middle of the night cuddles like
I used to in the early, newborn days.
The house is so quiet and it’s just me and my little girls,
keeping each other safe and warm in the dark.
~How you treat the child, the child will treat the world~