Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Sleep Chronicles

If there was one thing I might complain about as far as having a baby, it would be sleep. Ok, that's a lie: I complain a lot, but that's just because I have a tendency to whine. But my only REAL complaint is sleep.

In my house, I refer to this as "The Sleep Chronicles" because I feel like I may as well have started a newspaper; it would have been a much more efficient way to update everyone and their brother on my child's sleep habits.

Perhaps I'm overly sensitive because I don't have a "good sleeper," but why is "Is he sleeping through the night?" the first question people ask you right after, "How old is he?" Why do strangers feel the need to butt in as to whether or not my child's sleeping habits are normal?

The thing is, by and large, his sleep doesn't really bother ME. We've chosen to cosleep, and I think we've gotten far more sleep this way than we otherwise would have. For one, Little Spaghetti considers me his personal all-night diner (apparently called reverse cycling and something I was totally unaware of pre-baby). Secondly, I developed a freakish paranoia of SIDS as soon as I brought my baby into this world. Those two things mean that cosleeping is the ONLY way I was going to get any sleep. Even still, my baby wakes pretty frequently, usually to eat - always going back to sleep very quickly - and sometimes nurses every hour of the night for days at a time (just one more reason I think cosleeping is the only way I get any rest).

What DOES bother me is that I feel the need to constantly justify myself to other people because people always ask. "Well, no, he's not quite sleeping through the night yet, but he's a good baby anyway." And let's not even start with how many times I've heard that I've "ruined" my child with my lazy sleeping habits (cosleeping). Even if I just lie or avoid the question, I leave the conversation feeling guilty - like I'm somehow failing as a mother because my kid doesn't sleep through the night.

I just want to know: why is the quality of my child judged by the continuous length of time he sleeps?

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