Sunday, December 16, 2012

The hardest moment in parenting

Tonight (yet again...) is a bad night in which the bedtime wrestling match is worse than usual. It's so frustrating to have this great kid who is totally different and just awful when you try to get her to sleep (in her room, alone).

We adults don't sleep nearly as well if she shares our room, so we insist she sleep in her own room.

What makes it so hard? Aside from intentionally peeing on her bed so if there aren't new sheets she gets to sleep in our room, it's the guilt. We hoped for this child. We had sleepless nights worrying and waiting for her to arrive. It feels ungrateful to insist on this of all things. Why shouldn't we just let her sleep on our floor? I mean, aside from me getting up and having to try not to crush her 3+ times a night, her need for many lights that make it harder for me to sleep, and the hacking cough that wakes me extra often if she shares with us. We are clearly putting ourselves first by not letting the kid sleep in our room. It's hard to avoid feeling terrible for being selfish, even when it's selfishness that's key to survival.

This weekend we went to see a free movie at the theater as part of a kids' day at the movies deal. All the families with more typically-spaced kids, especially the ones with a pregnant mom and barely walking toddler just hurt my heart. It was a punch in the guts to see them and realize it was impossible (or very highly improbable) for us to ever be there, with a normal family that just happened. I had on my green-tinted glasses, I envied that reality so much. Seeing very pregnant people still has that profound ache to it, where I think it will never be me... and yet, I'm waddling pregnant right now.

Sometimes I think I expect too much from the kid because she's so great most of the time. I think I don't l let her get away with much either because she's it and I feel like a super failure when she's out of line or because I worry I'm over-indulging her all the time and I have to reign that in whenever possible.

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