So a few weeks ago I Told you all about my newest Mommy Milestone, which was moving Aaliyah to her crib in the nursery at bedtime. I discussed how difficult it was for me not having her close by. But due to her erratic sleeping, it had become a necessity. I mean you go with what works, right? For the first week, things seemed fine. She was back to sleeping soundly at night. It was great! No more sleep deprivation or permanent bags under our eyes. George and I were finally getting back to what we consider normal.
But all of a sudden, about a week and a half ago, it started again. She was in the process of learning how to push herself up to a sitting position and pull herself to a standing position. It was her newest skill. And it started affecting her sleep again. Every time we would lay her down for bed in her crib, within 20 minutes, she’d be sitting up crying. It became this hopeless situation once again. Night after night, we’d day her down in her crib multiple times and every time she’d cry. After awhile, I would just stay in my rocking chair with her. It was uncomfortable, but at least I could sleep a little bit. I thought it was just another phase, and I just had to get through it again. George had said early on that we were not going to have Aaliyah sleeping in the bed with us. And I agreed to it. It made sense for safety reasons.
One night, I came home late from work. It had to be about 1 o’clock in the morning. I had received a few messages from George saying Aaliyah wasn’t going to sleep. I walked into the house; and i was surprised to see it was dark and quiet. I expected to see George propped up in the rocking chair with Aaliyah asleep on his shoulder. But the nursery was empty. I found George, Aaliyah, and Harley all asleep in out bed. Aaliyah draped across George’s chest and Harley spread out between his legs. It was quite the picture. I would’ve taken a picture if it hadn’t been the middle of the night. Seriously, it was priceless!
But George had opened up a cans of worms. He had brought Aaliyah into our bed. I had understood why, because I had been wanting to do the same for almost a week. But I knew that we had agreed not to do it. And I wanted to stick to our agreement. If anyone was going to crack, it had to be George. And standing there in the dark that night, I knew that I was free. Free to choose sleep over principles. George had finally gotten a taste of my own private hell, and he finally understood what it was like to get stuck in that chair. I had missed my bed. Not only had I missed several nights of sleep. I also hadn’t been in my bed for more than 6 hours in almost 6 days.
And so we caved. George and I chose sleep over principles. We finally realized that we can have all the ideals and expectations in the world about parenting, but in reality, some of them are impractical. And when you get down to it, we need our sleep to function. So for the past five nights, I have been going to bed with Aaliyah asleep on my shoulder. We’ll revisit the crib another time. For now, I am a mommy who needs sleep, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get it.