It is so sad—
So horrific and blue.
I hate it — the sound of her pain. I can feel it. Her shrieks permeate my skin and stab my very soul.
The mother in me wants to scoop her up and love on her and save her from this dreaded experience… Something we’ve been avoiding for a ridiculously long time.
But deep down I know, I just know…
She needs this; I need this; my marriage needs this.
She’s always been treated as the princess.
And she is.
She is innocent and beautiful and amazing and glorious.
But, as I’ve recently discovered, too much love can incapacitate you.
I don’t want that for her.
I want her to be strong and free, brave and courageous, loving and wise.
Right now, she feels deserted, abandoned.
I’m here though.
I peek in to check on her. Having never slept in her crib before she had just draped herself over the edge of the corner, and fallen asleep still standing. It is a pathetic, dismal sight. I debate. Pick her up? Let her sleep?
Finally, I lift her up and lie her belly down on the plush pink sheet. She rests briefly, comfortably for a moment and then wakes. Wait, you’re here?!
She starts shrieking, crying, pointing at me. I pluck her up, dance with her in a slow circle, sing sweetly to her. Sweet girl. She doesn’t know any different. It’s not her fault. Then I lie her down and the process starts all over again.
“You’re deserting me! You don’t care,” you can hear the intonations in her scream…
I’ll cry. You’ll come.
I’ll cry. I’m angry.
I’ll cry. I’ll shriek. You must come save me.
Finally, she sleeps.
Does this make me a bad parent? The ever lurking guilt of parenting seeps in. That my daughter has never spent a full night alone in her crib until now, at 13 months — does this make me incompetent?
We always had an excuse: her room was too cold, her room was too close (we couldn’t stand the sound of her crying), our house was too small, she was too small, and on and on.
The truth was, we liked it… and it was just easier. The questions creep in, playing on my insecurities. Am I horrible for doing this to her? This late in the evening, my strength, foundation, they are compromised. I have little confidence in myself. And yet somewhere deep down I know, it’s time.
She needs this space; I need it too. I have many exciting things coming up in this new year where I need to be able to leave the baby with someone — my husband, her grandmother, the nanny — someone over the weekend. And beating myself up during this heart wrenching process serves no one.
I take a deep breath.
And back to the nursery I go.
She needs soothing.
But I will not fold.
She will sleep alone tonight in her crib.