It's been roughly a month since we started drugging baby E to get him to sleep at night. Though I say that in jest, I do still have some reservations and guilt about it. However, lemme just tell ya, that baby is now sleeping. Not every night, all night. But most nights, mostly all night. We are getting up with him maybe once a night, and at that only every other night or so. Instead of 2-4 times each and every night. That means that at a minimum every other night I get to sleep all. night. long. I mean, the Melatonin - for real - has been the savior of my sanity. And probably my marriage.
My sweet baby E is happier and napping better during the day, too. He's taking (generally) 1 nap a day now, instead of two. And it's a longer one, like 2-3 hours, instead of an hour and a half or less. He is less crabby and that baby's language development has taken off. (A post for another day.) He's still into everything, but I don't think that has a thing to do with anything other than who he is.
I'm a happier momma because I'm finally sleeping. I am more patient, calmer, less edgy, and better able to focus on everything - work, kids, hubby, adult conversation, everything. Hubby, too, is more patient and less cranky. It's been a good, good thing for us all.
So why then do I continue to struggle with it?
Well, in short, I hate giving my kids medicine. And while I don't consider Melatonin a medicine exactly, it is a pill (albeit crushed up in some applesauce). I feel like we're drugging him to get him to sleep. Which isn't, of course, addressing any possible underlying issue (i.e. whatever it is causing him to not sleep on his own). It feels in some ways like a really selfish decision, "making" him sleep when his body doesn't seem ready to do it on its own.
And yet, that sleep...oh that sleep... I can't turn it down. So, I guess I'll continue to feel guilty about drugging him to get him to sleep. Because neither hubby or I are willing to give up that sleep. At least for the meantime. Maybe in a couple of months when our sleep deficit has been significantly decreased we'll consider weaning him off it and see what happens. Maybe. Hopefully. Possibly.
Today's lesson: As people, as parents, we are often judgemental. About the decisions that other parents make. About the decisions our co-parent makes. About the decisions we make ourselves. We're often heard to say "I would never...". And, yet, I don't think we ever really know what we will do in a particular situation until we find ourselves in said position. And I choose to believe that we all make the best decisions we can in the midst of the situation. It may not be the same decision we would make a moment, a month, or 5 years later, but it's the best we can do right then. And, because of that, we owe it to ourselves to be more gentle with ourselves, with each other.