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My New Mantra

I signed up for this.

This is not my original thought. I read Mrs. Gore's Diary several weeks ago, and her post really resonated with me. I sort of chewed on it over the last couple of weeks, but it wasn't until today that I really embraced it in full.

You see, Little L's sleep patterns have changed yet again. Remember how I committed to cyberink the choose-your-own-adventure style of sleep she had going on? Yeah, she must have read the blog and decided to mess with my head. Or something. Because yesterday, my girl only slept like 6 hours and got up at 6:30 am, then crashed again from 9:30-11:30, and instead of going straight until bedtime, decided that 6:45 pm was a perfectly acceptable time to start her second nap. You know, the one that she dropped a year ago. She was up again at 10:00 pm, and didn't go down until 2:00 in the morning.

Which would have been okay if she, y'know, slept in today. But she didn't. Not really. She started marathon nursing at 6:30 am, waking me up. Then she woke up at 8:30, a scant 6.5 hours after she went to bed.

So now that she's napping (start time - 2:45 pm, we'll see how this goes...), I'm taking long deep breaths and reciting my mantra. And surprisingly, it is keeping me sane despite my utter sleep depravity.

You see, I *did* sign up for this. About 1.5 years ago, I made a conscious decision not to sleep train, and to allow her little body to sleep when it's tired and trust its sleepy cues. I made a choice not to force her to go into her room and be "locked in" from 7:00-7:00 regardless of how she felt. I chose to bear the consequences of erratic wake-up and sleep times, because I wanted her to be able to get the sleep that her body needs, not the one that fits best with my schedule.

I signed up for this.

There is so much more that I could say about all of my parenting choices that make my life harder than, say, a mom who chooses not to be an attached parent, but frankly, I'm too tired to opine about these other approaches or explore the reasons for my own.

Let's just say that I accept full responsibility for the crazy sleep schedule Little L has decided to follow, and I know that it won't last. My head is doing the dull-throb thing and my neck and shoulders are aching (despite having had a massage and a hot tub soak just yesterday), but that's okay.

I signed up for this.

And today, when my fiesty little girl was busy picking all the cheese off her sandwich, she paused suddenly, looked me in the eye, smiled her biggest and brightest smile, and declared, "It makes me happy when I play with Mommy."

I signed up for this, too.

And that is what makes it all worthwhile.


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