Thursday, May 24

Giving In to Reality

Sol has begun sleeping through the night. Of course, if you're a parent, you know that "through the night" isn't actually through the whole night; it means that the baby sleeps about 5-6 hrs at a time. And Sol doesn't even do that on a regular basis... really not even on a semi-regular basis.

Like a good mama, I've established a bedtime routine and I try to stick to it (but if you know ME, you know that I've never had a solid routine in my entire life). No matter how consistently I try to drill this routine, Sol still cries herself to sleep every night. Every. Single. Night. And I'm a big proponent of raising independent children, and (to that effect) teaching babies to self-soothe. It's not as hard as I thought it would be. Sure, Sol's cry can occasionally drive me mad and make me wish I was in a padded room, but for the most part I've learned to tune it out.

Tonight I was sitting in my bedroom and listening to Sol crying in her nursery. She had been crying for almost 15 minutes. She was fed, dry, and adequately clothed (considering the blazing hot weather). She was all set for bed - and she WAS TIRED - but in true baby style, she refused to just give in and fall asleep. As I listened to her, I thought she was crazy. Deep down, she MUST know she's tired. She has to feel it, doesn't she? Why won't she just let go and fall asleep?

Then again, I do the same thing. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the way things are going (so often NOT according to plan) that I don't allow myself to just let go and let life take its course. Perhaps I'm upset with my student loans and the fact that I feel those four years were a lousy investment (for the record, I AM upset about that). Maybe sometimes I feel just a little too lonely. Could be that I hate my job. Whatever it is that I'm upset about, it does me no good to cry about it. Crying won't solve anything. Crying won't pay the bills, find Mr. Right, or get me a new job. All those things that are bothering me? They're part of life, part of reality. I can change them, or I can learn to deal with them.

One year ago today I held a positive pregnancy test in my hand, and I thought my life was over. I spent many months "crying myself to sleep" before I gave in to accepting reality (which I should have done much sooner, but hindsight is 20/20). And once I was able to accept the situation, I was able to embrace it, share it with my loved ones, and view it in a different light altogether. I thank God every day that I made this choice. There were other options out there, but I am SO glad I chose this. My heart almost stops when I think how my life would be if I had "taken care of the situation," as her father had so 'politely' requested. All those months of crying? No, they weren't great, but Sol is worth every tear and then some. If all it took was shedding a few tears to bring this little gal into the world, those are some well-spent tears. Fact.

I refuse to lie awake at night and cry over what I've lost or what's keeping me from being truly happy. I will no longer allow myself to lose sleep over my lot in life. If there's a part of your reality that's making you restless, change something. Change the problem itself, change the way you look at it, or just take some time to breathe and rest. Sometimes it's when the world is dark and we're all alone (like sleepy Sol) that we need to just "fall asleep" and wait for a new day.

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. -- Nikos Kazantzakis

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