Update : we are so close to Monatefontein, we can see the lights!
We decided to get our household into a more structured routine, because as it turns out, it’s really hard having two kids under two, and the other mum blogs I read straight lied to me.
We began sleep training our eldest last Friday. Initially, I tried to avoid the whole process all together, and leave it up to alliancepartner and the nanny, but then I felt bad and decided to participate. The plan was: we would do his usual story and then put him in the cot while he was awake & leave him there. His nanny would stay in the room til he fell asleep (the presence of parents exponentially increases the intensity of toddler tears and tantrums)
I was kak scared, the whole time. Me: “WTF?! hhhoomygod! I can’t. I can’t. I don’t want to do this. Don’t make me do this” 📷
Them: Hhayi suka. Just be strong.
After story time, alliancepartner gave me that “please go” look, so I gave my boy a kiss and said good night, and went back to our bedroom to cry. A few minutes later, Alliancepartner came into our bedroom and closed the door. I could hear my son screaming for us, and wailing. We held each other for comfort and reassurance that we weren’t killing our child with neglect. I think alliancepartner also held me to stop me from getting up and going to our son’s room. 12 minutes of hell. And then quiet. Four hours later, he cried for another 4 minutes, but settled himself and went back to sleep.
He slept through til 7am the next morning, and when he woke up, he didn’t cry, he just played quietly by himself. Night two, he whimpered a little when he went into the cot, but was fine afterwards. Night three, no drama.
We did it. We have sleep trained Kid Kaunda. Hepeee! It’s night 7. He’s fast asleep. On his own. In his room. No nanny, no screaming.
His day time routine is also on point. He’s adapted so quickly. I am so proud of him. He even tucks his toys in, when it’s time to go to bed.
It’s taken us a long time, and heapfuls of courage to get to this point. Courage in the sense that we overcame our anxiety about taking charge of certain things and channeling them to work for us, without guilt or shame. Hesitation, yes. Nervousness, yes. But also a conviction that we are doing the right thing, for ourselves, no matter how difficult or inconvenient, or contrary to the parenting propaganda of the Machinery of Msunery.
We have observed our patterns and tried to work out a rhythm that puts us on the same wavelength. We are doing things our way, at our own pace.
This may seem like the obvious, and only way to do things, but Nooooh… there is so much pressure to do things in every way but our own, and to buy and be dictated to by apps, books and gadgets, to forgo our intuition and effort, in favour of consumerist nyolz.
I will cannot say this enough : Conscious loving and conscious parenting are acts of resistance. Revolutionary things. And necessary.