Let her cry they say.
And their words rattle round my head.
At midnight as she whimpers in her sleep, snuffling for my breast as she stirs, like a pig sniffing for truffles.
As she finds my breast, I feel her body relax in contentedness. She knows she’s safe now. She’s reassured.
Her body is hot pressed up against mine and her hair tickles my nose. She’s so long now and I’m laid awkwardly and uncomfortably to accommodate her body that has now grown for 3 years and 7 months.
3 years and 7 months is too old to still be waking at night they say. You are STILL nursing they say.
Let her cry they say, when I say I’m exhausted from spending those 3 years 7 months of waking up multiple times a night to soothe and satisfy her with my breast.
But they mustn’t know that there is no amount of discomfort I wouldn’t endure for her. As I breathe in her unmistakable scent from her sweaty head I know there is nothing I wouldn’t endure before I ever allowed her to cry and didn’t comfort her however I could.
They mustn’t know that she’s the last person on earth I would let cry without my comfort. I’d set myself on fire just to keep her warm.
So baby girl you keep waking, you keep nursing and even if I’m 100, I’ll be here every night. And for as long as you live, I’ll be there to wipe every last tear that falls from your perfect eyes.
The world needs more love and you’ll learn that kindness is queen and joy is the biggest act of resistance.
If you are struggling with sleep deprivation and want to read something that might make you feel better from someone who has been there you might enjoy these articles I’ve written:
P.S. We’ve since night weaned and my daughter is pretty much sleeping through now at 4 years and 3 months old. She’s now bedsharing with her dad instead of me.
Disclaimer: This blog post is categorically NOT a judgement on those who chose to do controlled crying methods with their kids. Your kid, your business. I know you love your children just as much as I love mine. This is just how I personally chose to approach sleep issues. Please don’t @ me if you feel like this is a judgement if you do crying sleep training methods. It really isn’t, if it works for you like it does for many then I’m pleased for you. I simply wrote this post in the middle of the night one night, exhausted when my daughter kept waking but frustrated by people repeatedly telling me to just let her cry.