I remember when our children were very young. One woke up laughing, the other, not so much. For those of you who know my family, I will leave you to guess which child responded with laughter and which responded with tears.
And I remember trying to teach them to sleep through the night. (Of course, I also remember setting up a borrowed video camera and recording our first born while he slept. Pretty exciting video, isn’t it? But we were brand new parents.) But the process of training them to sleep through the night and go back to sleep when their little bodies awoke in the middle of the night was hard. There was a huge part of me that wanted to just pick them up and bring them into our bed and snuggle. It seemed that between my wife and I, only one of us would have the strength to deal with the crying. One of us would begin to cave in and the other would be strong. Then the roles would reverse. And on it went for days and days until we finally made it through the night.
What is a beleaguered parent to do?
Should I scoop them up and feed them every time they cried? Should I bring them into our bed to sleep? There is a problem with that approach. They were growing bigger, and they no longer needed to eat every two to three hours, and it would ultimately hurt them and be bad for them if we allowed them to never establish a healthy sleep pattern. They needed sleep, I needed sleep. Heaven only knows that their mother needed sleep!
So, what is the beleaguered leader to do?
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