As a first-time mom, I may not know everything, but I do know one thing for sure: when your spouse is away, life gets harder.
Recently, my husband spent a week in the field and I spent my first week parenting solo. Usually I call in the big gun, my mother, to help, but this time; I had to fly solo. I could not call my mommy to bail me out this time.
My kids are great, happy-go-lucky kids until around 6 p.m., then all bets are off. One minute they are cute and cuddly mogwai then the next, gremlins who are very much allergic to sleep and sleeping in their own room.
I didn’t dread having to take care of the kids by myself for a week, but I was terrified to do bedtime alone. The twins used to be rock star sleepers, then they started teething and we did some traveling and now it feels like I have newborns all over again.
Because being a single parent isn’t hard enough, I give you guys a ton of credit, I decided to sleep train my twinterage alone.
Well, let me tell you. Trying to sleep train your twins while your spouse is in the field is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. Not my best idea, nor my finest attempts at parenting.
I did some research, and by research I mean I asked my mom friends on social media for advice, and decided to give the cry it out method a try. My daughter is a great self soother, so she fussed her usual amount and fell asleep. My son cried for about 15 minutes until he tuckered himself out. I was shocked. Both kids were asleep in their own room, in their own respective bed before 8 p.m. without that much of a fight.
I thought to myself, “this week may not be so bad after all, pretty smooth sailing so far” and I did my happy dance all the way to the freezer to grab a celebratory pint of ice cream — when someone driving at a snail’s pace blasted their car radio in front of my house and ruined it for me. The dogs’ barking woke up the kids and there was no sleep to be had that night, for anyone, dogs included.
In true twin fashion, my crew decided to protest night two of sleep training in grand fashion by getting all worked up and throwing up all over their cribs.
Night three rolled around, and I threw my hands in the air and I just let them play until they fell asleep, around 11 p.m.
By night four, I was counting down the hours until my husband would be home because I needed a shower, to eat something other than dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and like 72 hours of sleep.
Say a prayer for me that the twins learn to fall asleep and stay asleep in the next week because my husband is going back into the field, leaving me to twin all alone once again.
Vanessa Lynch is a former metro editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. An Army spouse, she and her husband live in Harker Heights with their two young children.