Much to be Grateful For

January 7, 2013 |  by  |  parenting
Much to be Grateful For

Your baby sleeps through the night but still only takes 20 minute naps and is an absolute misery in the evening. My husband and I are ridiculously educated and yet have no cash so most of our furniture still looks like starter furniture that you get right out of college. My kids have a playroom that would make Willy Wonka jealous but they don’t have a complete set of Lego Ninjas which, according to them, is all that matters in life.

It’s really easy to focus most of your energy on what you DON’T have. What’s NOT working. What ISN’T there. Especially when you’re tired and cranky. Unfortunately this becomes a reinforcing pattern where all you can think about is how crappy things are, which just makes you feel worse about how badly things are going.

Instead, what if you took a moment each day to really think about all the wonderful things that are going on. And no matter HOW bad things seem, I know there are lots of great things going on for each of you. Because you all have babies. And even at their most miserable, babies are pretty incredible. Take 5 minutes. Write down 5 great things that happened this week. Take 1 minute. Write down something great that happened today.

It doesn’t have to be big. It snowed. My baby smells great. My husband brought home take-out. I got to take a long hot shower.

It’s not hard. In fact, I’ll go first, OK?

The 2012 Troublesome Tots Gratitude Journal

Things I’m grateful for that happened last year…

1

Readers. Lots and lots of readers.

I started Troublesome Tots with no expectation that anybody would ever read it. Which is a good thing because for a good long while, nobody was. Now over 100,000 people from all over the world come visit every month. I am enormously flattered and stunned by these numbers.

2

My world is bigger.

When you’re a parent, your world gets very very small. It’s all about cutting grapes, picking up legos, and shuffling kids into and out of the car. This site helps my world from feeling too claustrophobic. It makes me feel like, in my own little corner, I’m making a difference.

3

Fan mail.

The fact that this happens AT ALL is a continual source of amazement. Every single piece of fan mail I get get’s starred so I can go back and read it again and again. They’re awesome. And generally pretty funny. They make me smile.

4

When people answer other people’s questions/comments.

It’s not easy to reach out and support somebody else when you’re feeling beat up yourself. Which is why I so appreciate it when people share thoughtful and informed responses to reader comments on my site. Also I can barely keep up myself and am grateful for any help I can get. Don’t worry that you’re stepping on my toes. You aren’t. It’s awesome. Please speak up – we all value you what you have to share.

5

Everybody I’ve reached out to for help.

Know what I’ve learned? That when you write about kids and sleep, just about everybody is willing to help you if you ask nicely. Or offer food bribes.

6

The attachment parenting militia has not found me.

I didn’t want to talk about CIO AT ALL because I was convinced I would get swarmed with hate comments. Do you know how many nasty comments I have gotten? Ever? Did you guess zero? Yep, not a single one. And that, my friends, is fantastic.

7

No judgment zone.

It is so great to have parenting peeps ask questions and share experiences and not get judged for it. I am amazed and appreciate that hundreds of thousands of people can come here from all over the world (especially Australia where I’m akin to Oprah) and respect that we’re all trying to figure this out, success, failure, and all.

8

My husband never dismisses my little blog project.

One of the many reasons I adore him.

Troublesome Tots AlexisAlexis Dubief on a real dayPS. This is me. Although my picture has been up on the about page from day 1 lots of people have suggested that I am either hiding a serious deformity or am in fact 85 years old. Neither of these is currently true (probably both will be at some point).

Full disclosure, I rarely look this good. Thus in the spirit of honesty I’m sharing another picture (below) which more accurately represents how I probably look when writing here. Only instead of sitting on my lap looking adorable, the peanuts are pelting me in the head with legos so that I’ll get off the computer.


Anyhoo, this is what I’m grateful for. What do you have to be grateful for? What wonderful surprises have come your way this past year? Please share!


108 Comments


  1. I am grateful for the birth of my first child who is a happy and healthy baby and grateful that I survived a terrible bought of post-partum depression soon after his birth. I am thankful to you for helping me with my son’s sleep issues and for advocating CIO as a viable option (worked for us!). I am also grateful for my supportive family who helped me through a very dark time this year.

  2. Alexis,
    Amen sister! I am so glad for this giant breath of fresh air. As busy and often overwhelmed parents, it is so easy to get hung up in the day-to-day and forget what we are all grateful for. I am grateful for my health and that of the people I love. As far as your audience loving you and supporting you. You deserve it! Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    • I’ve been too focused on what isn’t going right with TT (server crashing, no time, etc.) which prompted me to write this. Really the whole post is an exercise of getting my head focused on the good stuff.

      Like having friends like you who encourage me to try new and exciting recipes for my family :)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  3. I’m incredibly grateful for you and your site. Before finding you, I thought I’d somehow emotionally scar my son if we let him CIO (like all the nasty articles say).

    When I found your site, my 5.5-month old son was waking every 2 hours during the night and taking crappy naps. I had about 10 tabs open on my browser, each with a different blog post. I read through ALL the comments on some of them.

    He’s now 6.5-months old, and last night he woke once. ONCE!! He’s napping much better, and is back to his former happy self. And my husband and I resemble zombies a little bit less.

    Nearly giddy with a full 8 hours sleep,

    A happy reader :)

  4. This is so beautifully written, as always. Love it.

    I am grateful for courage in the past year to make big decisions and the friends that stick by you and support you! ;)

    I am grateful for two beautiful girls who sometimes sleep for eight hours.

    I am grateful for a New Year and the clean slate it brings.

    Happy 2013 Alexis!
    Laura Hill recently posted..How to make a slideshow video for YouTube, Facebook, or your websiteMy Profile

  5. I am so grateful this site is back up! I missed having this as an easy reference as my baby girl hit a sleep funk at 9 months old. I love being a mom more than anything, especially when I can make her feel better. your site has gotten me through many nights!

    • I’m grateful the site is back up too! Of course there are a whole bunch of technical things going on at my hosting company but (*sigh*) we’re focusing on gratitude so I won’t bring that up.

      I’m just grateful that there are 9 month olds in the world because I SWEAR there is nothing more fun than a 9 month old. Toes, tickles, dimple butt, spaghetti face, it’s a big package of awesome stuff you’ve got there :)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  6. I am thankful that with a better job on my husband’s side and some lifestyle trimming, I was able to quit my job and be home with my kids. I loved my job and it was a hard decision, but every time I am able to take my time in the morning getting my girls ready and the older one off to school, I am so grateful I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn in order to rush everybody out of the house on time to make it to work.

    I am thankful to my husband for giving me the gift of being able to complain about how hard being a stay at home mom is. :-)

    • Yes and yes. I still mourn not having a job (status, money, a reason to look put together every day) sometimes. But I REGULARLY tell my husband how grateful I am that he makes enough to provide for our family without me having to shuffle off to work 5 days a week.

      It is a huge and amazing gift.
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  7. My biggest blessing is my baby girl, who arrived after much trying.
    Like the others, I too am extremely grateful for this site. It has provided so much great advice that has made navigating life with a new baby a lot easier. I am also grateful that you have responded every single time I have asked a question (on Facebook) and that you have built a community of people who can help each other.
    I am also really grateful for coffee and the fact that I got a bottle of Starbucks gingerbread syrup for Christmas so I can have Gingerbread lattes everyday without leaving the house!

    • Why did I not know that you could buy bottles of gingerbread syrup and why has nobody gotten me one yet?!?!?

      Oh wait – gratitude. I’m grateful for kind words from people like you. And I’m grateful to live in a world where Gingerbread Lattes exist;)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  8. I would like to add these lyrics from Raffi, an amazing children’s artist who wrote a beautiful song called Thanks a lot. It is a non-denominational song about gratitude. I sing it to my son every night. I recommend downloading it if you can.

    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for Sun in the sky.
    Thanks for clouds so high.
    Thanks for the whispering wind.
    Thanks for the birds in the spring.
    Thanks for the moonlit night.
    Thanks for the stars so bright.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for the wondering me.
    Thanks a lot,
    Thanks for the way I feel.
    Thanks for the animals,
    Thanks for the land,
    Thanks for the people everywhere.
    Thanks a lot, Thanks for all I’ve got.
    -Raffi

  9. Thanks so much for this! I am just one of the many GRATEFUL new parents that you have helped out this year. Your blog was a glimmer of hope many times in this, sometimes desperate, first year of parenting. Thank you.

    • It’s like there needs to be a secret chapter in all the parenting books that is sealed with a warning that says, “Do not break the seal until after baby arrives.”

      Then you open the seal and a small piece of paper pops out that reads, “At some point, you will feel desperate. It’s OK – everybody does. You’ll get past it.”
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  10. Alexis, I found you (my new saviour) in the middle of an 8 week sleep deprived, crying, PPD stint I went through with my baby girl. I couldn’t believe how honest you were being, and down to earth, and FUNNY. You made me laugh for the first time since giving birth, and you made me not want to throw my prized possessions in a bag and get the first bus out of town, away from the child.

    And then I read your ‘About Me’ page, and realised you loved Joss Whedon too. I called my husband right that minute and babbled about how ‘OMG you know Alexis, that lady who is funny about the sleeping, she loves Joss! She’s like me!!’ which made him think I had truly lost my marbles.

    It is baby girl’s 14th week, and for the first time, she slept through the night. I cried again, but this time it was absolutely tears of joy. I know she’s going to regress/be cranky/start teething soon but at least I have an outlet, and some newfound knowledge from you and your readers. So thank you Alexis, I am grateful for this amazing community you’ve created.
    Jessica recently posted..Taking the Frantic Out of BabyMy Profile

    • Hey Jessica,

      Wow – your comment is the nicest thing that happened all day! (Admittedly I was home with sick kids all day so the bar was pretty low, but even on a great day this would be an amazing comment :).

      When I was a new Mom I used to want to go, alone, to a hotel all by myself SOOO much I would have given every last cent I had to get there. I wasn’t quite thinking a bus (seriously, have you SMELLED a bus lately?) but I totally get the desire to just. get. away.

      And here you are at 14 weeks sleeping through the NIGHT. Amazing. Congratulations to you both :)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  11. Thanks, Alexis, for providing such a fantastic resource to people like me who are confused, exhausted, and totally in love with their kids. I check your site every single day to read posts from other readers and it is such a comforting reminder that all of this shall pass and I will miss these needy, clingy afternoons and sleep-deprived nights when they are no more than a fading memory….

    • Oh there are many things you will miss about your baby (dimpled butts, baby laugh, baby smell, feeding baby solid food, chubby baby fists) but I can say with a high degree of certainty that you will not miss the sleep deprived nights. Um….nope ;)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  12. I have been meaning to write and give you an update. We had a HUGE suck=sleep association and you gave me and hubby the courage to let our girl CIO. It’s been three weeks and now our 8-month-old doesn’t even make a peep at bedtime! Just lays her head down and falls asleep. We’re still working on night feedings and naps, but that was amazing progress and I am forever grateful for you!

  13. I am hugely lucky and I appreciate it so much. A beautiful baby we never thought we could have. Amazing family who helped me through the post natal depression I didn’t see coming. A husband whose brilliance I can’t even begin to describe. A permanent job for said brilliant husband. A permanent job for me to go back to. An amazingly reassuring, down to earth Internet baby lady who has done her research and has some terrific ideas.

    Life certainly isn’t perfect and there are tough times too. But I’m starting to think that how you look at the world is almost as important as what you do in it!

    • I have nothing to say except that you are awesome.

      Also PPD would be much easier if we COULD see it coming. Like if they handed out little business cards when you left the maternity ward saying, “Just a note – you’ll have crushing PPD in a few weeks.”
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  14. Love this post, Alexis! Your gratitude comes through not only in your words, but in your life.

  15. stephanie edwards

    I’m grateful for your articles. I was SO against CIO until my son turned 1 and I knew we were both exhausted and something new had to happen. I poured over your site for days until I finally could get myself feeling OK with the decision. Now he sleeps perfect every single night, I’ve been lucky with no set backs!

    He doesn’t nap, I’ve tried the training with naps, but no such luck. Oh well, we just get a guaranteed nap together on the weekends.

    Thanks!

    • It takes a lot of courage to do something differently. People get hung up in this “don’t rock the boat – it may get WORSE” thing which isn’t so great. So congratulations to you for having the courage to mix it up and get things on track!
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  16. I am grateful that my son sleeps through the night and that we only occasionally have bad nights. I am SO grateful I found your site because it has been tremendously helpful in the many sleep issues we have had. I send your website to all of my friends who are mommies to be as I think it is very very valuable!

  17. Alexis, I too am grateful for your work. Without you and my electric swing, I’d have never gotten any sleep for months!! Now my baby will be 1 next week and he sleeps 11 hours at night in his crib! He takes decent naps too! I’d have never thought it :-)Thanks so much.

  18. I am grateful for my 15 month old who started sleeping through the night at 7 months – thanks in huge part to this site. Now, he could be in his crib an hour before bedtime and he never complains because he knows that’s how the nightly routine goes.

    I’m also grateful for coffee.

  19. Hi!
    I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am that I found your site. My 8 month (then 7 months) was still in my room, in his swing, but waking up every 45 minutes. We ended up either sleeping in the rocker ( well at least he was) or on the recliner (so I could sleep too).
    Last week, I moved him in the swing to his room and resolved to help him self soothe. I started night one with low motion, then no motion. Almost a week later, I have a sleep champ! He puts himself to sleep and most if the time right back to sleep within about 2 min. I didn’t do the full cry it out, but checked on him in timed intervals, which seems to be what he needed.
    I can’t think you enough for all your great insight! In the next few days, he is moving to the crib!

    • Congratulations on all your good work! Sleeping in the recliner eh? That’s rough. When you’re pregnant nobody tells you things like, “In three months it will seem totally reasonable for you to spend the entire night on the recliner because you are just. that. desperate.”

      And yet here you are, days away from sleeping in the crib. Nicely done ;)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  20. These words are enlightening. My lil one is 6 months old and does NOT sleep well at night. Its so easy to be down on yourself, your family, your life when running on fumes. All along this process I have said; I should really be greatful for having such a healthy, curious, thriving baby. And I am going to try to concentrate on that even more after reading this. Its not always easy to concentrate on the good and the things I actually DO have to be greatful for, but its important for me to try when times seem hard!

  21. Hi, I’m Jenny and I’m addicted to Troublesome Tots! This is my first time posting, couldn’t resist. I’m new mom of a 6 month old boy and I can’t tell you the countless hours I’ve spent reading and learning from your posts – and reposts. I’ve sent your website to every new or expecting mom I know! We’re dealing with our first cold at the moment, I was projectile spit up on twice this morning followed by a massive blow out. All within one hour of me trying to get out the door for work. It’s those days you somehow just manage to laugh…or cry really hard, then laugh. Today I just laughed. Your site has been so educational and at the same time entertaining! I LOVE OUR SWING! I’ll say it one more time I LOVE OUR SWING! I shouted it from the roof tops for a few months, I’m sure my family thought I was a little crazy. Now, we are successfully in the crib, no paci, sleeping like a champ – all thanks to you and your followers. Lady, you are changing the world one baby at the time. Well done!

    • Excuse me a moment while I print out your comment and pin it to my wall where I can see it every day. There. Thanks :)

      My 3 year old’s iIndian name would be “Poops When Leaving the House.”

      Seriously he’ll wait till we’re all wearing our snowpants and piling into the car to take a HUGE dump so that I’ve never gotten anywhere on time since the day he was born.

      I laugh. And take pictures that I’ll use to humiliate him when he starts dating ;)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

      • Jenny, I, too, am addicted to Troublesome Tots now! We don’t have children of our own (Alexis helps me come to terms with this and offers me her children to play with), but I’ve been avidly reading here since I’ve recently gotten more time with my nieces and nephew. I am so thankful to the universe that my brother and his wife have brought these precious, healthy children into the world and that I get to be part of their lives as they grow up. I’m also thankful to Alexis for being such a great friend since we met on a soccer team years ago. And now, with all you lovely ladies on this site, I kind of pretend I’m one of the mother-of-a-newborn club.

  22. I’m so grateful for this site! Your posts got me through so many nights of seemingly endless nursing sessions, and my 5 month old daughter now puts herself to sleep for naps and bedtime! I really never thought I would be able to lay her down awake without her having a total meltdown, but I actually look forward to our bedtime routine now. I’ve learned so much from you, and it has made our life MUCH less stressful!

  23. I think you are amazing and I want to give you a huge thanks for the help you gave me. I wrote you an email many months ago about putting my baby to sleep awake/self settling and you gave me the information and courage to get this right. I was so flattered that you even read my email and replied as I can only imagine how many you get and how busy you must be.

    I now have a baby who is an excellent sleeper. So many people say “Oh, you are so lucky” but it wasn’t luck, it was a lot of hard work, and a lot of it had to do with your information and advice.

    I love your articles, I love the way you write and I always recommend your site to everyone I know who is about to have a baby.

    So I am grateful for you. You bring so much to so many people and it comes from such a genuine place that is so evident. Oh boy, I know I am gushing a bit so I’ll just stop now and leave it at one more THANKS.

    • Wow – I’m so glad I responded to your email! (In truth I barely get back to 5% so that was a lucky break for us both :).

      And I’m totally with you – it IS hard work. Sure a few people get lucky easy babies but everybody else has to EARN it. You put all that work in – you want some credit!

      Had a similar experience the other day where a close friend talked about how naturally athletic I am. Apparently she had forgotten how I ballooned when pregnant and have been sweating through boot camp for 2+ years. And trust me there is NOTHING natural about boot camp (horrible but effective exercise).

  24. I so needed to see this post today to be reminded of our many blessings – as I sit here in our driveway with 10month old precious one napping in the back. The last two nights he has cried for over an hour at 3:30am. We first thought it could be teeth but he continues to wake up at that time no matter when we give him ibuprofen. He only seems to take morning naps at the breasts taunt lately unless its the weekend when Daddy can rock and sing him to nap-land (by any means necessary, right?). I am grateful that our baby will now dive into the crib when it is bedtime. (Thanks to CIO). And even even though Mommy sighs deeply when the clinginess gets a bit annoying by the end of the day, I cling back tightly knowing this baby is a gift and all too soon he will not want to be anywhere near his 80s music lovin mother.

    • My kids are a few years older but I have to “buy” their cuddles with TV time. So yes, the clingy thing is a bit of a blessing (at times).

      I also took a car nap with my little guy the other day. I definitely don’t miss those days of HAVING to take a car nap so I definitely felt grateful that we could enjoy a little quiet car time but have moved past the “car ride of desperation” times.

      Thanks for sharing and good luck with the 3:00 AM stuff. (You didn’t ask but 10 month old + clingy + wake up mysteriously at night = separation anxiety. He wants to be with you. You can wait it out or stop going in. It might be rough for a few days but generally they get the message. Sadly going to visit sort of feeds the beast – rewards the waking. End of unsolicited advice ;).
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  25. Alexis thank you so much for posting this! Since quitting my job 3.5 years ago to stay at home with my first born I often feel stuck in time. Living on one income has meant putting other things like new furniture, vacations and a bigger (much needed) house on hold. While I watch my friends who kept working buy stuff go places and move into nice big houses, we are pretty much where we were in 2009. It’s easy to feel envious and to do exactly what you wrote about and focus on complaining about what we gave up. Thank u for reminding me to take a step back and remember all the priceless gifts I’ve been given by having had the opportunity to stay at home and witness every single thing (good and bad) my children do each day. With that said I am also incredibly thankful for you and your blog. You taught me to embrace the swing, swaddle and white noise. And to set realistic timeframes for sleep expectations. My daughter, born last January, is an incredible sleeper and I truly owe it to you for guiding me in teaching her those skills. As a friend, whom I had just shared your blog with, once told me “that blog should be given to you before you leave the hospital”!!

    • I could copy your post and put it down as my own. I TOTALLY HEAR YOU. Leaving work was much harder than I thought it ever would be and being “left behind” by peers who have gone back has been even worse.

      Today we donated two old dressers and are replacing them with two nicer used dressers. We upgraded our kid’s craiglist dressers with nicer craigslist dressers. Not a joke – that is LITERALLY what I did this afternoon.

      But I’m really grateful that staying home is even an option. Even when they drive me nutzo (which is almost constantly) I’m grateful for this time with them. Someday they’ll be living in Australia and I’ll have the cash to buy cool Pottery Barn stuff. But today I can take them sledding and I’m really grateful for that.
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  26. How timely :) This is one of those weeks when just when I thought I finally understand my baby he goes and changes and I am back to having no clue and feeling a bit like a failure :)
    So, things to be grateful for: this baby. Took us 2,5 years to get pregnant and I wasn’t sure if we ever would. The dimples in his cheeks. The way he lights up and laughs when he sees Daddy. The way the man of your life falls in love with a baby and becomes a Daddy. A family that is there for me. Not having to worry about a roof over our heads. Our health. And Haagen Dazs.
    And this site of course :) You are an angel and if I had your address I would send you a box of Belgian chocolates.

    • Um….I will happily give out my address so you can send me chocolate. Was that not clear? I married a French man. Our family has chocolate in our BLOOD!

      Some days you look at your partner being awesome with your kids and it makes you feel all school-girl sqeee about him all over again. Mine is out in the snow building them snow forts. I literally could not love him more.

      Congratulations on your successful pregnancy :)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  27. I am grateful for my 9 mo son who (thanks to your site) just night weaned his 3am feeding a week ago. I am still amazed.

    I found your site when he was only 6 weeks old and nobody truly understood me or my baby. We were co-sleeping out of despair and I was searching for concrete suggestions regarding what to do. Somehow you (and your readers) all seemed to know us and you helped me introduce so many things that I am proud to say we embraced and yet they are now tucked away (the swing, swaddle, rock n play).

    Its been months since he was nursed or rocked to sleep at night. Now he quietly plays with his sheets at 7pm bedtime for 10 minutes before shutting his eyes in his DARK room with LOUD white noise:)I have faith that someday he will consistantly (instead of just sometimes) sleep past 5am.

    I am grateful that those three 30 minute cat naps, FINALLY developmentally changed around 8 months to two 60-90 minute naps EACH!

    But truly I am eternally grateful for your generosity in sharing your knowledge in a way that we can listen. I am also grateful for a husband who is a “present” father and my own amazing parents who so lovingly take care of my son while we work full time.

    Thanks too for reminding us all to be grateful:)

    • Robyn,

      What a wonderful story! Everything you shared is really really common. I know when it’s your turn in the pit of despair it’s easy to feel like everybody else has it going on and YOU are the lone failure of a parent who is miserable and unable to turn the ship around.

      But it’s so not true. Almost all of us visit that damn pit of despair. And how wonderful for you that you were able to make such wonderful positive changed for your family and now have a happy well-sleeping baby at 8 months! And yes he will eventually sleep past 5:00 AM. He’ll probably make it to 6:00 AM. Which isn’t such a party, but it’s a lot better than 5:00 AM ;)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  28. So many things to be grateful for! Websites which guide and reassure new mothers (like yours), and those that scare the bejesuses out of me (mainly medical – glad my son does not have ALL the symptoms). The smile he gives whenever he sees us – even bigger when it’s both of us. My sisters-in-law and friends who have listened to my sobbing, histrionics and paranoia over things, fron breatfeeding to colds. Most of all, to my husband, my stalwart supporter!

  29. First off, I absolutely adore your website and have recommended it to MANY of my friends and family. It has helped us a lot when we were going through sleep transitions.

    One quick thought… I’d consider myself probably 80% an AP parent (not b/c of wanting to label myself, but b/c I realize now that I’m probably leaning towards the crunchy in my parenting styles, though i DETEST any of the Mommy war crap from any parenting style and to each their own). My point is that it kind of bothered me that you wrote something about the “AP Militia” (which is obviously quite the generalized JUDGEMENT on a group of ppl) and then wrote in the very next point that you were grateful for a “judgement free” zone. I just think that your AP militia point could have been made without furthering the mommy war crap that I get so tired of reading about. There are extremists from both sides (just like politics :P) that give each parenting style a bad name, but obviously everyone is just doing what they feel is the “BEST” for their kid – that’s why they chose it. No need to call names.

    Just my two cents.

    Thanks for being here overall though – your site really is a lifesaver.
    Josey recently posted..Too MUCH Sleep?My Profile

    • Think of it this way. There are attachment parents (like you and me) and then there is the attachment parenting MILITIA, which is a small group who writes nasty things on the internet to people who don’t agree with their way of parenting. I think Alexis’s point is that the militia has stayed away here, even if a lot of readers are part of the non-militant wing of attachment parenting. :-)

      So I don’t think she’s calling you or me names. She’s thanking us for being open minded enough to read all the stuff she’s written here without getting mad or judgey. But really, we should be thanking her (and we are), because without her I’d still have a miserable kid who never sleeps, or I’d have resorted to CIO without adequate information and either failed or felt terribly guilty or both.

    • I said that I really appreciate that people don’t come here and judge ME, I never said that I wasn’t judgmental ;)

      OK I can’t disagree with anything you’re saying because yes that is a judgmental term. And I hate to muddy my gratitude post with grumbles about some web tussles I’ve had with people-who-shall-not-be-labeled-but-who-yell-at-other-parents-who-don’t-do-it-their-way types which has left me with rough feelings. Being called a baby hater will do that.

      Just to be clear – I’m also an 80% AP. I’m not nursing my 5 YO or making my own baby food by chewing it in my mouth or anything. But I definitely agree with much of what AP represents.

      So I hope my AP parents understand that my intention was to distinguish those AP peeps who are unpleasantly militant about it.
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

      • LOL…touché Alexis. :)

        I do know you weren’t trying to call your readers names – and btw, that is AWESOME that you’ve never gotten a negative comment! Like my Mom always told me – if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all! It amazes me how many ppl feel that it’s okay to be incredibly rude and hurtful from behind the anonymity of a computer screen.
        Josey recently posted..WWW – Post Holidays EditionMy Profile

  30. I am grateful for your efforts on this website!

    I am grateful you actually answer our questions!

    I am grateful for the allergy posting even though I kind of dissed it because guess what?- I tried peanut butter on my 8 month baby and no allergy!!! Although my husband called the kaiser advice nurse for standby advice on Benadryl dosage and she refused to talk to us since we gave our baby peanut bitter in the first place!

    I am grateful for this topic since I was feeling sorry today for my lonely ass self for being slightly bored as a default stay at home becuase i am changing careers and …the crappy 20 minute naps…and how wierd I read this today coincidentally….

    I am so grateful for CIO Ferber method!

    • I was feeling lonely today too – grey day, snow melted, we’re all sick. Then I took the kids to get treats at Starbucks and didn’t feel so lonely anymore. So I’m grateful for that too.

      Also you might find a small spark to be grateful for the career change. It sucks when you’re doing it but (in my experience) it ALWAYS works out for the best. So when you’re on the other side it’ll probably be easier to see that you should have been grateful that it happened ;)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  31. Hi Alexis,

    Well I’m a first time visitor to your blog and am stopping by to return the favor. I love it when new people find my blog so the least I can do is stop by and check out yours.

    Now I don’t have little ones. As a matter of fact I’m never had any children but I am grateful for every single day I’m on this earth. I learned this early on due to my Dad having cancer since I was two years old. I watched kids at the hospital walk around with an IV and no hair. You soon learn that life isn’t guaranteed so I don’t complain about the small stuff. I appreciate all of it. It’s in my bones and I wish more people were this way.

    Thank you for bringing this up and I know you are helping so many people by sharing what you know.

    I appreciate that and have a great year.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Why You Should Be Part Of A Mastermind GroupMy Profile

  32. Funny you should mention this now…

    We recently made the decision to go into full blown Cry It Out mode with our 6 month old after two months of getting up with her every 2-3 hours at night. Last week, I gave her a “dream feed” at 10pm, shut her door, said a prayer, and vowed not to return until 6am. It was rough. She cried a lot. But the next night, she made it from 10pm to 4am and only cried for two hours. That’s kind of where we’re stuck, though, and when it happened again last night I thought I might lose my mind. Then I read your post and realized, hey, this isn’t so bad – at least we’re both sleeping from 10 – 4, right? That’s already better than a week ago! Hopefully, with a little more practice, she’ll have it figured out. If it weren’t for your wonderful site and a few other resources (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is a great one!), I wouldn’t have had the gumption to up and do it. Or to keep going on days like today!

  33. I am SO grateful to have found this blog. It convinced me to stop holding my baby through naps or bouncing for 45 min on an exercise ball and just frigging get a swing, no matter what Weissbluth says.

    I am grateful for my happy, well rested, adorable daughter.

    I am grateful that her shots caused her to take a 3.5 hour nap yesterday and today. I’m pretty twisted.

    I am grateful it’s 50 degrees & we can take a long walk outside in January in Wisconsin.

    Thank you.

  34. Any insight on twins? Curious to see if you have any advice on them…mine are 4 weeks old…

  35. I am grateful to you for introducing me to the wonderful world of swings, and for reassuring me that I’m not a horrible mother for putting my baby in one all night long. Seriously, the amount of grief I’ve gotten from my family and friends is rediculous, from veiled comments on how my baby is “spoiled” to “that’s not safe”, and my favorite, “what if she gets motion sick?”. I successfully silenced most of the critics by asking if it was any safer to co-sleep, however I do find some moms like to play the martyr and wear their eye bags like a badge. But me, I loooove my sleep, and my baby is so accomodating! Now she is a perfect, happy, and healthy 5 month old who rarely cries, sleeps through the night, and only occasionally uses the swing for naps. It wasn’t a painless journey, and I’m sure there’s more sleep problems to come, but your blogs have really helped me navigate through each road block we’ve encountered. Thank you SO much!

    • Can we just stop talking about spoiling babies? Seriously. It’s almost like suggesting that maybe you love them just TOO much. Stop the madness!

      Fantastic progress! And she’s sleeping in her crib and somehow managed to get there without throwing up due to motion sickness ;)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  36. Excellent reminder, Alexis. I am grateful for…

    My healthy happy little 12 week old boy

    My very supportive husband, who reminds me that I am a good mom, even when I feel like a crappy one

    An easy, rewarding breastfeeding experience

    This website, which made me feel less alone and less guilty about my baby’s sleeping. I was having a hell of a time getting him back to sleep after night feedings, and the swing was our savior. He still will only nap in it for about and hour during the day, but he will sleep 4+ hours in the middle of the night, which is when mom’s patience is running out!

    Starting to work on putting down awake…trying to not give myself ulcers doing it. One day at a time, right?!

    Thank you again for your humor and advice. So many of the “expert” advice out there just makes a new mom feel inadequate and guilty, and I felt nothing but camaraderie when I found this site. Cheers!

    • An easy breastfeeding experience is like finding leprechaun gold – both wonderful and exceedingly rare. That is REALLY something to be super grateful for!

      Don’t get ulcers, then you won’t be able to enjoy Mexican food. Don’t forget that billions and billions of Moms have figured it out and you will too :)
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  37. What a lovely blog! Congratulations on your growth! I’m grateful for the connections that we’re able to make with people from all walks of life!
    Stephanie recently posted..Waking Up in the Middle of the NightMy Profile

    • Thanks for visiting Stephanie. And in case anybody reading this isn’t familiar – Stephanie’s blog features her HIlarious clay um…cartoons? Anyhoo super funny and definitely worth a look if you’re feeling tired and cranky and need a laugh!
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

  38. Well, I guess I am one of the AP Militia. Stumbling across a website that promotes cry-it-out, immediately had my blood-pressure rising. But the more I read, the more I like you Alexis. You are living in the real life, where things are not black and white, but complex and subtle. I find myself loving much of what you write. There is truth here, I feel.

    If I was feeling more defensive I would assert that sleeping alone is unnatural, that babies do not need help falling asleep when you keep them where them belong, on your body, being rocked all day as you go about your business.

    But, you have really disarmed me, so I am willing to admit, that, I have over the last 5 years spent plenty of time helping my babies to sleep. How many hours, if I add them together, have I spent dancing with my baby/toddler in the sling, in the dark, with our special music on — my favourite time of the day, but sometimes oh so weary. How many times have I scheduled my trip to the shops so that he can fall asleep on the way back. And night-weaning my 2.5yr old was really quite an undertaking… Something that I will always look back on with awe and deep joy, our biggest challenge that he and I have come through together.

    I don’t like to leave my babies alone, especially not at that most delicate of times, bedtime. But I have found myself taking measures to help DS1 sleep without so much dependence on the breast, starting in the early days. Where you would recommend waiting for 6 months before sleep training, I would perhaps say 18 months or so. I guess, at the end of the day, I am a sleep trainer too. Maybe there is no real difference in our philosophy, is it just a matter of degree?

    Mind if I stay around a little? I feel the need to search for that place beyond right and wrong.

    • I love this comment

    • Vicky,
      Welcome to my home. Would you like a seat over here by the fire? Is there something I can get you? A nice glass of wine perhaps? Cheese and bread?

      Please make yourself and home and stay a while, OK?
      With sincere regards,
      Alexis
      Alexis recently posted..Great Holiday Books for KidsMy Profile

    • That’s so nice to write this Vicky. I felt the same as you until my son was born… he hates being in our bed and screams if I try to wear him, hence the sudden change of mind :)

    • Thank you all! It means a lot to me to be accepted. Sometimes feel I am alienating myself with my parenting choices.

      • I’m sure many of us feel that way quite often. Especially if you have friends with a different parenting philosophy or easy babies who cannot comprehend why you would spend an hour nursing+rocking your screaming baby to sleep every night when it’s as easy as putting them down in the crib! ;)

  39. I am thankful for a baby that sleeps through the night, and takes predictable, long naps!!! I am a little sad that I don’t visit Troublesome Tots daily like I used to, because I really love it, but I’m also happy because it means that we don’t have crazy sleep issues anymore. And what did we do to get here? Um, basically followed everything you said. Seriously. This blog SAVED MY SANITY from my daughters age of 2 months to 10 months. So, thank you! I saw your post of Facebook about sharing success stories. I plan to email you when I get a moment (so… after my daughter’s college graduation?). And, FYI, I happen to be visiting because I’m getting the link to your CIO post to share with a mom’s group I’m in on Facebook. I sing your praises there regularly. :)

  40. Let’s see:
    I am grateful that my job as a teacher has great group health insurance which helped pay for the 3 IVFs it took to finally conceive a beautiful healthy baby boy.
    I am grateful that although I had to go back to work (to maintain that same health insurance), the kindness, flexibility, understanding and support of those I work with make this first year of change an easier one.
    I am grateful that my dying father had a chance to meet his grandson even if he’s too sick to hold or play with him.
    I am grateful that I have a strong support system of friends and caring people who overwhelmed me with unexpected generosity — whether it was hand-me-down baby clothes by the box, gift cards, cool toys, or whatever they felt I needed.
    I am grateful that my body cooperated magnificently throughout the pregnancy and birth to help support bringing my little guy into the world safe and sound.
    AND, I am grateful that there is Google, so whenever I am in a “what do I do now?” state of mind at any time of day or night, I am directed to mountains of helpful free advice, especially yours. My little darling is now sleeping in his own crib, through the night at 5 months with a lot of help from the articles you have posted here.

  41. What a lovely idea.

    1. I finally got pregnant after 18 months of trying and now have an incredibly beautiful son.
    2. My son is now healthy, despite his difficult start to life.
    3. I have a wonderful husband who has the same opinion as me on parenting.
    4. My son will stop being frustrated all the time once he learns to crawl (Positive Mental Attitude)
    5. He may be ‘spirited’, but he makes me laugh everyday.
    6. (trying to be positive about…) the fact that he was unable to breastfeed means that I was able to quickly get pregnant again. All be it by accident…

    • Well congratulations on your soon to be second baby! And here you were probably thinking there was something going on that it took 18 months when clearly you were secretly uber-fertile. Well you can also be grateful that you can skip the whole “work off the baby weight just to repack it on again” part and enjoy some really quality time in your comfy maternity pants :)
      Alexis recently posted..Her Story, Your Story, A Study in Sleep Training Part IMy Profile

  42. This is a digression from the whole gratitude theme, and possibly a naive question, but… how does breastfeeding impact being able to get pregnant again? You mean that with a baby needing to feed all the time there’s no opportunity to do it?

    • Matt, that made me laugh! Breastfeeding takes no more time than bottle feeding after the first month or so, but breastfeeding affects a woman’s hormones and prevents her monthly cycle from returning, so she is effectively infertile for a while, especially while she is feeding at night.

      It is natures way of spacing babies. The time it takes for periods too return varies hugely, but mine didn’t return for 25 months after my first child and I have made it to 21 months with my second and still no sign of fertility returning. This is not unusual amongst AP style mothers. Breastfeeding on demand day and night can be a very reliable form of contraception, especially in the first 6 months. It is called “Lactational amenorrhoea method”

      • Vicky-
        I didn’t know it could take that long to return….. I am an AP style mama (with a couple of diversions) and my daughter turned 7 months old today. She still nurses at least twice a night and obviously there is no sign of my period returning. I wonder now and then when it will! I suppose the TOTAL absence of libido is part and parcel?!

        Sorry, this is COMPLETELY off-topic… let me see… I am grateful not to have to PMS every month!! :)

        • I had total loss of libido with my first, and I blamed breastfeeding. And, indeed, when I finally got my periods back my libido did come back with gusto.

          However, with my second, I my libido has not dipped much. With hindsight I think that the reduced libido with my first was a combination of many things: childbirth trauma, anxiety around parenting, and tiredness, and yes breastfeeding hormones too. I feel far more like myself this time around, in many ways, and I am really enjoying mothering.

          I think that 2 yrs (ish) is pretty much an upper limit on how long it will take to get your fertility back, and your libido will most likely increase gradually even before your cycle returns.

      • I’m going to respectfully disagree with the term reliable….

        Listen peeps – if you’re not ready to have another baby do not count on nursing or the lack of menstrual cycle to keep you from getting pregnant. You can absolutely ovulate while nursing and you can ovulate while not getting your period.

        It’s definitely unlikely but if you’re not open to the idea of getting pregnant again (and really – who is 6 months postpartum?) then don’t COUNT on it.

        Sorry about that – I don’t want anybody getting pregnant (unwanted) and blaming me. Unless they want to give me their baby in which case have at it because I would really like a new baby but would prefer to skip the whole pregnancy part.
        Alexis recently posted..Her Story, Your Story, A Study in Sleep Training Part IMy Profile

        • I guess no method of contraception is completely reliable, but I believe LAM to be comparable to other methods.

          If anyone wants to dig deeper, the numerical comparison with other contraceptive methods at Kellymom is probably a good starting point: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/fertility/#LAM

          • OK OK, this method is reliable IF you:
            – Are nursing exclusively. NO bottles of formula EVER.
            – You aren’t pumping. Pumping and feeding baby expressed milk isn’t the same (don’t ask me why) when it comes to keep you not knocked up.
            – You never go longer than 4-6 hours between nursing. So if your baby sleeps for a longer stretch than this at night you are no longer considered covered.
            – Baby is under 6 months and you haven’t gotten your period.

            I’m not trying to pick on you – HONEST! – it’s just that I get sooo many visitors from other countries or even the US to be honest, and I’ve learned that not everybody has the same access to good information that you and I do. LOTS of people just read the “nursing and under 6 month” part and don’t realize there is more to it than that. Because I get so many readers who don’t have the same basis of understanding or access to current research I work hard to be very precise and hopefully avoid misunderstandings or unwanted pregnancies.
            Alexis recently posted..Her Story, Your Story, A Study in Sleep Training Part IMy Profile

  43. I am grateful that despite both of my kids being “bad” sleepers, they are some of the happiest kids I have ever seen. They are always smiling and have such cheerful dispositions.

  44. I am late to the game responding to this post but my severe lack of sleep during the past month has left me with the need to seriously ponder what I am thankful for especially in the light of all we are dealing with surrounding the sleep of our just turned 1 year old daughter.

    1) I am so grateful for the site and Alexis’s help over the past 6 months as our daughter has encountered one bad sleep problem after the next. 2) I am grateful for all the snuggles and hugs I have been receiving lately from my sweet baby girl. 3) I am most grateful for a husband who tries so hard to do as much as he can to help me and my daughter. He is the best and I don’t tell him often enough how much I appreciate him! 4) I am grateful for first birthday parties for sweet 1 year old babies. Nothing could be more precious and our daughter’s was just perfect!

    I would be the first to sign up Alexis if you decided to offer one-on-one sleep counseling! Seriously, I think it is your calling. Our 1 year old hasn’t slept more than 4 hours and hasn’t had a night without being awake in the middle of the night crying for hours this whole month! She had a virus, is now working on 3 possibly 4 molars coming through all at once, upset stomach probably from too much Advil and food allergy issues. It’s all a nightmare but we try everyday to think positive, read your site for tips and pray for happy days and nights in our near future! At least she goes to bed every single night on her own without a whimper thanks to your tutorials!

  45. This is wonderful :)
    Thank you for this post.
    I have so, so much to be greatful for, and sometimes (especially when dealing with sleep issues!) I loose sight of all the wonderful that is in my life.
    I am greatful for my son, who seriously is the light of my life. I am greatful for my loving hubby, for getting to stay home with my boy, for our HOME, for our health, for just about every privilege that I enjoy. I am truly blessed :)

  46. Hi

    There are lots of great posts here about being thankful. I’m thankful I have the internet to read them all. I’m glad I have my mom and other family to help in my stressful time. I’m thankful that I finally have a job and I’m able to save my home. I’m most thankful for all the days up ahead that I will get to spend with my children.:)

    Thank you Alexis for helping us all remember the good in our lives, even if at times it seems hopeless.

    Veronica

  47. I love this post! We sometimes do forget to be grateful for the small but wonderful things in our lives. Here’s my list.

    Today, I am grateful:
    1. that I was able to sleep in this morning, thanks to my wonderful husband
    2. that my baby is finally drinking water instead of milk at night (we’re still working on night weaning but there is progress!)
    3. that my baby now cooperates when I brush his teeth instead of sealing his mouth shut and screaming
    4. that my husband brought me a vase of lovely flowers (for no reason at all)
    5. that I have my much needed “me-time” right now, even if it is almost 2 a.m.

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