sleep training 101: but can you take a hit

A dear friend requested a post about sleep training. 
I said to her 
NO
I shall write THREE posts about sleep training.
This is the first one.

Combat philosopher Mike Tyson once said
that everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

That's pretty much how I feel about sleep training. 

You start with a plan.

A plan born from months of avoiding articles about whether or not it is safe to drive on chronic sleep deprivation because the last thing you need when you're that fucking tired is to be told that you can't leave the house either. A TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE IS ALL WE HAVE SOMETIMES.

That plan might be one of the soft, gentle "no-cry" solutions. You know, "on the first night, listen to the baby cry for one hour while sitting right next to the baby, shushing no more than once per four minutes. On the second night, listen to the baby cry for one hour and twenty minutes while sitting three inches away from the baby, shushing no more than once per four minutes and one second. Continue until you voluntarily check yourself into rehab or get a divorce."

That plan might be "close the door and turn up the jams. I don't care how long she screams. I CAN DRINK FOR LONGER."

But no matter what your plan is, no matter how clearly you have spelled out the terms of the sleep training operation to both yourself and your partner, no matter if you've printed out a personalized guidebook of what to do in every possible scenario from tonight until the baby sleeps 12 hours like you want her to so you can get your 8 straight, plus have a bit of time on either end to watch a movie or take a shower like the rest of your smart friends who had kids ten years ago or have vowed to never have children... HEAR ME NOW.

No matter how prepared you are, you will still get punched in the face.

Yeah
except
your face

It's not a physical blow. But you might wish it were. 

I would rather take one to the face from Mike than have to listen to the relentless wailing, shrieking, howling, and sobbing of my baby, my doughy little boy whose eyes light up when I enter the room. 

You think, "this is so wrong. LISTEN TO HIM. HE IS BEING STUNG BY A THOUSAND RABID BEES! I HAVE TO GET IN THERE!" 

You think, "I spend 12 of every 24 hours tending to him with patience and tenderness. I am now spending the other 12 hours ignoring his desperate cries for help and comfort. And for what??? So I can selfishly sleep more than 45 minutes at a time? God, I'm the worst mother in the... the... you know... what's the word..."

You think, "it's fine, whatever, I can be tired for another day." Week. Month. Season. Year. Epoch.

Every single one of those thoughts - the subversive ones, the fearful ones, the guilty ones, the ones that sound kind of nice but also really mean like Oprah during that James Frey  interview after the whole Million Little Pieces fiasco - each is a face punch.

Each takes you down another notch, rings your bell, spins you around, makes you question why you volunteered for this gig in the first place.

You're not alone.

Show of hands. Who thinks the next sleep book on the market should be called:

WHAT TO DO
WHEN YOU GET PUNCHED IN THE FACE
NOT LITERALLY
NOT THE WAY 
MIKE TYSON MEANS IT
BUT MORE ALONG THE LINES OF
WHAT TO DO
WHEN THE PLAN GOES TO SHIT

We shall sell one billion copies.

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