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when you feel like a failure.

well. this post is hard for me to write. because i feel a little bit like a failure, but mostly an imposter.

remember when i told you about Babywise, and i even posted a video all about how to get your child to sleep through the night and acted like i was this expert?

yeah... well it turns out i'm not.

you know how i have a ten month old baby? and, you know how she wakes up once or twice every night?

some of you are thinking well, duh. and i told you so. but here's what i want you to know: it's really hard for me to admit defeat. i want to share my heart with you; the deep, dark, ugly, and triumphant parts, and i just want you to hear me. i hope you'll honor that. i almost turned off the comments except that i want to leave them open for anyone that might be struggling like i was.

so, do you remember when i wrote about how i haven’t slept in almost a year and how i feel like there’s no end in sight. you guys, sleep-deprivation is something that i don’t deal with very well. as much as i’d love to say i’m praying or worshiping or reading the Word during those middle-of-the-night hours, i’m not. i’m grumbling and frustrated that i’m waking up again and that it’s nothing like i expected, the absolute opposite of what i experienced my first lap around the newborn-motherhood track.

i knew it might not be exactly the same, but i didn’t know it would be this hard. not just physically but mentally, you know? and spiritually. lately God has been trying to get through to me, but i’ve been resisting. He’s been trying to show me that there’s more to motherhood than getting my sleep and taking care of myself.

He's been trying to teach me that there’s more to life than organized and predictable.

deep down, though, i feel like i failed myself and i failed her. because i know that babywise works. i still believe in it. but you have to dedicate the time for staying home and making sure you put the baby down for a nap at the same time every single day and feed her at the same times every single day. that just didn't work for us. we were out and about, doing our normal routine, and she had to sleep in the car, or the stroller, or wherever. she had to eat at odd times, whenever we could steal a few minutes to get some food in her. do you know what i mean?

and yes, it was totally stressful for me, not having a predictable routine. and i knew that the more i prolonged getting her onto some kind of schedule, the more i'd be prolonging her ability to sleep through the night... and i was right. it has not been an easy ten months.

recently i got to a point, past exhaustion, where i saw how desperately i needed to lay down my pride and just submit myself to whatever it is that i need to learn from Him. i like to be right. not so that i can say "i told you so", but because i like to do what is right and what is best. that's just my personality. so when i fail or when my method doesn't work like i knew it should? i just feel defeated. like i'm back at square one.

but being right isn't God's best for me. He is right, He knows best, He has great plans for these long and sleepless nights. i know He does. i want to be someone who can let go of the control that she never had to begin with, you know?

well, the day that i decided to learn instead of grumble was the day my baby girl slept almost all the way through the night. now, she hasn't done it again since then, but i feel like the Lord was saying, "okay, now that i've got you on board, here's a few extra hours of sleep for you."

now when she wakes up, i don't feel like i've been run over by a train. i pop out of bed, do what i need to do, and thank God that i'm healthy and she's healthy and we're home and safe and blessed beyond comprehension.

i have always believed that i decide whether i'm happy or not. happiness, joy, contentment should never depend on my circumstances or another person or any other thing. it's just a choice. i've always said that, but i have not always practiced that. sometimes i'm completely baffled by how easily my wise and logical brain can get buried under my over-emotional heart. 

now i know that i needed this restless, teething [sweet and beautiful] baby to refine me. but honestly? i hate that it’s taken me ten months to get on board and allow God to mold me. i want to shake my past self and just say: hey! it's okay to change! but i resist it so much when it requires much of me. [i’m sure i’m not the only one.]

anyway, i hope you heard my heart on this. i still don't get much sleep but my perspective has shifted dramatically and my moods have lifted as a result. sometimes we just need to get with His program and hop on the wagon already. if that's you right now, just do it! because if there's one thing i've learned:

but it still requires our submission and cooperation. once we're yoked to Him, there is rest for the weary: the mentally, emotionally, and physically weary.


  1. Hmm, I had a completely different comment typed out and then my browser did something with it....haha.
    Anyway, instead I'll just share this song with you...have you heard it?
    Through your whole post, I was reminded of this. :)
    Thanks for this reminder this morning Aly. :)

    1. Amy, thank you for sharing that song with me. I clicked right over and listened a few times. So beautiful.

  2. Wow! Speaking to my heart this morning sister! Similar sleeping patterns over here. During these sleepless nights I have been so consumed with a poor me attitude and a bitterness towards my sleeping husband...not pretty. Thanks for the reminder to change my perspective. Much needed.

    1. Shelby, I'm so glad you said "bitterness towards my sleeping husband" because I totally do that! I needed an attitude adjust there too, for sure! xo

  3. I just LOVED talking with you today. And like I said, i can totally resonate with this. I often get all caught up in my own "rightness". I have a feeling this isn't the first time we'll learn something through our little ones. :-)

    1. loved talking with you too ;) yes, i have a hard time letting go of things that i think are right, that i know should work. the lessons will keep getting harder, i'm sure!

  4. Hi Aly :) I'm not a mom, but I can relate to your feelings of wanting to be right, and doing the right thing. That's a tough one, but there really is a lesson in just letting go. I'm learning that too. Thank you for sharingn this. Happy Wednesday XO

    1. it is SO hard for me to just let go. obviously that's why God is teaching it to me in this way. i always wonder why it takes me so long to jump on board. instead i drag out the painful learning process! it's all part of it though, i guess. thanks for your comment, glad you can relate!

  5. oh girl, i love your heart and your honesty.
    i can totally understand what you're going through. my struggle is with my youngest (4yrs old) who is sassy and thinks the world revolves around her.
    sometimes, she leaves me speechless at some of the selfish things she does.. and then i get down on myself.. that i haven't done enough or am not doing enough. i know i've failed in some areas .. God has really humbled me through her and continues to do so. all i can do is let him guide me.. there is something He wants us to learn during these tough mothering times.. just can't let our ego and pride get in the way :(
    ok, that was alot more then i meant to say. but, well, you tend to do that with your posts :)

    1. yes, our ego. it is so hard to let go and just let Him teach us, i know. it's so hard when you feel like it's your fault. but honestly, i think kids really do come with their personality already ingrained and it will serve them in amazing ways once they're older, but it's really trying when they're young. you know? doesn't make it easier to mother her day-to-day, but at least maybe it can relieve some of the guilt? i always love your comments :)

  6. I am on my fifth time around. I hear ya. I feel like I haven't slept properly in ten years. It's awful. Yet at the same time I love who God has been shaping me to become through the awful and ugly moments of motherhood.
    Sleep training is something especially struggle with. I used what I'd call "Babywise Lite" with my oldest and it worked SO well but not at all with my second. Her personality is completely different than my oldest. She's very attached and wanted me to hold her all the time. We spent a lot of nights crying trying to get her to sleep in her bed - and I do mean both of us were crying. It's just so basic, so essential and so hard to cope with when it's not working... She is nine now and sleeping in her own bed all night :) I think with a lot of parenting what is "right" and best changes from child to child. The book "No-Cry Sleep Solution" helped me a lot when I was at the end of my rope. I was able to check it out of my library and it was beyond helpful.
    Thank you so much for sharing your struggle :)

    P.S. I found you via Chatting at the Sky and I think your blog design is BEAUTIFUL.

    1. Faith,

      thank you so much for your comment. i think the biggest thing i'm learning is that "right" varies from child-to-child. without being insensitive to things outside our control (infertility, etc), i do believe that if possible, everyone should have two kids, just to learn that very thing! and i totally know what you mean when you say you were both crying... us too, over here. it's hard but i'm learning to be okay :) thanks for stopping by, and thank you for your sweet compliment.

  7. Your blog is absolutely beautiful. Found you through the Chatting @ the Sky linkup, and adore your heart. Inspiring.
    Now following you via GFC and really excited to read more.


    1. thank you Erin, for your sweet compliments! glad to have you here :)

  8. Hi Aly, I must found your blog through Jessi's. I'm a new mom of a 7 month old and I wanted so badly to do baby wise! She didn't adjust to it at all. Short naps until just recently so I finally had to let it go and realize God was trying to tell me I can't control her but I can trust Him! I definitely have seen it work so we'll try it again with future kids but this one just had to figure it out in a different way!

    1. Lauren, i think that is the hardest thing i've had to learn -- that i can't control her, but i can trust Him. it is SO HARD to let go and believe that, i know. just know that you're not alone :)


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