Crying it out is a waste of time. But not in the way you might think.

With both of my girls, I was a “Babywise” mom (which basically is a philosophy of keeping your baby on a rolling 3 hour schedule of feeding, playing, and sleeping). In Babywise, the author (who a lot of people hate) talks about allowing the baby to cry before falling asleep but checking on them throughout to make sure they’re okay. I took the Babywise approach with A and let her cry it out (CIO) many times. I had a change of heart with E – not because I didn’t think it worked; A slept and still sleeps like a champion. E does, too. But see, as a first time mom having no experience under my belt, I was afraid that I would “spoil” my baby and that she would never sleep on her own if she couldn’t “self-soothe” so I did what the book told me (to an extent). With E, having been more experienced, I adopted the 3 hour schedule but with some small tweaks, including removing CIO (which kind of happened unintentionally, actually). But, this isn’t about the effectiveness of CIO or the studies that go with it. I’m not here to start a debate or mommy wars. This is about what I learned as a mom my second time around.

What I learned is that CIO is a waste of time: A waste of precious baby time.

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I often get asked, “How do you do it all?” or something similar, and I also often hear that I appear to have such balance. Well, I must make it look really easy because 1. I don’t do it all and 2. I have zero balance. Some one actually used the word “glamour” recently and as sweet as the comment was, I laughed out loud. That said, I thought it might be a good idea to share what a typical workday looks like for me lately.

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I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in life I became that mom. I don’t mean the perfect Instagram mom whose kids are always dressed and smiling perfectly. Or the mom with perfect hair, make-up, and clothes who can seemingly do-it-all, or even the Pinterest mom (I kinda hate the Pinterest mom). Despite my highly curated social media feed, I’m not that mom at all. Rather, I’m the mom that the internet sanctimommies talk about. I’m the one who I read about while saying to myself that I’ll never be that way. I’m the mom the internet hates. I’m that mom.

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As I sit here in my driveway on this Labor Day afternoon, watching my youngest splash around in her kiddie pool without a worry in the world, I can’t help but feel a tinge of bittersweet reflection. I live in Atlanta, GA, where summer actually lasts until about mid-October, but there’s something about Labor Day weekend that is symbolic; it’s the end of one season and the beginning of the next.

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Ever since A was born, I remember always wanting her to hit her next milestone. As a new mom, it was always so exciting and I couldn’t wait to see what she would do next. I didn’t rush her by any means (she’s actually always been one to do things on her own time so rushing her wouldn’t have mattered anyway) but with her being my first child, everything was a new experience. She was my big girl. I always knew the time would fly by but I didn’t realize exactly how fast until now.

Now that my baby days are over.

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