31 August 2011

I admit it.......I'm a liar!

The other day a friend posted on FaceBook that her darling baby boy had decided that 5am was an appropriate time to start the day. Given she is a friend and her son is young than Layla, I thought it was appropriate for me to comment on her status. I noted that we never stared our day at 5am and perhaps some controlled crying was in order. Shortly after I relied to her post, I realised what I had done.

I had turned into one of 'those' Mummies who either:
    a. has an unusual baby who sleeps well and has always been a dream sleeper and thus has no clue what Mummies with non-sleeping babies actually go through;
    b. a Mummy who, thanks to sleep deprivation or the need to save face, paints an unrealistic picture of her baby's sleep habits; or
    c. a Mummy who has simply forgotten just how hard the first year really is.

I think I fall in category C.....either that or I'm just a big fat liar!

Just the other day while discussing Layla's sleep habits a member of my extended family said that he did not remember his kids ever going through a stage of unexplained night waking. I must admit that I felt truly crushed when he said it. Over the past three months, Layla has been waking in tears for 2-3 hours EVERY night. I have no idea why - perhaps it is separation anxiety or teething. What I do know is that I have had heaps of advice, read plenty of books and done a fair bit of soul searching. So far I have no answer. I've tried all the techniques. Even holding and rocking doesn't seem to work. Each night I hope tonight will be different, but generally it isn't. I'm fumbling through each day feeling like a zombie with little if any light at the end of the tunnel. Layla sleeps well during the day and goes to bed easily and quietly. It's the night crying that I am at a loss to understand. I know that this can't last forever but three months on I've accepted it to be the norm (for now at least).

As Mums (and Dads) we try so hard to help our children reach their milestones. Sleeping is just one of them that seems to preoccupy our consciousness so much of the time. All we want is for a sense of normality to return our lives and for your children to progress. Despite these humble aims, there is a real sense of competition in needing to prove to each other that our child is progressing faster than another.

So in short, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I have had to start my day on a few occasions at 5am (despite not liking it one bit). I have also had 16 months of night waking that I am fed up with and hugely embarrassed about. Sleeping at our house is a long way from being normal or perfect.

As a result of this blimp, I promise to be more aware that every parent goes through their moments of unexplained behaviour that we'd rather not admit to. All you can do is hope that tomorrow things get better!

1 comment:

  1. The "normal" and "perfect" way for a human baby to sleep is next to its parents or within arms reach. What is normal and perfect for a human baby is to feel it's mother's body heat and breathing. There is nothing normal about separate rooms or baby monitors or sleep sensing devices. I think that you might be interested in the research of anthropologist Professor Sarah Blaffer Hardy and SIDs researcher Dr James McKenna (among many). I have co-slept with both of my children and have never had a night of sleep deprivation. In fact I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy it. I have two happy, healthy, secure and confident little boys. The elder has transitioned to his own bed without any drama. And, yes we do have an active and deeply satisfying sex-life (though I have to admit I am much more interested now that I am no longer breast-feeding). I hope that helps. All the best!