Getting enough sleep can never be overrated.
It’s been a little while since I got my computer out and started on some new blogs. I find it really therapeutic but we are currently in week 5 of sleep regression and, in this last week in particular, we have become a bit of a zombie family. I think the thing with sleep regression is that it’s hard for everybody – hard for me, hard for Rishi and hard for my hubby. It makes me think of those old idioms like “sleeping like a baby” (which in my current frame of mind means no sleep at all).
He went from being an amazing sleeper to a very bad (but what does this even mean?!) sleeper in a heartbeat; and it took us all (including him) by surprise. It started slowly. A few weeks ago he began stirring every few hours and then the mornings started earlier. His day naps were not affected at first so this was more manageable but then gradually, day by day, his daytime naps fell apart. And so the vicious circle began to gather momentum, culminating this past weekend with him just stopping to sleep. And I think one of the hardest aspects to adapt to as a parent is that the things that you have been doing which have been working for days or weeks, just no longer work anymore as their reactions change quickly as they age.
I’ve had lots of people giving me advice on what to do next, all of which has been gratefully received. But like many other parenting-related topics, there are a lot of contradicting views on what to do and what’s best for Rishi. Sometimes it has led me to question whether I’m actually a very good mum or not. For his daytime naps I’ve tried to put Rishi down in his cot, or put him downstairs (unsuccessfully), I’ve tried white noise, I’ve tried making the room dark, I’ve tried to make sure the room is noisy in the day and quiet at night … but so far none of it makes much of a difference… and the one person I feel most sorry for is Rishi. He gets upset because he doesn’t know what’s wrong and he doesn’t understand that he is tired and sleeping would make him feel better, so when I’m lying awake feeling really sorry for myself at 3am I’m constantly trying to remind myself that I need to be there for Rishi and I don’t want this to be a battle because in a battle there is a winner and a loser – I don’t want Rishi to ever be the loser.
So I’ll keep doing my best, I’ll keep trying to nap when he naps but not beat myself up if I don’t and I’ll try to get out of the house for a walk because it’s good for both of us, even though it’s tough. I was speaking to one of Rishi’s godmothers about being a mum and saying one of the hardest things was that when I was pregnant I did my best to look after him and protect him but now it’s even worse. Now he’s in the big bad world and it’s like having my heart outside my body because when he hurts, I hurt and I don’t want him to hurt!
So to all the sleep deprived parents… good luck! Have a laugh when you can, and try to cut yourself some slack. Lack of sleep is the worst as it makes normal things hard and tears frequent! Hopefully it will improve at some point… zzzzzzz.
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I feel for you, Emmie! Jamie is 2 now and has never been a good sleeper, so I’ve long forgotten what a ‘good night’s sleep’ is by pre-child standards! But I promise you’ll find a way through that works for you. And that sleep situations change week on week, so a terrible stretch can suddenly, and for no obvious reason, get much better. You just have to follow your instincts here, and do what feels right for your family, and what you feel comfortable with. (Nice to stumble across this blog by the way; glad you find it therapeutic!)
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Thanks Jo! Trying to work out what to do… parenting definitely keeps you on your toes!