Sleep….what’s that? Or should I say what’s a full night uninterrupted sleep feel like? Pre-children I loved my sleep. I needed my sleep to survive each day and without it I would slowly turn into a crazy lady by the end of the day. I was one of the lucky ones while I was pregnant I slept and slept and slept. Then I was blessed with my first baby as he only woke for one feed a night and slept through at 8 weeks old! Even with all of his ear infections he would only wake up every now and again! He is still our best sleeper to this day! Then our first daughter came along!!!!!
I was expecting her to sleep like her brother but for the first couple of weeks was having two night feeds….what’s up with that?? I thought Lol. She settled nicely into one night feed before long and at 6 weeks old slept through! I was feeling so blessed. That was short lived though. By three months old and still waking every night I started to get a little frustrated – why can’t every baby sleep through at 8 weeks old?? Anyway she finally slept through at 5 months old which is when she started sucking her thumb!
I was feeling fantastic again. It’s amazing how getting great night sleeps contribute to a huge part of your life in terms of happiness, self-esteem, energy and patience!!! We were blessed for two months and then our sleeping life took a turn for the worst! From 7 months old until around 3 years old, Sienna slept terribly! Between her bad ears and allergies it took its toll on her sleep at night which meant there were many a day where I felt like I was surviving on nothing! Those days were tough. Everyone use to say sleep when they are sleeping…it was a bit hard when I was working a couple of days a week and running around after a toddler and baby, plus making sure our house chores were done! But somehow I managed. I had to, I didn’t have any other choice!
By the time Sienna finally settled Mia was a few months old (who was our worst sleeping newborn baby, day and night) and we just went from one awake child to another! And of course the more children you have the greater the chance someone will wake up! It’s only happened a handful of times, but when all three wake up, you get to the point where you think why am I even bothering to sleep! Mia finally slept through at about 11 months old and by this stage I worked out I’d had about almost 4 years of broken sleep! But in all of this, we do expect as parents that for a number of years our ‘good’ sleep will be stolen from us. And you do get use to it! You have days where you cope and days where the exhaustion gets the better of you, but I keep telling myself, it won’t be like this forever!
Like anything it’s all about mind over matter. I only get about 3-4 good night sleeps a month at the moment and when I do I embrace those moments and relish in every bit of energy I get out of that. I make sure I go to bed at a reasonable hour at night and I very rarely sleep in the day, but I do make sure I sit down for a half hour to an hour while Mia is having a day sleep. When I’ve had a bad night now, I try and think happy thoughts or thoughts that I have had a good night, otherwise if you dwell on how much sleep you didn’t get, you make yourself feel worse! Exercising has definitely helped me overcome that real exhaustion and gives me the energy I need to survive on at 5pm when you feel like you could collapse! But the biggest thing I say to myself now is “sleep is for wimps!” lol. The more you talk to yourself in your head, the better you will feel….as long as it’s positive talk:)!
A peaceful sleeping baby or child is like gold for a parent:)