Highs and Lows!

Last week I published a piece about my little preppie and separation anxiety. I’m ecstatic to announce that we have SUCCESS with no more tears and nothing but a confident happy little bunny! I feel like I can finally breathe! After starting the week terribly last week, by Thursday her tears when saying bye to me were very minimal and it was her first day at school where she didn’t shed a tear. Friday was our break through day with NO tears at all! I can’t express enough how overjoyed I am feeling right now…it took two weeks, but I have my beautiful cheerful daughter back again!!

Sienna is like a different child since the anxiety from the pit of her belly has left her precious soul. She is awesome at getting ready in the mornings now and she is relying on me less and less when doing her morning jobs at school. She is happily completing tasks at school now and as her teacher said to me “she is working like a trooper!” To say I’m proud is an understatement!!! I went into the weekend feeling completely the opposite of what I was feeling the week before and what a fabulous weekend we had! I expected the cycle to possibly start again on Monday (not at the extreme) as it was after the weekend, but she was as happy, settled and content as she was where she left off last Friday! We made it Sie Sie girl…we never gave up!

Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog. Prep is such a trying year in our little people’s lives. They have gone from going to preschool 2-3 days a week and being in the comforts of their home for the rest of the time, possibly even having a day sleep, to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week where they are learning several different curriculum areas and being asked to sit still, listen and pay attention more than they ever have in their lives! NO WONDER THEY COME HOME NEAR DELIRIOUS!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find the first 6 months of prep the toughest. Going through prep for the second time around you’d think I’d be use to it, but I’d forgotten what the school day does to their young minds. It drains them, zaps them of all sensibility and hinders them from making rational choices! First time prep mums if you are questioning their behaviour at the moment…I promise you it does get better!!! But like everything we have to ride with the highs and lows and allow time for it to even itself out.

I describe early days prep behaviour very animal like…I mean this with absolute love when I say this! It’s like they are on the prowl just waiting for a moment of time where they can annoy someone or explode like a time bomb when things don’t go their own way. Sienna is either a weeping mess at EVERYTHING or a hyperactive hyena! Self-control is difficult at this age anyway, but at present its as worse as ever! I thought boys were bad, but geesh, god help me when Sienna goes through puberty!!!

What to do mummas?? We need to be more consistent than ever! It’s very easy for us to keep saying “but they are so tired, they just started prep!” yes, yes they did, BUT like any phase they will come out the other end and if we don’t act on their inappropriate behaviour they will store that one in their little brain files and remember that forever. I think the biggest thing at the moment is to keep life simple.
*Limit after school activities and just allow them plenty of down time.
*Bring everything forward half an hour…earlier dinner means earlier bed time.
*Allow time on the weekend for a nap in the day to help catch up on sleep.
*Stick to a strict routine…especially in the mornings and at bedtime.
*Praise, praise, praise when things are going great!
*Follow through and be consistent when things aren’t so great!
*Remember you have to be cruel to be kind!

You will feel like you are on a rollercoaster with many highs and lows over the next wee while, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. They do get use to going to school everyday and their little minds adapt to all the fabulous learning they are being exposed to. But it is up to us to be a bit flexible at the moment and provide some changes to cope with an ever-changing preppie. If we allow the things I mentioned above to happen, it will eliminate us from wanting to be put in a padded room with several bottles of wine lol!….On that note I’m off to pick up the kids from school…mmmm I wonder what mood I will strike this afternoon?:/!

To answer that question…we were an angry and grumpy little girl yesterday…today quite happy but at times hypo! I use three strikes and your out system. Three strikes and it’s bed for the night! Yesterday was 5.30 and thankfully she slept until 6am this morning! Today we only made it to strike one and her normal bedtime of 7pm…I’m sure tomorrow will be different again!

Keep strong mummas…remember we have the power to give our babies great things and the power to take great things away, now if only they would remember that!

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Sleep is for Wimps!

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:)

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