Naps, wherefore art thou?

So apparently my daughter no longer seems to want to nap during the day. I feel this is a decision that she is not actually ready for and one that I am certainly not ready for!

Napping has never been her strong foot. From the beginning she fought sleep like a pro and I have had a battle on my hands. Some days even as a small infant, she would not sleep all day. Family would remark in amazement and let me assure you, it was not for lack of trying to get her down. Fast forward a little bit and we finally managed to get into a routine where there would be a morning nap and an afternoon nap. Neither for very long, we’re talking around about half an hour but it would get us through the day.

Around about her first birthday she dropped a nap. It switched between a morning or an afternoon nap for a while, until it eventually settled down to mornings. It was a longer nap, around about an hour sometimes an hour and a half. This was working very well! It gave her enough energy to make it through the afternoon but meant that she was still tired enough for bed in the evening.

Well that all changed just over a week ago! Suddenly she will just not sleep. We can spent an hour or so (at nap time), lying in a dim room with stories and mummies milk…and nothing! Bright as a button at the end of it! I have spent a couple of days continually trying throughout the day to put her down and yet still no sleep. A problem we’re facing is that the two days she has managed a nap, it has been at around about four pm. Not good. That’s far too late for a nap because then she doesn’t sleep until around about eight in the evening.

So to be honest, I have no clue what’s happening anymore. I wish I could get her to sleep at a good time as I can see she is tired! I wish I knew why she fights sleep so much. I worry that she is too young (just over one) to be going all day without a nap but I’m not sure what else to try!

Truly hoping that in a week from now I can say this was a blip and that she is napping well and is a happier bunny but I guess we will just have to wait and see. The bags under my eyes are definitely darker now too!

Wife and mother, x

Too tired for ice cream?!

It’s been a long week or so with an ill child while my husband is away. I vaguely resemble some form of my normal self, I’m sure she’s in there somewhere but to be honest all I see is huge black bags under my eyes, questionable hair cleanliness and my ugly (but comfy) indoor clothes. 

Of course none of that really matters when your little one isn’t well, they are the priority but it has been a tough old week for us both. Thankfully things seem to be on the mend which is exactly what I need for my sanity. I’m one sleep deprived mama, so I’m excited that my sleep could start improving. 

I’ve been trying to convey just how tired I am to my husband when we have been on the phone but since I often exclaim tiredness (as most of us do) at the end of a day, I was struggling to explain just how bad it’s been. Well here it is…

I am too tired to eat ice cream.

Now we aren’t a family that normally has sweet treats in the house as we generally try and live a sugar reduced lifestyle. We do however allow some treats here and there because well…why not?! Moderation is key. So the one trip I managed to the supermarket to buy some essentials this week, I also purchased a tub of ice cream. Ice cream that I had been craving in my exhausted state. Knowing just how delicious it would be, curled up on the sofa after a long day, before the long night ahead.

Well I bought that ice cream 6 days ago…and has it made it out of the freezer?! No! 

I am far too exhausted to even contemplate getting that ice cream tub out of the freezer. No matter how badly I’m craving it, it has nothing on bed (sorry ice cream). In fact, her bedtime has become my bedtime too as I literally need all the sleep I can get as our nights are more rocky than rocky road! 

“Wow, you must be exhausted” was the response I received from my husband when I told him. Yes, too tired for ice cream is a perfect description of just how tired I am!

Wife and mother, x

My baby is walking!

We have been so busy recently it’s been hard to find the time to do anything other than daily tasks but I am hoping things will settle down a bit again soon as I’m exhausted. So exhausted that I actually fell asleep putting our daughter to bed last night! I woke up a few hours later, in the dark, still not having had my dinner! Oh well, I guess these things happen…

In light of that I decided to have a quieter day today and rest as much as possible. So we spent the day doing a few household chores but mostly having a good old play together. All the toys were out, the room was in chaos but we had such a fun time together! Our daughters play has really developed again recently and changed now. She will properly make believe with you which I find so fascinating to watch. Cups of tea, pretend food, taking care of her dolly… It’s such a great new stage. I enjoyed the fact she got to burn off a lot of energy today, not that it helped her napping. In fact, she only napped a total of 15 minutes all day, which is just exhausting for both of us but we made it and have had a (planned) early night!

She has been very good at assisted walking with either a walker or a hand being held but she hadn’t quite decided to brave it alone until today. It took me completely by surprise, despite me having a feeling all day that she might try it. She was just seeming that bit more confident or daredevilish today. She was walking around the furniture and then all of a sudden, she let go and walked into the middle of the room! The utter joy from both of us was wonderful! Once she got so far she fell down and hasn’t been able to replicate it again yet, although it was very close to bedtime so there wasn’t much opportunity. It happened so quickly I didn’t have time to grab my camera but I’ll be ready tomorrow!

I still can’t believe she did it! I’m sad my husband missed it but I’m so happy that she felt confident enough to do it! There are so many precious moments. Some big, others small but truly moments to treasure!

Wife and mother, X

Rookie mistake!

My daughter is not a good sleeper, in fact I don’t know how I function during the day sometimes after such little sleep. It’s probably no wonder that I can often be unable to string a decent sentence together or remember the name of that thing…you know…that thing!

Generally speaking she will not sleep for more that a couple of hours at a time but often it can be less than that. Two hours is a good base point though. It unfortunately doesn’t matter how little sleep she gets during the night, the chances of half an hour plus nap the next day are slim to none!

Anyway, you would think by now (she’s a year old) that I would have learned to respect the sleeping baby. Well…apparently not! 

I finally get her settled after quite the battle and then I made a bad decision. I had been feeling guilty about the pile of laundry in our room, sitting in the basket, waiting to be folded and put away. So feeling like a good little housewife I thought it best to do that before I had a cup of tea. Folding quietly, I thought, this is very nice and peaceful but then I had the crazy idea to put her clothes in her drawer! Madness, absolute complete madness!

She stirred as the drawer pulled out and I probably would have gotten away with it then, had I not panicked and quickly closed it again!! Oh the tears! I was stuck settling her for a good while again and decided it was maybe best to leave the rest until morning.

I really feel there is a lesson to learn in all of this…don’t do laundry! Okay, maybe I do need to do laundry at some point but perhaps next time I won’t do it while she is sleeping!

Wife and mother, x

I’d love to read before sleep

So I am often faced in the evening with those 10 or so minutes before I fall asleep. When I have just gotten into bed and I think…what should I do?

My heavy eyes and exhausted body say that I should get to sleep now, don’t delay! Especially since I know my daughter (not a good sleeper) will be awake soon. However the temptation is so strong to read or watch something. After a long day of being “mummy” and (happily) prioritising my families needs first. Those 10 minutes where I can choose something completely for myself without having to consider anything or anyone else is a lovely thought. 

I think the same process of thoughts go through my mind each night. I truly long to have the energy to do something. I have no idea when people find the time to read a book or watch a film?! I have hundreds of books that I would love to read and yet not only do I not have the energy to choose a book, I also know for a fact I would be asleep by the end of page 2. 

Films, while again there are many I would like to see, I fear would wake me up and have the opposite effect. I also worry about noise carrying through and waking my daughter.

Although to be honest, by the time I have decided how to spend this down time, I generally can’t keep my eyes open anymore but it’s still nice to have the opportunity to at least think of how I might spend the time!

Wife and mother, x

Cuddles during the storm…

We had an incredible thunderstorm last night! The lightening illuminated our room and hallway, followed quickly by the roaring thunder. If anything can make you feel tiny and in awe, it is the sound of the sky cracking above you!

I actually enjoyed lying listening to the thunder and counting the gap between flashes. The torrential rain that joins a thunderstorm is the most amazing sight and sound. If it hadn’t been in the middle of the night, I would have been tempted to step out in it, just to feel it. 

My daughter woke when the thunder was quite far away. I remember it taking a good few grumbles before I decided that it was definitely thunder. Well that was her awake for a good spell which I didn’t mind as I couldn’t sleep either the closer it got. What amazed me was when the thunder reached overhead and the light along with the noise was commanding my full attention…she fell asleep! Fair enough she jumped a little every time it roared but asleep she stayed. I however, was unable to sleep for a long time, just listening it all but it made me remember why I love co-sleeping/bed sharing so much.

My daughter does begin her sleep in her own cot, in her own room now every night. Although usually by morning she is at least in her travel cot which we keep in our room but more often than not, sharing our bed again. Something that causes an all too familiar look of disapproval from quite a few of our older relatives. I personally have no issue with snuggling up together. We sleep well together and she can happily latch on as we both sleep for her night time feed.

Last night I soaked up just how precious and comforting it is. Here she was lying next to me during a thunderstorm that kept me, most of my friends and neighbors awake; yet she was calm and peaceful. She had a feed, cuddled into me and there she stayed throughout it all. The reassurance of closeness made her feel safe and able to rest which was wonderful.

I know there is a lot of split opinion on bed sharing due to the safety aspect of SIDs, so it’s definitely something each family has to decide upon for themselves. This blog is by no means a recommendation to co-sleep/bed share. I’m just simply sharing how it has and does work for my family. We should all make the choices we are prepared to on the facts that are available to us.

I saw a picture recently that said “100% of humans eventually sleep by themselves” which reminded me not to worry about when she manages a whole night alone, it will happen at some point and until then, I will enjoy our time together.

How do you feel about co-sleeping or bed sharing? Is it something that you do?

Wife and mother, x

In need of sleep…

Tonight is one of those nights! The kind of night I just want to just go to bed and start afresh tomorrow…except I can’t. My baby won’t settle and my dog is being naughty. So I guess I’ll just write about it instead! 

The amount of sleep we have been getting recently has been ridiculously low and I am exhausted. Sunday’s are always a long day for us so I have been longing for my bed for hours already and I am literally fighting to keep my eyes open.

My daughter isn’t a good sleeper and never has been but the one part that has actually been quite good as of late, is the speed in which she will settle in the evening. I could settle her and be downstairs with my husband within half an hour. However for some reason that has gone right out the window; which brings me to tonight. 

Well over an hour of struggling with her, I finally managed to get her to sleep. She wouldn’t drink after a certain point, wouldn’t accept a cuddle and certainly wouldn’t give in to sleep alone. Without attempting the “cry it out” method (which is the only thing we haven’t tried and would rather not) there wasn’t much else I could do but just continue to go round in circles, trying each method until she finally gave in. Which she did…eventually!

I then go downstairs to find my angel of a dog had decided to have a crazy streak and raided the bin! Something he has never done before! Sheer disappointment is the only word I can use to describe how I feel. We have always trusted him so seeing this makes me very sad.

So once I clean up the mess my naughty boy made, I think a cuppa would be the answer to my mood. Well of course, that’s not how it goes! I hear my baby sobbing in her bed!

I pause listening to see if she will drop back off but alas no. 

So up I go again to hope she falls asleep quickly as bed is calling me! I’m not sure what’s making my little girl struggle to settle, perhaps it’s just a phase but I hope it passes soon. At least when it comes to sleep, I know it won’t last forever. I’m sure I’ll be complaining that she sleeps too much when she becomes a teenager! 

Wife and mother, X

Afraid of the dark

It’s funny, I know I used to be afraid of the dark but I don’t really feel like I am anymore.

I am not sure if it is age thing or if it is something that happened when I became a mother but it was only recently that I realised that I was no longer afraid.

I remember I used to be unable to sleep for fear of the noises the house made at night. I found it especially difficult when my husband was away and the feeling of being alone in the darkness was paralysing. Frozen still, unable to move, listening intently with my heart racing uncontrollably to random creaks. Trying to sleep was almost impossible some nights and I longed not to be by myself. I only truly slept well when my husband was home.

Even writing this feels as though I am describing someone else. It’s an odd sensation looking back at yourself and feeling as though the person you were referring to could easily be a stranger.

Perhaps it’s being responsible for someone that is so dependant on you to be strong…  Then again, it’s probably the sheer exhaustion that I feel these days. I don’t have the time to lie awake afraid of the sounds my house makes at night. I don’t have the energy to waste on being scared. My focus during the night is purely on my daughter and making sure we get as much sleep as possible.

To be honest I don’t remember when I began to enjoy the darkness but there is a wonderful peace there. An empty place that you can fill with what ever you like. You just simply need to see the dark as an opportunity to open your mind.

Whether it was something that progressed over time or an awakening that happened when I had my daughter; all I can say is that I’m pleased I was once afraid of the dark as now that I am not, I can appreciate the calm and space it provides all the more.

Wife and mother, x

Daily prompt : darkness

Through the struggles.

There are some days you long for bed from the minute you wake up.

The days where things don’t seem to go as smoothly as you hoped.

Times that you truly wish you had all the answers.

Moments that seem to disappear before you are ready to let them go.

Today has been very long and while I am fighting with heavy eyes, I must remember that I am extremely blessed and through all the struggles, I am not alone.

Wife and mother, x

Unexpected trip to hospital!

Well let me begin by saying that I am very tired and I am sorry if my thoughts don’t seem to flow.

There are many scary moments as a parent and I know that there are so many to come which seems rather frightening to be honest. People say that once you become a parent you never stop worrying and I feel those words could not be more true as I sit here carefully watching my child sleep.

After thinking we were out of the woods with my daughters sickness bug we unfortunately ended up rushing to hospital when things took a turn for the worst and her temperature went crazy! She had a febrile convulsion which while might be very common and generally alright; was incredibly panicking to watch. My poor baby girl having a seizure just made me feel so very helpless and I don’t think I stopped shaking until we were under the care of the hospital.

Thankfully she is fine and there are no long lasting effects but boy was it scary at the time. It was of course late when it happened (as these things always seem to be) so by the time they had observed her for the appropriate hours post seizure it meant we weren’t arriving back home until morning. As we were drawing back into our drive, the houses around us were just starting to come alive with people wakening up in preparation for the day. Which just seemed to remind us how exhausted we were, knowing that even though we had been up all night, the new day had began regardless of whether we were ready for it or not.

There has been a fear in the air of it happening again. It has now been two days since it happened and we are still battling the fever. I hope that it breaks soon so that this cloud can be lifted. She only wants to be in my arms or next to us which we have no problem with as we want to keep a close eye on her.

I will happily hold her as long as she needs, sleep without covers so she can lie next to me and let her drink as much of my milk as she wants. She is my precious little girl and its my job to be there for her.

Wife and mother, x