Parenting is tricky. And not just because you have to learn it all from scratch because every book you can read on the topic will tell you something completely different. But because being a baby is probably pretty hard. But they can’t tell you that. Because they are just babies, you guys. They can’t talk.
The minute you get used to that thing he/she is doing that is so annoying that you think you cannot take it for another moment, it stops. But then this other really annoying thing happens.
Take for instance teething. Teething is uber annoying because it causes the baby a lot of discomfort. And it can look like different things are happening, when really, your baby is just preparing for the ability to bite your fingers off. They pull at their ears. Which makes you think that they might have an ear infection. So you bring them to the doctor and their ears are fine. They could run a low fever. Which makes you think that they have a cold. They could stop sleeping. Because…you know…what is the most annoying symptom of ANYTHING? You guessed it. Not sleeping. And when the baby isn’t sleeping, you aren’t sleeping. And when you aren’t sleeping, you walk around like a mom zombie for days or weeks on end wondering if you’ve just left the toothpaste in the refrigerator. (I may or may not have done that. I can neither confirm nor deny.)
But teething isn’t the only reason that babies don’t sleep. They sometimes don’t sleep if they are too hot. Or too cold. Or in an unfamiliar place. Or there is too much noise. Or not enough noise. Or they are too far from you. Or too close to you. Or they napped too much during the day. Or they are overtired because they didn’t nap enough. Or because it is Tuesday. Or really any other day of the week.
This is currently how Baby L rolls.
I feel exhausted. And achy from trying to sleep with my really tall husband and really tiny baby in a Queen-sized bed. I feel cranky and overwhelmed and then ashamed of myself for feeling cranky and overwhelmed. And then I just feel more exhausted from feeling ashamed of myself. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
But it did get me thinking about these “phases” that babies go through. And how when she was first born and Baby L only slept about an hour and a half at a time and only on my chest or in a swing and I lived on the couch for 6 weeks. I remember thinking that I might never sleep again. And I might never know the joy of a bed. Or cuddling with MB. But then it ended. And we were on to the next thing.
And then it was reflux. And Baby L was miserable and crying and colicky and driving me absolutely mad trying to find ways to help her. And I remember having tried everything and one day, in the middle of one of the non-sleeping, crying hysterically days she was having, I sat down in the middle of the kitchen floor and sobbed. Because HOLY GOD, when will it all end?! And then it did. And now it seems like it was so long ago, I can barely remember it.
I have to be strong and tell myself every day that, “Yes. You will eventually sleep again. And no, Baby L will not sleep in between you and your husband until she is 37 years old.” And sometimes I have to tell myself these things at 4am when I wake up with a cramp in my side because I have been sleeping in the most awkward position for the last 3 hours and I cannot move my left leg. And sometimes I have to tell myself when MB is at work and I am trying to get Baby L to nap in her crib and all she wants to do is scream or play. But we all do it. We have to. It is survival.
And, this too, shall pass…
- Help Baby Nap Better (and Longer!) (babyzone.com)