I didn’t want to write this.
I didn’t want to jinx it.
But 2 weeks in and 20 months old and it seems we have ourselves a sleeper.
There was nothing worse than being unable to sleep. You can’t underestimate sleep deprivation. It attacks every other part of your life – social, day-today, everything. Before you know it, sleep and lack of it becomes your latest obsession. Every hour gone doing something else is hours you could have been sleeping.
Some people know that we tried everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. I was that new mum that was constantly on Google. We went from one spectrum to another when it came to parenting. We even tried sleep school. Sleep school was the turning point for us. When all the other babies were sleeping and ours wasn’t it was time to stop. To stop being so harsh on ourselves and to stop forcing this magical idea of ‘self settling’ on our baby. It just wasn’t going to happen.
As the ‘new mum’ naivety wore off, I started to develop my own sense of the kind of person I am, the kind of mum I was and what worked for me. Eventually, what people said rolled down my back. I ignored everyone that told me to leave him cry, to be ‘tough’ and to stop spoiling him.
I gave in. I was still tired as anything, but the stress of trying to make him sleep was almost as bad as the sleep deprivation itself. Tom needed resettling every hour or two for months at a time. The only real success we had was with an osteopath, and it wasn’t long after that where stretches of 5-6 hours started happening. But even then, when he woke, I was often up with him for an hour. Rocking, and rocking, and rocking.
Looking back I can see why Tom was never much of a sleeper. His personality is as intense as anything. He can go from laughing, to throwing a tantrum on the floor within a millisecond. He is like an Energizer bunny most of the time. You never know which way he is going to go. He laughs like he’s just heard the funniest joke IN HIS LIFE and he cries like the world is ending. He is aware. He is alert. He is clingy. And he is beautiful.
Now he’s sleeping at the time when I need him to sleep most. Things in life have come to a screaming halt. The blog and business have felt the effect of this. I can’t reveal what’s going on in my personal or family life, but we are pulling through. And in the meantime, I’m thankful to be getting as much sleep as I can.
Did we force him to sleep? No. Did we teach him to self settle? No. He just decided it was time.
He is still rocked and cuddled to sleep. And I can live with that. I can live with cuddling him to sleep for much much longer. Because when you’ve been sleep deprived completely for a year and a half, a cuddle from my beautiful boy as he nods off is really no drama. Not in the slightest.
Sleep. Have you got it back yet?