Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Wear what fits
I haven't been getting much sleep. I think this must be a universal truth spoken by all parents. My husband and I have been trying to find ways to get a bit more. And it is a tricky business. There is so much advice when it comes to sleep and so many promises but few actual guarantees. What I have found is that it isn't just the technique which matters but whether that technique feels right and fits my way of being a Mum to Ella. I already knew I wasn't happy to leave her to cry but even that isn't as simple as it sounds. What is crying? Is it a grizzle or a hysterical sobbing? At the weekend we hit the sleep deprivation wall and needed to do something. So I read a book and we tried a few things. By the end of the weekend I was sleeping on the couch because I was so on edge waiting for her to wake the soothing and settling to begin again. I am sure my husband and I were in no fit state to be driving let alone looking after a small child. Oh the irony.
I spent some time reflecting blearily about why I was so on edge and concluded that following someone elses operating instructions for my own child just wasn't sitting well with me. Many of the recommendations in the book were helpful but the process seemed to disconnect me from my wee girl and generalised her. So on Sunday night I decided to just do what felt right to me and what preserved the most sleep for us. Ella still woke 5 times but she was back to sleep in a few minutes and I didn't sleep on the couch. In the morning I woke refreshed and feeling like a good Mum again.
At the moment dark circles under my eyes may just be normal but I don't want to feel a stranger to my child. That is so much worse that any lack of sleep. It steals the joy that keeps me going despite my fatigue.