We got 2 nights of sleeping through this week and thought we’d finally turned a corner with the baby. Glad I didn’t hold my breath!
At the moment it feels like we’re going backwards. He’s eating less but more often and giving us less and less sleep between feeds. I know he’s only 8.5 weeks old and I’m probably expecting too much but frustration and devastation can drive you to hope for the impossible sometimes!
It’s almost midday and I am un-showered, quickly eating a piece of toast for breakfast and writing this on my iPhone because I don’t have time to set up the laptop in case he wakes up, which he will any minute. I’ve just realised I have his spit up on my shoulder and part of a nappy stuck to my pyjama pants. My life really has inexplicably changed.
Sitting here in my state of distressed motherhood I can’t help but wonder, when it comes to the big changes in our lives can we ever be truly prepared? With all the information at our fingertips are we still left clueless about the true reality of things until we are stuck right in the middle of them?
Change will come in our lives whether we want it or not. It doesn’t matter if we cower in the corner of our living room or go out in to the world with our swords drawn. The only thing we can do is learn how to cope with it.
I don’t know how many times I’ve said “I can’t deal with this anymore” or “I’m just not coping” this year. Many a night has passed when I have wished I just had the gift of acceptance. For me it all comes down to control. For most of my adult life I have made sure there aren’t many aspects of my day that I can’t predict or manage. I don’t feel comfortable putting plans in someone else’s hands, even planning my own Hen’s night and relieving my best friend of all her Maid of Honour duties at my wedding. I am a classic control freak and it’s served me well up until now. I have a good job, amazing friends and married the love of my life. I leave the flying by the seat of your pants business to my sister and mother who don’t seem to be able to live their lives any other way.
Being spontaneous to me is booking a holiday without researching it for a few months first… hold on, that’s way too risky, I have to check Trip Advisor and all the reviews! Living this way ensures I pretty much always have very comfortable, drama free holidays but aren’t the best memories of any trip usually the parts that weren’t planned for? Like the amazing, secluded bay you found when you took the wrong turn on your way to the main tourist beach or the quirky little antique store you found when you got lost looking for the new Pottery Barn?
So maybe I can look on the next few months (18 years!) of sleepless nights and unpredictable days as a lesson in letting go. After all, I’m already leaving the house on a daily basis in tracksuit pants with unmanicured nails and no makeup (and I must admit, baby spit on my t-shirt more than once!) and nothing bad has happened to me. I haven’t been shunned by society or banned from my circle of friends.
Maybe I can harness some power from this crazy unscheduled life. Will it kill me not knowing what’s going to happen today or how much sleep I am going to get tonight or a month from now?
It’s going to take some time and I probably won’t enjoy it but I am innately aware that I have no choice in the matter. Of all the things in my life I have been able to undo, re-do or not do at all, parenting is not one of them. I will never regret the choice to bring my perfect little man in to this world, now if I could just get him to fall in to line with all my plans and expectations…!