Monday, 9 February 2015

Caution: tired mother in a REALLY grumpy mood!

This post has been quite hard and frustrating to write.  I've tried on numerous occasions but the words are stuck somewhere in my muddled brain. 

In a way this sums up my week. I've been a tad frustrated this week. When I say a tad, what I really mean is frustration has totally consumed me to the point that I have wanted to either collapse and cry or rip something to pieces. I managed to avoid both scenarios. However I did at one point slump onto the couch completely disheartened and resigned after practically yelling at my daughter, "Bubba you have to sleep!" before storming out of her room. While it did achieve a temporary startled silence, it was not at all helpful in promoting a calming, sleep encouraging environment and her crying and lack of sleep soon resumed. Needless to say, it was most definitely not my proudest parenting moment.

This week has seen the return of the 4 month sleep regression. A few weeks ago we had a visit from this regression and I had assumed, wrongly it seems, that we were past it. I know that this period of sleep 'regression' can also be seen in a more positive light as developmental progression but regardless of the label, sleep is sleep and no matter how positively you try and view lack of sleep, and I really don't try very hard, the consequence is that it leaves a tired household. In particular a tired, grumpy mother. 

So I've been frustrated. Frustrated that my daughter, who previously was sleeping pretty well at night, has started waking at all hours. Frustrated that she has also suddenly lost the ability to sleep for longer that 45 minutes during the day. Frustrated because it all just makes no sense, no matter what I try, nothing seems to work. Frustrated because I am tired. 

To make matters worse, hubby injured his back during the week and as much as he'd like to help, there's not much he can do. He can hold her for a limited time but that's about it. So that left me doing everything...dressing, settling, nappy changes, playing, showering, feeding (well given her refusal for a bottle that's me anyway), night wakings, all day, every day. Plus all the usual cleaning chores and even extra things like the food shop which we would normally do together.

The frustrations mounted.

To top it off, I launched my new business Mubs last week (if you haven't already checked it out make sure you do) and to be honest, it has all been a bit harder than I expected. Plus I have so many ideas and things I want to make but with these 45 minute naps and hubby's injury,there simply has been no time

Do you get the picture? I was frustrated! Now I don't mean I was frustrated every single minute of every day but there was a significant amount of frustration present throughout the week.

Frustration! Frustration! Frustration! 

But then things changed.

I was in the car, making a quick trip to Spotlight for some supplies, stewing in frustration because bubs had done yet another 45 minute sleep and I was desperate for some time to get sewing done. When I say desperate, I mean it. An awesome opportunity for some free publicity for Mubs had emerged in the form of donating a few of my handmade toys to Cloth Nappy Week to be used as giveaways and potentially in a photo shoot. The small problem being I hadn't actually made all the toys and they were due 4 days after learning of the opportunity. So I was frustrated yet again.

And then it happened. 

I got perspective. 

Well I realised that it was all a matter of perspective anyway. It's easy to dwell in self pity, I'm quite good at it really. It wasn't doing me any good though. I was reminded of a quote a friend shared earlier in the week (which I was going to put onto my facebook page but will use here instead.)

When I stop and considered things in this light, it's true. Really my bad days are not that bad. Actually I have things pretty good. I have a beautiful little girl who is healthy. While hubby can't physically do much with her, the fact that he is around makes a positive difference. He is constantly encouraging me and telling me what a great job I am doing. Plus I can bounce ideas off him. I also failed to mention earlier that while I was left doing 'everything' at home, he was still doing the cooking (I happen to be married to a chef and while I offer to cook dinner, he consistently refuses, even when injured. I'm not sure if this is a reflection on my lack of cooking ability but probably best not to dwell on it).

Then there is my coffee group. They are amazing. We have a WhatApp group and the support provided through that is amazing. Someone mentioned earlier in the week that their baby was having a tough time sleeping and was unusually waking at all hours. This was soon followed by a few others declaring the same thing. Suddenly we weren't alone, others were going through the same thing. It makes a big difference knowing you're not alone.

Then of course there is the fact that I'm complaining about my baby's lack of sleep. I'm only doing this because she had been sleeping well. It's all relative. There are many who would love to be in my position.

As for my lack of sewing time. Well I realised, if I hadn't had my daughter, I would still be teaching and Mubs would not have been created. So really it's all credit to my daughter that I am in this frustrating position of having launched a business because I am at home looking after her but now am finding it difficult to find time to work on it because I'm at home looking after her. Hhhhmmm. Of course, the fact that I can be at home for a little bit is another thing to be grateful for as many have to go back to work at the end of their maternity leave.

I could continue. What about all the single mothers (or fathers)? They have to do everything by themselves, every day! I take my hat off to them. What about mothers of twins, triplets or more? My goodness I can't even imagine how they do it. Then of course there is the fact that I currently only have 1 child, what about the many people with more than 1? My self pity is now looking rather embarrassing and self indulgent. I could continue on with this list as there are people all around the world that have it much harder than me.

It's all a matter of perspective! 

Now I don't want to diminish what I, or anyone else is going through. When you are in the middle of some difficult parenting challenge, it is hard. Especially when it involves lack of sleep. It's okay to cry and get frustrated. If I am up several times tonight I can guarantee that I won't be happy about it. But perspective helps. I need to work on this perspective thing. Hopefully as I continue on the parenting journey, I will get much better at keeping things in perspective. Like everything, it takes practice, and I have no doubt that there will be plenty of opportunity for that! 

That has been the story of my week. What about you? What challenge are you going through at the moment? What things do you have to be grateful for? 

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