One of the reasons why I was all miserable and thoroughly depressed was because my kid doesn’t sleep in the day.
Husband used to think it was funny until he experienced it one weekend, when Aidan gave it everything he had. There was all that wailing before he went down for his nap, the waking up 15 minutes later, followed by the WHO DARED TO PUT ME DOWN FOR A NAP crescendo crying. And then rocking/walking/patting/singing/cussing for the next hour (or two. Or three. We lost count.) until the little tyke decided he was finally tired enough to sleep again.
The parquet floor in Aidan’s room is pretty smooth by now.
For many weeks, I dared not leave the house because I kept thinking that I had to get him to sleep. I had to, because all the experts say that babies his age require 16 hours of sleep and he was clearly NOT getting anywhere near that number. I had to, because he would fuss otherwise and I didn’t want to have to put up with his crying in public by myself. I MUST stay at home, because he HAD to sleep in his cot and he HAD to go to sleep drowsy but awake.
I have come to realise that no matter what I do or do not do, my little man will sleep when he can. I CANNOT force him to sleep, no matter how long I pace the room. And if putting him in the Boba wrap or holding him in my arms will put him to sleep, then that’s what I am going to do. He will learn to go to sleep eventually. His naps will consolidate one day. He sleeps awesome at night, without my help, and that’s a fantastic thing. We won’t have to rock/pat/walk him to sleep when he is 18 years old.
And just like that, I became a happier person.
In the past week, I have brought Aidan out for daily evening walks in the stroller. Inevitably, the rolling motion knocks him out and he takes a quick catnap. In fact, he slept long enough for me to power walk to the interchange and buy dinner one evening. I’ve also schlepped him along for errands, met the Squirt for breakfast at Ikea (yummy and cheap!) and attended my first mothers’ group meeting. He would doze off in the wrap and let me enjoy some adult conversation.
And when he was in a snitch because of lack of sleep, I plonked him onto my chest and we both took a nice 45-minute nap in the cool, air-conditioned comfort of the room. When we woke up, he was in a chatty mood and we had a funny conversation about his dream (he dreamt that he was a footballer and scored a hat trick against Manchester City).
No guilt. No expectation.
For the coming week, I am determined to go out at least once a day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a stroll in the park or a jaunt to the nearest cafe for a cup of coffee. I’d continue attending mothers’ group, even if I don’t know anyone there. I might hop into town and meet my love for lunch.
In short, I am going to let go of everything that has been preventing me from being happy and enjoying my time with my baby.
Anyone wants to date me?
(Baby not sold separately.)
(Obligatory photo of cute baby, who was all of one week old here.)