I don’t know if anyone could’ve prepared me with the criticism, advice, constant comparisons, questions & suggestions that come with having a baby. It’s insane.
Hands held high, perhaps for the first few months of my Princess’ life, I too, would question fellow mums on their babies sleeping habits & other mumsy topics, partly to know that I’m normal & partly to see if my baby is the worst sleeper in the world or if there’s worse than her! (sorry but it’s true!)
It got to a point where my “dummy-sucking-must-be-rocked-to -sleep- can’t-be-put-down-are-we-actually-co-sleeping?” baby just seemed to be way behind the other amazing babies with their immaculate sleeping habits & it got exhausting. I’m not sure if this post is a rant or a warning to future mums but somehow a newborn suddenly leaves you open to advice & criticism from the world. And even those who agree “yeah it’s awful that people constantly tell you what to do with your baby” EVEN THEM! THEY CRITICISE TOO! *breathes*
So a few months ago, Ava was sleeping badly. Like every 45 mins waking up & would have to be held to go back to sleep and yes, I’ve read the baby books, I know about drowsy but awake & sleep associations but there comes a point where you just need sleep. I remember getting waves of anxiety as it hit 5pm knowing bedtime was coming & I was about to have yet another awful night.
“Oh sleep when the baby sleeps” they say. No… My baby will not sleep alone. It’s not that simple. Seriously, there’s been times when I’ve wondered if it would be cheeky to ask these advice givers to come & do the night shift at mine, seeing they have all the answers to “sleeping through the night.” On which note, WHAT IS THE RUSH? So many people have asked me if she’s sleeping through the night & the answer is no. Not in a sad, disappointing way, just no. She’s still feeding twice in the night but that’s absolutely fine. I’ve done it for 4 months now, I’m surviving.
Okay, rant semi over. I just wanted to share a little revelation I had last month admist the sleep deprivation. My peace is not dependant on how many hours sleep I’ve had. My joy doesn’t come from an independent baby. It sounds ridiculous but this whole sleep thing was taking over my mind! It had stolen my peace and well, I was becoming a little obsessive. So simply put, I decided to chill. No more googling “how to get a 3 month old to sleep in crib”, no more endless mummy comparison chats & no more forcing my baby to do something she might not be ready for. Trust me, my sanity is at stake here. When questions are asked, I grit my teeth and sweetly reply, or applaud the successes of other babies, but I’m not in a rush at all.
Bottom line is really; having a baby changes your world, especially if she/he happens to be a needy one. But it doesn’t have to become your world. For those who ask how I’m managing to juggle Girl Talk planning & church stuff with a newborn; my eyes are fixed on the bigger picture. I’d love if Ava would sleep through the night, but the rest of the world doesn’t stop turning. Although she is my priority, there is still a world that needs Jesus & I’m staying focused on that.
So yes, baby talk is getting boring. Let’s talk about how we can be Mummies & serve Jesus wholeheartedly whilst doing so, after all HE is our first love.