Motherhood – Its NOT For Sissies!

Its the end of a hard day. I’m exhausted and very close to tears, what can I say, motherhood is NOT for the faint hearted. We’re a couple of days into our new sleep training routine and its full of ups and downs. Ava is such a cleaver little sausage, she’s now putting herself to sleep in under 5 minutes, except for her late afternoon cycle. Its always been her hardest time of the day and during the periods where she was hyper alert, it was the time of day that left us both exhausted.

I cannot stand to hear her cry. While I know at this age, its her only form of communication, it does not make listening to is any easier. I’m left with overwhelming sense of guilt and sadness. There is nothing harder during the sleep training process than going in there and picking her up after a bout of crying and seeing her tear stained face, its as if someone stabs a knife through my chest each time! But I keep reminding myself why I’m doing this and its not just for W and I. Its most importantly for her. I want a well balanced, well rested, confident child and all the research points to healthy sleep routines and healthy sleep associations in order for this to happen.

Add to that W and I are routine type people, we enjoy it, routine offers us comfort and stability and for that reason its important that Ava have a routine all of her own. But man alive, its not easy getting the routine going.

So somebody asked me what an average day looks like for me now that I’m a mom, so here’s a brief run down of what today was like:

06h00 – Wake Ava, prepare her bottle, feed her, top & tale her, change her clothes, play with her.

07h30 – Put Ava down for her 1st nap of the day, wash & sterilize bottles, see to the laundry and other household chores, take a shower.

09h00 – Wake Ava, prepare a bottle, feed her, change her diaper, play with her, recognize the signs for tiredness or over stimulation, start settling her down for a nap.

10h30 – Put Ava down for a nap, browse the web, catch up on some blogging and forum reading, sort out photo’s from her birth till now, organize Power Tots & Aqua Tots classes, confirm police clearance for adoption.

12h00 – Wake Ava, prepare a bottle, feed her, change her, play with her, get Dexter to introduce himself to her. She starts showing signs of tiredness and over stimulation, start preparing her for her next nap.

13h30 – Put Ava down for a nap, make lunch, eat lunch, think about what to make for supper, tidy the kitchen, take washing off the line, fold and pack away.

15h00 – Wake Ava, prepare a bottle, feed her, change her, play with her, recognize when she’s starting to show signs of tiredness and over stimulation, start preparing her for a nap.

16h30 – Put Ava down for a nap, prepare the supper, go into her room and settle her, its her difficult time of day and she’s very angry and indignant at having to take this nap. Try to stay brave and not burst into tears. Phone friends for reassurance, swop notes on how sleep training worked for them.

17h30 – Sit down and right this blog posting with a knot of guilt in my stomach and tears brimming in my eyes.

18h00 – Time to feed and bath Ava & she’ll have a little quality playtime with Daddy

19h30 – Put Ava to bed

21h00 – Wake Ava and give her a top up feed to get her to go the night……….

I’m at step 18h00 currently so I best be off to feed Ava. Its been a long day, I’m exhausted, my nerves are shot, I’m feeling a mixture of emotions, but I know when I pick up my little sausage and give her a kiss all will be worth it and the hard parts will be wiped away.

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  • Reply Yvonne

    HUGS Shaz.
    I tried and totally failed at the sleep training route myself – it broke my heart hearing my babies cry so I can totally commiserate with you. I really hope that she settles into her routine easily soon!!! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the update, I check about 10 times a day for any news from your side πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


    February 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm
  • Reply Katherine

    I know you want to keep the routine the same but that last nap doesn’t stick around that long and I often just put Ava in the sling or went for a nice long walk and she had a little nap in the pram. Despite that (sling/pram/sometimes cot for the last nap) Ava puts herself to sleep every time now and doesn’t wake at night. I could never bear to hear them crying so well done it takes enormous strength and courage.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm
  • Reply Katherine

    Yes, thanks for the updates, most new moms totally neglect their blogs (understandably) but you’re a star and we DO appreciate it. I know you’re sick of the assvice but I never did the dream feed thing (because my babies never actually woke up enough to drink!!) and Ava slept through from 10 weeks (7pm – 6am). I will admit she did then go through a long phase of having a quick breastfeed at 5am and then I’d wake her at 7am. Just before 5 months she became 100% consistent at me having to wake her at 7am i.e. not waking at 5am anymore. Apologies again for the ASSvice, you are doing a brilliant job.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:27 pm
  • Reply Adi

    The other day I was over at my neighbour and we heard (another) neighbour’s baby start crying, and I said, yip, that’s me in a few months. Then she said that typically that time of day, somewhere between 16h and 18h, is just cry hour. It’s the end of the day and all the learnings and experiences and spent energy just come together in an enormous brain overflow and it is just the way to let it all out. Nope, I’m sure it doesn’t make it easier listening to it but I think it does help knowing: one is not alone. It is what happens. And unless you put them in a bubble of NO stimulation whatever, it is going to happen for a while. Gosh even I feel like a big pooperazzi when I get home from work at that time – it is probably carved into us over the years! So, no comfort, just: it is normal. And you will have a balanced and rested and confident child. This “overload hour” is part of restoring that balance and creating confidence. You just hang in there and keep doing what you’re doing – if you read back a few weeks, you have come an ENORMOUS way with some very tough challenges. It is all going to be ok. But yes, playing baby crying tapes is a well known form of torture, so rest assure your feelings are acknowledged.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:30 pm
  • Reply Lea White

    May I ask, if you have to wake her for feeds, why don’t you switch to every 4 hours for feeds? Also I would like to remind you that both my kids slept significantly less than the books say they should and both of them are well balanced and confident despite what research might say. And then if 16:30 is the difficult nap time, why don’t you change her play time to earlier in the day, say the 10:30 slot and this way you keep things quieter during the 15:00 slot and wind down quicker for 16:30 so that she is less stimulated?

    And just remember the older they get, the less sleep periods they will want during the day i.e. I think by around 6 months Caitlyn only needed 2 sleeps during the day of no longer than 2 hours each (otherwise she didn’t want to go down to sleep easily at night) and since she turned 1 only 1 sleep a day after lunch (no longer than 2 maybe 2.5 hours). Right now Caitlyn skips most daytime sleeps and Bianca hasn’t had a daytime sleep since she was 2 (unless she was feeling unwell).

    Hugs Sharon. The early days are never easy, but I promise it will get easier before you know it.

    February 1, 2010 at 8:33 pm
  • Reply Mich

    Hey Shaz
    I totally commiserate with you especially with the nap at 16h30 – they don’t call that time of day suicide hour for nothing. Jared sleeps far less than any of the books say during the day. He now has 3 naps of about 45min to an hour each. 2 in the morning and one in the early part of the afternoon. I know you a routine person – so am I, but any reason why you wake Ava for her feeds as opposed to letting her wake herself and feeding her then? She would probably set her own routine that way.It might be a little different to what you would like but might work better for Ava.Just my 2 cents worth and I know you probably get loads of assvice. Hang in there my friend.

    February 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm
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