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.