I haven’t slept in days…maybe even for weeks. Who’s really keeping track when a good night consists of 5 hours of broken sleep these days. My 4 month old is sick at the moment and that has taken our already tiring nighttime sleep rhythm up 3 notches. Between the running nose, the growing teeth, the passing gas and the general developing baby, we have ourselves a recipe for insomnia and many consecutive nights of: “No sleep for you, Mommy!”
I could go on and on about the sleepless nights and the tow it takes on the body and mind, but actually this article is about how I’ve come to appreciate this time with my baby. You’d think that this is probably not the best time to write about this theme…with my brain in a perpetual fog and my body sore from god knows what… but this is precisely when these sentiments are most powerful.
He is not my first baby. I have an older son who was also not easy when it came to sleep. I remember vividly those early months with him as a new mom. The despair I felt during the sleepless nights and tiresome days. Running myself haggard looking for ways to sooth him, calm him, make him sleep, keep him asleep…etc.
But perhaps it’s the experience of having been a mom for almost 4 years, which has cumulated into some sort of enlightenment. This time around, I’ve become a lot more relaxed because I have a new mantra…it’s a just phase!
”I know that!” you might say. “People say that all the time!”
True, this is not an original concept, but the fact that I realised its truth has afforded me the freedom I’ve not experience before.
It’s been popping up in my head often as I deal with the small but ever consuming day-to-day details with 2 kids. During the hard moments, I think to myself: “it’s a just a phase, it’ll pass, it won’t last forever.” And that helps to calm me and give me the strength to face the situation for what it is, a temporary hurtle to overcome. Somehow, that helps break down the frustrating moments into more manageable pieces.
The same concept can also make you treasure those joyful moments more because you know that they are fleeting. Cherish those belly laughs, as next week he might not be doing them anymore. Don’t fret if he hasn’t turned over yet because there will come a time when you wish he didn’t move so much. Kids, and especially babies change so much in such a short time, realising that the bad days and the good days are finite and ever changing will give you a fresh perspective.
So instead of being overwhelmed with frustration, I have room to focus on empathy and understanding while further keeping my emotions in balance during those situations where my kids require the most.
Certainly, this mantra is not magic, it is not the answer to every problem. It’s merely a tool for your childrearing tool box…take it out when it’s useful. It helps, it really does.