E very week we turn a new corner in parenthood.
Last week we were nigh on high fiving each other at how solid our ‘system’ was. You see, we’d had a 3 week run of naps, dinner, bath, bed repeat plus throw in a trip to Melbourne that went off without a hitch and we’re practically borderline cocky. Ok well one of us was.
But I’ve come to learn that ticking over a new week with a baby is like turning a corner. Sometimes that corner feels really familiar (like I could do it blindfolded) and other weeks it’s like I’m lost in the woods without a GPS and I have no idea where I am.
Like clockwork we approached 6 months and bam, all of a sudden Costa is super clingy and has no interest in sleep.
After we shoot each other ‘Oh heck no‘ glances and exhaust our limited box of tricks we turn to our good friend Dr Google. We’re like ‘please Dr Google, make it all better, just tell me what I need to do to get back to the way we were?!’ (cue Barbara Streisand).
Grasping at straws, Joe comes across an article (which apparently is as good as ‘gospel’) and states that by 6 months if your baby isn’t sleeping through the night there is something wrong with you. Ok it didn’t quite put it like that but it implied that 90% of 6 month old’s should be at this place (otherwise known to us as a ‘mirage‘). So naturally when you read this and realise you’re not there yet you either think something is wrong with you or that its you against the world.
But I’d been here before and I knew better.
6 month sleep regression is a ‘thing’. Thankfully one of the lovely ladies at my Space group put me on to wonder weeks at the 4 month mark and so the words ‘sleep regression’ have always been lying dormant in my mind as a possible hurdle to overcome.
Needless to say, I found this super helpful article online and like all good googling sessions it made me feel normal again (ahh panic over). That is, I had something to work towards. Some semblance of a theory which like reading my horoscope, was broad enough to be kinda-sorta applicable to my life and which reassured me that I would come into untold fortunes soon – hopefully sleep.
Sleeplessness is never a good thing. I become short fused, every little thing seems like the biggest deal (i.e. Joe ate the other half of the chocolate bar I was hiding, and I’m like ‘oh its the end of the world, how will I cope – I couldn’t possibly find ‘something else‘). I get teary, over-emotional and I raid the sugary-delights like theirs no tomorrow.
So no, sleeplessness is not good for me and my thighs would second this.
It would be convenient if ‘new parent problems’ (of the non-emergency kind) arose just before a Plunket visit or coffee group but more often than not, it’s midnight and I’ve found consolation in other places.
And sometimes that’s all you need, a little bit of reassurance. Whether it be in the form of Dr Google or some parent to parent chit-chat that reminds you that you’re all in the same boat, just some of us are rowing in circles with slightly different paddles.
There is a comfort to having a path laid out. To navigating the next corner and making it feel more familiar.
While I’m all about blazing my own trail in life, in early-parenthood I prefer to be walking a path well-trodden while clasping on to both side rails.