Over the past almost 7 years that I have been writing this blog, I think the one thing that has been consistent through all this time, is sleep. Or lack thereof. While I might be able to get my kids into bed at a reasonable hour, keeping the smallest one there, well, it’s not as simple.
I’ve done sleep training, sleep charts, I’ve done co sleeping, I’ve done mattresses on the floor, I’ve done most things. And that’s just with Harper. I have actually blocked out the horror that was Daisy and her sleep. The sitting at the end of her bed each and every fucking night until she fell asleep, the sitting on her floor, the night terrors, dead GOD all of it was so unbelievably nasty. But then? Well, it got better. She got bigger and somewhere along the way, she just started sleeping, and sleeping all night, and then sleeping in a little longer in the morning.
How do things stand for us right now? After sleep training SO MANY TIMES? Well, let’s see. Harper goes to sleep in her bed in approx 3.4 seconds. She wakes sometime from midnight onwards and trots into our bed. Depending on how tired I am, she pops in and I wake later realising there is a 3 year old on me. She gets walked back to bed, twice or three times until I give up sometime after 4am and she stays on my pillow, hogging my bed until morning. It’s bullshit. It makes me cranky. But it is what it is and it won’t be forever.
I read this post a few weeks ago by Fat Mum Slim. About sleep, or again lack thereof. Chantelle has a non sleeper, much like I have had through the years. Although I suspect she has had it a little harder than us. This really struck a chord with me…because well, it’s just SO true. If you have a kid that wakes, no amount of sleep training, or consistency, or fights or anything will change things. You might be able to tweak things somewhat, and create new rules for a short period of time, but I think if you have a bad sleeper, you just do. They wake, they just do.
I worried about Daisy’s sleep because of her being in long-term daycare from an early age while Rob and I went to work. She didn’t like it, she was stressed, we all were and I blamed myself for that. THAT must have been the reason that she didn’t sleep. Maybe it was us? Were we too relaxed, or too hard on them? It MUST have been us, because why would my sisters kid’s sleep, and mine not? HOW? And then we moved down here, and Harps had had a very different life to her sister – being at home with a happier Mum, being in the fresh country air, being relaxed, and happy and rested and in no hurry to do anything. AND YET? Still not sleeping. She wakes. She just wakes in the night. Each and every night. SHE JUST DOES. Sure bad habits and sleep deprivation are never good parts of the equation, but I just think you have a sleeper, or you do not. You have a child that eats, or you do not. You have a child that worries about things, or you do not. A confident, easy-going kid. Or not.
I wish I had figured this out sooner. Imagine the worry I could have saved myself? I don’t think it would have changed things…I just don’t like someone small sharing a bed with me, and I would have persisted with the walking back to bed. Maybe. I know I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself though. I would have accepted things, not compared, not gotten so angry or had so much seething resentment. Maybe. Who really knows? What was, was. What is, is.
If you have a non sleeper, a kid who wakes in the night, every night, please know that I get it. You are not alone. There are millions of people, every single night, going through the same battles, fights, tears. One day though, it will get better. They get to 4 or 5 or 6 and somehow they stop waking. Maybe. Who knows what will happen with Harper? All I do know is that I have to believe it will get better, because what else is there to do?
Got a non sleeper?
You know what? You are doing the bloody hard yards, and I think you are doing a great job!
YOU JUST ARE.