No Vision to Work Towards

I had a one hour chat with a life coach the other day.  I guess you’d call her a life coach.  She works predominantly with woman who feel a little lost in motherhood.  A lot of her work focuses around weight loss, which is a shame really because there’s so much more to coming back to the woman you are than getting back to an ideal weight – but I don’t have that issue, so who am I to say.

Anyways, I got in contact with her because I wanted to feel inspired.  I wanted someone something to spark a little motivation in me to be more than just a mom right now.

I can’t say I got very much out of the call.  She was new at the whole coaching thing and it kind of felt prescribed. She asked a lot of hokey questions and even though we had a good chat, I didn’t leave the call feeling any different.

It was a start though. I was nervous going into it and it’s good to do things that make me nervous.

One of the things I feel like I’m missing in my life right now, and I talked to her about this, is that I don’t really have any clear life goals.  I don’t have a vision of the life I want.  I don’t know what I want.  And this isn’t like me.  I’m used to working towards something. I like the feeling of visualizing something, working towards it, and then achieving it.  And I’m good at that….once I know what it is that I want.

I’m funny that way though.  When I did yoga teacher training (I went to Costa Rica for three weeks a lifetime ago) we were to pick a word that we wanted to feel or exude.  Mind was ‘present’.  I felt at that time I was always looking to the next thing and I wasn’t taking the time to truly be present and grateful.

I am now more present than ever and here I am wanting to have or thinking I need something to strive for.

Perhaps this is a good thing.  My pendulum has swung and I feel in time I will come to a happy balance.

And like I wrote in my Acceptance and Surrender post, perhaps now is not the time to manifest dreams.  If I accept that and continue to just be present with my kids while on maternity leave, if I surrender to the guilt or whatever it is that’s nagging me to achieve, I can then relax and maybe my vision will just come.  And that’s when it will be most powerful, I truly believe that.  I don’t want to work towards something just for the sake of it.  I want it to be completely what my heart and soul desire.

So I’m going to just sit back, relax, and listen.  Maybe I don’t really need to do much more than that right now.

And now, onto the sleep log….

SLEEP LOG DAY 4

5:40 she woke up, I tried to get her back to sleep but she was wide awake, chatting in my arms so at 6 am we officially started our day
9:30 went down for her nap with no crying (I laid her down asleep)

It’s 10:15 now so we’ll see what the rest of the day brings.  Hoping for an afternoon nap, even though it didn’t really help her night sleep all that much last night.  She didn’t sleep through, though she didn’t wake for hours last night so that’s something.

I just realized, I do actually have a vision I’m working towards – getting my baby girl to sleep through the night. Maybe not so big picture, but it would be life changing for me at the moment, so yeah, kind of a big deal.

To be continued…

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Losing my Mind and Sleep Log Day Three

Has it only been three days?  Time does a funny thing when you are severely sleep deprived.  Did you hear about our night last night?  If not, check it out, it was a fun one.

I’ve kind of been losing my mind lately.  OK, not kind of and I have been for a little while.  All joking aside, all is not well.  I know it’s partially, if not entirely, due to two things:

  1. Our sleep situation.
  2. Winter in Canada.

Yesterday was an especially trying day. My husband called in sick so that he could help me out (so grateful for that) so I decided to go write my drivers license test.  My license expired some time ago and it’s been on my to do list for ever and my husband gives me such a hard time about not having it that I thought, kind of as a favour to him, that I would just go do it.

Have I mentioned how sleep deprived I am?

Writing the test was SUCH A BAD IDEA.  Not only was I extremely tired, but I hadn’t studied.  I flipped through the manual while waiting and none of it was sinking in.  It was like I was looking at it through a foggy window.

So this test, not so common sense.  It asked things like ‘how close to a fire hydrant can you legally park’ and ‘how many demerit points can you accrue before your license is suspended’.  I was sitting there mumbling to myself ‘I don’t fucking know’.

Needless to say, I failed.

But the good thing is you can do it over, right away.  So hells yea I was doing it over, I made it all the way out there I was getting this done.

Second time around I was presented with a new variety of ‘I don’t fucking know’ questions.

I failed again.

Guys, I cried.  I’m that fucking tired that I cried.  I have never, and I mean ever, in my life failed a test.  It’s not that I’m a nerd (ok maybe a little) but I ALWAYS show up prepared.

Or I used to.

I am so off balance. I feel so far from the person that I used to be.  My husband thinks it’s a good thing I failed, kind of like a wake up call.  I need to take care of myself.  I need to tend to my needs and find my footing again.

I also really need to get my fucking license.

Sigh.

I’m writing this at 2:30pm and my daughter is babbling in her crib, not sleeping.  At least she’s not crying.  So here we are, day 3:

SLEEP LOG DAY 3

6:30 up for the day – she would have slept longer but her brother woke up the whole house with his screaming, I think the poor guy had a night terror
9:15-10:40 morning nap.  Cried for 10 minutes, babbled fora bit more then fell asleep.
2:10 laid her down for a nap, cried a little but mostly babbled
2:35 SHE’S ASLEEP!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO – woke up at 3:40
7:30 pm asleep. She started scream crying while in my arms before I even laid her down. Once in her crib she cried for 5 minutes then fell asleep
11:10 pm woke up and cried out on and off for 20 minutes, was hoping she’d get back to sleep on her own..but nope, I went in at 11:30 and laid her back down at 11:45
(I then tossed and turned for quite a while…)
5:40 work up, tried to get her back to sleep but she was not having it so we officially started our day at 6 am

Notes:

  • Total sleep = 12.5 hours
  • nursed her 4 or 5 times
  • went outside this afternoon after lunch <- kind of a big deal ’round here
  • ate a big dinner and had a nice bath but she was emotional at the end of the day (she tried to stick her finger in a socket and my husband gave her a very stern ‘no’ and she lost it, never recovered)
  • really only one wake up and a quick one, so not bad all things considered
  • I realize she’s going through some pretty bad separation anxiety right now, that and perhaps in the middle of Leap 8 of the Wonder Weeks – I didn’t follow this with my son, but she seems to be right on track with that whole thing, displaying all of the behaviours listed…perhaps this means there’s a natural end in sight coming in the next week or two?

Acceptance and Surrender

I read something yesterday that really resonated with me.  It went:

“Acceptance is surrendering to what is: our circumstances, our feelings, our problems, our financial status, our work, our health, our relationships with other people, the delay of our dreams….What happens when we accept our circumstances? Well, first of all, we relax.  Next we change our vibration, our energy pattern, and the rate of our heartbeat.  Once again we’re able to tap into the boundless positive energy of the universe.  Acceptance also illuminates reality so that we’re better able to see the next step.”

It’s from the book Simple Abundance and this message really could not have come at a better time.

Yes, I’m talking once again about my baby girl’s sleep.  But more than that really.  It’s about this season of my life.  This time in my life as a mother, a wife, a woman.

What if I just accepted that she’s a bad sleeper right now?  That she’s going through a phase that will eventually end.  What if I surrender to trying to fix it and just hold her.  Just bring her to bed with me as I did the last two nights.  Sure, I lose some sleep and yes, the lack of sleep is making me a little crazy, but perhaps it’s more my perception of the problem, my desire to control the situation that’s making me crazy.

Is it the lack of sleep that’s making me angry/emotional/impatient or is it the way I’m handling the situation?  Perhaps if I just accept and surrender to what is I will, like she says, relax and make it through this rough patch.

This is me talking myself out of letting her cry by the way.

I am going to try this though.  To accept, surrender, and find the positive in comforting her when she cries at night.   I’m going to accept that she’s not on a consistent napping schedule and let go of any expectations…as long as she’s happy.

That’s not to say I’m not going to keep trying to find ways to help her sleep.  And so I’m continuing the sleep log in the hopes of uncovering a pattern.

SLEEP LOG DAY 2

7 am – up for the day
9:40 – 10:55 napped. nursed to sleep for her nap, no crying
6:30 laid her in her crib awake, cried right away
6:40 alseep
2:20 she woke. I went in and nursed her and laid her back down at 2:50 – and then everything fell apart.  She cried an I only let her cry for 10 minutes (in the name of ‘acceptance and surrender’) and I brought her into bed with. k She flopped around and smacked my face and gave me kisses and at 3:45 I put her back into her crib. She cried until 4:30 when I went in and brought her into bed again.  She fell asleep at 5.  THAT’S TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF AWAKE TIME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.  Not cool.
6:30 am We are both startled awake by a screaming 3 year old.  Yes, my screaming 3 year old.  Just can’t catch a break here.

Worst. Night. Ever.  Well, not ever.  The newborn/6 week phase is pretty bad, but this is just unacceptable.

Notes:

  • Total sleep = roughly 10 hours
  • change in routine first thing this morning. husband was home and took her right away so no milk at 7 am, but she had just nursed at 5:30. perhaps the change/new stimulus helped with the morning nap?
  • only nursed her 4 times in the day
  • I was out most of the afternoon, she spent this time with her dad
  • didn’t get outside at all today – was freezing rain all day
  • spent more time than usual in her room before bed (went up at 5:45)
  • put her to bed for the night without her sleep sack, fleece pjs only
  • no bath

 

Starting a Sleep Log

My baby girls sleep situation is stressing me out so bad.  I don’t get it. I wrote about what went down last night – she didn’t end up settling until 3:30 and that was only after I brought her into bed with me.  And then I didn’t sleep at all because I was super conscious of trying not to move around and wake her.  She then refused to take her first nap and later took a one hour nap.  We just did her bedtime routine – same thing we do every night – and once again she’s crying.

I feel so stressed right now.

I hate that she cries.  I hate that she fights sleep. I especially hate that she wakes in the night and won’t go back to sleep.

I don’t even know what to do about it.  This is usually when people say, time to sleep train, but I don’t know what the next step in this ‘sleep training’ plan entails.  Once my son learned how to fall asleep at the start of the night he pretty much slept through.  And it took a few months but eventually he was going to sleep without crying.  It’s been 5 months since we initially slept trained her and we had a good month or so when she went down without crying.  It was beautiful.  And then a few weeks ago she got sick and then we had some pretty bad teething happening and so I spent more time soothing her before bed.  And now it’s like we’re back to day one.  Only now the crying is louder and longer and happening more and more throughout the night.

My husband just came down from putting our son to bed and I told him how frustrated and stressed out this makes me and his answer ‘don’t listen’.  And if she cries in the night? Turn white noise on in your room.

That doesn’t work for me.

I don’t want to hear her but I don’t want to not hear her.  I need to make sure she’s still safe.

Which she is.

And I need to just remind myself of that.

She’s not hurt.  She’s not hungry.  She’s not in need of a diaper change.

She’s just tired and for some reason is refusing to go the fuck to sleep.  I’ve done everything I can, kept the routine very consistent – nice warm bath with lots of cuddles, milk, books, song, little cuddle and night night.

I want to go in and rock her to sleep.  The pull to do it is so strong but I also know that she needs to figure this out.

I think.

She’s asleep.  That was 30 minutes of hard crying.  I think I’m going to keep a sleep log.  See if anything in her routine is causing this.  Starting now…

SLEEP LOG DAY 1

7:15 up for the day after an awful night
9:40 attempt morning nap, cried till 10:20 then I went in and got her
12:20 – 1:20 nap, nursed her to sleep so no crying
6:15 start bedtime routine – bath, milk, books, short cuddle
6:45-7:20 cried then fell asleep
10 woke, let her cry for 25 minutes, went in nursed her back to sleep and was back down at 10:50, cried a little but fell back asleep
4:45 woke, went right in, nursed her laid her back down at 5:15 she cried until 5:30, husband went in she got hysterical, I got her and brought her into bed with me where she fell back asleep
7 am up for the day – awoken by her brother probably would have slept longer

Notes:

  • Total sleep: roughly 11 hours
  • Nursed 5 times
  • Didn’t eat as much at dinner tonight as she normally does
  • stayed in the house all day because of crappy weather

 

 

Sleep Training…Again?

It’s 2:30 am and I am currently listening to my one year old cry.  She’s been awake for over an hour and is refusing to go back to sleep.  I am so fucking tired and sick of this.

I don’t get it.  She falls asleep on her own at the start of the night, most nights she goes down without much fuss, some nights she cries for up to 20 minutes.  This is supposed to stop or at least help the night wakings.  It did with our son.  She just doesn’t get it and I am so done.

I mentioned in my last post that my husband wants to help out more.  I think starting tomorrow he can be the one to do her bedtime routine.  I’ll put our son to bed.  And if she wakes in the night I’ll go to her but not nurse her, just tell her, ‘it’s time to sleep’.  She’s one, she doesn’t need to be fed at night.  And it doesn’t even help anyways.  I nursed her tonight and she cried out a couple of minutes after I laid her down.

I’m so tired.

Last night she was up three times.

Last week she slept through the night two times. So I know she can do it.

She’s not sick. She’s not teething.  I don’t know what’s going on.  Separation anxiety maybe? Whatever it is I need it to stop.  I had no problem going in and giving her a quick nurse and a cuddle, but I just can’t anymore.

I’m sorry baby girl, you have to figure this out.

And please do it soon, I’m so tired it’s making me sick.

Saturday Morning

My husband has been wanting to help out  more in the sleep department.  For this I am both grateful and annoyed.

Grateful because I need the sleep and I want to feel like we are a team in this whole parentingthing.  My daughter will be one next week (WHAT?!) and has slept through the night maaaaybe 10 times in her life and it has always been me to go to her.  I have only ever been the one to put her down for both naps and bed time.

My husband helped out a lot more in this area with our son.  He often did his night time routine (and still does today which is why I do our daughters, they go to bed at the same time) and he stayed home with him for about a year when he was a year old, so he put him down for naps a lot.

When it comes to our daughter I’m quite protective.  I know that I can sometimes have the attitude that no one can tend to her as well as I can.  Which may or may not be true, that’s really besides the point.  It’s more about the relationship my husband has with her.  He never bonded and only now it’s just forming.  He didn’t spend much time with her and it shows because she’s not that comfortable with him.

I hate it.

And because of that I”m extra protective.  I feel like I need to give her extra love and attention.

So even though I’m grateful that my husband wants to help out, I feel like it’s kind of too late.

This morning she wakes up at 5 and I go in to nurse her down but she won’t go back to sleep.  So I go get my husband from downstairs (he’s already up) and ask him to try (as we agreed that he would).  He goes in and she completely loses her mind.  Instead of rocking her he just puts her back in her crib.  I go to him and ask if he wants me to try again and he gets snippy with me and tells me he’s letting her blow off steam and that I should go back to sleep.

I can’t sleep when my baby is in hysterics.

I hear her screaming louder and louder, at this point I’m sure she’s going to wake up our son so I go in and tell him, it’s OK, I’ll calm her down. He walks past me in a huff and I pick up our daughter and try to calm her.  I do, but she is all wigged out and so the day begins.

I hand her over to my husband, who is obviously annoyed, and I go back to bed.  I kind of doze in and out and get up at 9 to the sound of her screaming in her crib. He tried to put her down for a nap.  I ask him if I should go in and he says, ‘I need to be able to put her down for naps’.

And I agree, but isn’t it a little late?

And he didn’t get her down.  She was screaming.

I sat in the living room with my son watching tv (which in my annoyed head I think ‘he’s probably been watching tv all morning’) drinking my coffee trying to ignore our screaming baby.  I finally said, forget this, and I went in and got her to sleep.

She’s sleeping now.  My son is watching shows and my husband is grumpy.  I am filled with so much negativity and I am trying to see the positive here.

I know I need to back off a little and give him more chances.

I know I need to trust that she’ll be ok with anyone other than me.

I know I need to give him a break because he is trying.

We have a fun day planned and I don’t want it ruined by this gloomy start.  Hopefully writing this all out, getting it out of my head will help me keep a positive attitude.  That and a shower.  Showers always help, even if it’s just a little.

 

Focusing on the Good

I did yoga.  I meditated. I still don’t feel any better.  This is rare but sometimes when the feelings are big and taking over my whole body and mind, it’s just not enough.

But I’m not giving up!

So here I am, writing again because that too helps me deal with my shit.

Sometimes it really helpful for me to vent.  It does help to write about about all the crappy stuff – my anger and stress, my marriage issues and so on.  But you know, there’s a lot of really great stuff in my life right now and in an attempt to shift my energy, I”m going to tell you about it all.

  1. I’m on maternity leave.  I’ve been off work for over a year now and I am going to be off for another 4 months still.  I have been able to spend so much time with my daughter.  I’ve done yoga every day.  I stay in sweatpants almost all day and am ok with that.  Super comfy!
  2. I have a great job that I get to go back to.  My boss is super chill – I consider him a friend – and I genuinely enjoy the work I do.  Plus I make a lot of money, which I am looking forward to seeing again in the near future.
  3. My son, who is almost 3, is so cool right now.  We had a rough daycare drop off this morning but most days are not like that.  He’s so smart, funny, attentive, and he has such a big personality.  I am so lucky that I get to be his mom and every day I want to be better for him.  I love him so much.
  4. My baby girl, who is almost 1, is also very cool.  And she too has a big personality and I love it.  She’s extremely sensitive and she loves to laugh.  That is one thing that has been apparent right from the beginning  – she has so much joy in her.  My baby is quickly becoming a little girl and while it’s a little bittersweet it’s mostly sweet.  Just thinking of her makes me so happy.  I don’t know what I would do without her.
  5. We had our bathrooms renovated about three months ago and I am still sooooo happy with the results and enjoying them.
  6. We have a new oven arriving soon.  Looking forward to being able to bake again!
  7. My husband and I are doing better.  This one is complicated so I’m going to try to keep it positive but we are spending more quality time together and really trying to make our marriage a priority.  So that’s good.
  8. I have wonderful friends who I don’t see nearly enough but understand.  Two of my friends in particular are always there for me and I can be completely honest and open with them which is so refreshing.
  9. The Bachelor is back!
  10. My hair is super long – probably the longest it’s ever been – and it feels wonderful.  I can’t wait to chop it all off again haha but until that day I am enjoying french braids and top knots.
  11. I’m drinking delicious coffee out of my favourite cup right now.
  12. Just looked out the window and giant snowflakes are falling from the sky onto the big evergreen tree in our backyard.  Winter can be so beautiful.

I feel better.  I need to do this more often.