Any mom can attest to the ups and downs that motherhood brings with it, from anxiety, to fear, to joy. Even in these first seven weeks of being a mamma I have experienced emotions from all ends of the spectrum.
This particular post was inspired by a girls night which ended with both Luce and I leaving early, both in tears. As I cried on the drive home I wondered why she chose today to meltdown, and why she couldn’t just go to sleep when it was so obvious that she was exhausted. (I now know that we were experiencing what is called the “witching hour”.) It’s funny how I knew exactly what she needed, but could not seem to make her understand that crying about being tired was not as good as falling asleep. You can’t reason with a baby 🙂
That girls night wasn’t anything new though, that whole week Luce had been hardly napping, fussing most of the time and generally being rather unpleasant. She was so different from the baby that we brought home from the hospital, the one that fell asleep while she was nursing and went down to bed easily. This girl will now fuss through her naps before getting a second wind and forcing us to start all over again. I get some reprieve when I am able to get her to nap in her swing, but even that isn’t always a given.
I’ve read books and articles saying how much babies are supposed to sleep in the first year, and Lucy isn’t meeting her quota. When I was pregnant I had these expectations of wonderful naptimes filled with me reading, blogging and eventually working, but that isn’t what’s happening. I was frustrated. How I was supposed to get anything done when all I did was spend the day trying to get her to take a nap? And why God wasn’t helping her to sleep more when I was praying so much for her to sleep? I was feeling like a miserable failure of a mom.
Well, I had an epiphany last weekend!
I can’t do anything about whether or not Lucy naps.
Yes, it’s very difficult when she won’t sleep, but if I am trying my hardest to help her to take her naps then that is all I can do. I am also trying to adjust my expectations for her. Expecting her to be the perfect baby all day, every day is ridiculous. Even though she can’t really feel it at this point, putting pressure on her to align to some sort of predetermined version of what a 7 week old baby should be isn’t fair to her, or to me.
I know that getting enough sleep is super important for a baby’s development, so I am not going to stop trying my darndest to get this kid to sleep. But I am not going to let her sleeping pattern be the judge of whether or not I am succeeding as a mom. And I’m not going to let her bad days get me down…for the most part anyways.