Sleeping like a Baby

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Who ever decided that this phrase was to be used as a positive comment? I mean babies, generally, aren’t great at sleeping. New borns wake up every couple hours to eat. If I were to get up every couple hours and go to the kitchen for a snack I doubt I would feel like I was getting good rest, (not to mention the amount of pounds I would be putting on). If you are one of the lucky one’s whose baby just decided to sleep through the night at just a few weeks old (I hate you), you are very lucky.

I have 3 kids, one of them is still a baby. And in my world, sleeping like a baby means you don’t sleep enough, at least from a parent’s perspective. My daughter was a decent night sleeper, but a terrible napper. I couldn’t put her down. She slept well on me but as soon as I tried to lay her on the bed she would wake up. I didn’t mind too much as she was my first and I had nothing else to do but to carry her around, go for walks, clean the house and such. It was extra cuddling time. It was just frustrating when I wanted to get a workout in or take a shower. My first son, had digestive troubles for the first few months, so nights were awful. I would have to walk him around at 2am trying to help sooth his aching belly. He was a great napper though. I could put him down and he would stay asleep for at least an hour. Which was awesome. Since him and I would spend so much time together in the middle of the night, I welcomed the hour long break in the day. My baby now, is a terrible sleeper all around. He wakes up frequently at night, and I can rarely put him down for naps. He naps on me during the day, and is snuggled by my side at night, frequently waking up for a snack or just to make sure I am still there.( God forbid I went to the bathroom during one of his wakings.)

I’ve learned to adapt to this. I do a lot with him sleeping on me during the day. Heck, I’ve even figured out how to workout! (yep, that’s me in the video). But he wakes up easily if one of his siblings is too noisy.

I’ve learned ways to make my life more manageable on intense sleep deprivation. I would even say I’ve become quite good at it. There was a time I would wake up resentful, not feel like doing anything at all, just zombie around all day and couldn’t get the older kids to bed fast enough at night just so I could lay down myself.

But now, I feel like I live a life full of awesomeness. I am not getting any more sleep than a few months ago. My baby still wakes up several times a night. But I’ve adjusted and just like most things in life, it takes on average 6 weeks for our bodies to adapt to any new routine. So I guess you could say that I have hit a sleep deprivation plateau, where my body has gotten used to the amount of sleep I am getting and I can now sustain the lifestyle that I have without too much struggle.

For the most part, I have accepted the fact that my life right now is not powered by sleep. But there are days when I get frustrated and just wish he would sleep more. So when I see or hear the phrase “I slept like a baby”, and I think, “wow you must’ve had a crappy night”.

“I slept like a toddler”. Now there’s a phrase that makes sense to me!! Both my older kids sleep great. And as soon as we night weaned them, they started sleeping through the night and haven’t gone back. It. Is. Wonderful.

I live a very full life on very little sleep. I have never been so tired and so happy at the same time. Although I do not get that much sleep, I have stopped resenting that. Letting go of the thought that I NEED more sleep, made it that I have been able to allow myself to function at whatever level I can each day without judgement. Sure I regularly want more sleep, but I don’t believe I always need it. Some days I feel like I am awesome and I get so much done, and some days I can barely get myself dressed and out the door for school drop off without wishing it was 7pm already. But everyday I am accepting. And that acceptance has taken away a lot of the frustration, the annoyance and the short temperedness. These early days with the babies are the ones that go by the fastest. It won’t be that long before the baby sleeps through the night. And soon enough they will all be in school all day long. Finding out who I am right now, in these moments of sleep deprivation, is an interesting process to me. As long as I don’t make it about other people and lash out at my family, then all is good.

So there are my thoughts on sleeping like a baby. The eternal optimistic that I am has found many positives in my sleep deprivation to make me not hate life, but I won’t hide that I am looking forward to the day I get more than 2-3 hours of sleep in a row. I am not ready for night weaning yet, and that is why it hasn’t happened.

If you have a sleep deprived life, please share your experience and what you do to deal with it. I hope most people have a better experience than I do, because truth be told, it does suck to not get enough sleep.

 

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Silence at Twilight

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One of my favorite things is to have some alone time very early in the morning. I LOVE it. It feeds me in a way not many other things do. It’s being in a quiet state, with no one to talk to, nothing to do but just BE, and do what ever feels best in that moment, that I truly love. I don’t know if I’ve always been a morning person, or if it’s the fact that I am now a mother and the very early mornings are pretty much the only time in the whole day that I will get to be by myself in such a quiet contemplative state. Either way, waking up before or with the sun is one of those things in life that I do not get enough of.

This morning I got to do that. The sun wasn’t up yet, it was dark outside. There was barely any noise or cars in the streets. It felt like an ideal moment to be alone. After I got the baby back to sleep, I chose to get up instead of trying to get some less than good quality sleep. My youngest who is 10 months old is a terrible sleeper. He wakes up frequently at night and if I end up getting more than 2 hours of sleep in a row it feels like a small victory. Because of that, I tend to try and go back to sleep as much as I can. And some mornings, like today, I decide that the quality me time I will get from waking up before any one else does will do so much more for my mood and energy than trying to fall back asleep. These mornings are too far and few between. Because of the intense sleep deprivation I have been in for months, I rarely make the decision to get up once the baby falls back asleep at 6am.

I know how to appreciate good things when they present themselves. So when the opportunity arose, I slipped out of bed, grabbed my yoga mat and had a beautiful, quiet, peaceful, energizing, nourishing 25 minutes by myself, doing yoga. With each breath I took, I released my mind and it’s chatter. With each muscle relaxing, I allowed my heart to expand more freely. With the soothing rise and fall of my chest as I filled my lungs up with fresh new oxygen, I sunk deeper into each posture. The beauty here didn’t lie in how flexible I was becoming with each movement, the beauty came from the amount of love and appreciation that was filling my heart as I was allowing myself to just BE with ME.

I am busy mom of three. As soon as the first kid wakes up, very little belongs to me. I am on timed schedule between school drop offs, pick ups, nap times, eating and playing. Diaper changes and potty runs. Snacks to make and walks to take. Sure I do a lot for myself, but even that is scheduled in with either playground time or nap time. I rarely have the flexibility to just be with myself and do something for myself without it having being interrupted. My body barely belongs to me during that time as I am still breastfeeding. And even once the kids go to sleep, I have an agenda of things I want to do, social media I want to catch up on, things to clean.

So taking these moments alone in the mornings, are one of the most luxurious things I do for myself. Being in silence before even the rest of the world starts busying by outside, feels like that moment is mine. Like no one else exists but me. And being a mother, having these moments of pure centered selfishness are what allow me to be an even better mother. When I start my day off alone, I am so much more ready to welcome any craziness that arises with calm and ease.

To finish off this amazing start of my day, my two year old gets up, comes and finds me in the living room after I had finished stretching, snuggles on my lap and says “Maman, come back to bed, come snuggle with me”. This kind of life, is truly a good life.

Here is a link to part of stretching i was able to do so early in the morning 🙂 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYJfIY1Y5gU