Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I love sleep


On the same day that I was writing about Tornado Xav and my not-so-relaxing yoga classes, I spoke with my good friend Lisa. Lisa's son is three months older than Xav, so I usually get a heads up on all things baby from her. We share a very similar parenting philosophy and generally chat to share the good, bad and quirky moments of motherhood.

After telling her the yoga class stories, and how time to complete every day house work or preparing my tutoring business is almost an impossibility, we turned to the topic of food. Lisa introduced her little man to baby-led weaning (where you let babies try finger food and self-feeding right away vs. spoon-feeding only) when he was six months and I was nearing the seventh month mark with only a handful of finger food attempts.

"I know that it says that you can do anything in stick form for finger foods, except for the possible choking hazards list, Lisa, but WHAT am I supposed to feed him?" I asked (more like pleaded!).

"Well...Anything, really," she responded.

"But WHAT is anything?" I whined.

This was the part of the conversation where I explained that even though the book said you can offer a variety of foods to your little one (think steamed carrot, avocado slices or bread dipped in hummus), I didn't know what to try. Totally illogical, I know. It was as if my brain ceased to function unless I had specific lists to follow. I love cooking, and feeding Little Man was something I was originally so excited about. But instead of the fun of introducing Xav to new food tastes and textures, I was dreading the idea of feeding him anything other than breast milk; even with a fridge full of CSA organic veggies waiting to be used. And then Lisa made a simple statement.

"It sounds like you are sleep deprived."

I sat back and thought about it. Lisa was right. I didn't seem to be myself anymore. I was:
-always forgetting everything
-always exhausted
-always snapping on Pete and Xavier (as in flying off the handle for no reason)
-eating junk food like crazy (don't get me started on chocolate cake)
-etc.

For a few weeks in September, Xav had begun to sleep full twelve hour nights. Pete and I felt recharged after all of the sleep we had missed out on prior to that. Then Little Man's two bottom teeth pushed through and we were back to square one. By the time I spoke with Lisa I was on week four of waking to Xav's cries, feeding him, crawling back into bed, waiting impatiently to relax enough to drift back to sleep, then repeating the cycle many times again. Obviously Pete and I were not getting enough sleep to feel well, but Xavier was also lacking the good quality sleep he needs to grow. Something had to give.

So Pete and I talked about it and decided to go back to square one on our wind down routine. Night one was rough, night two was a little better, and night three and four were a little better still. As of tonight, Little Man has not yet done a whole night without waking up crying, but it looks like we may be back on track within the next week or so. I am no longer needing to feed him in the middle of the night, which makes a big difference, and we are all getting better quality of sleep.

The point of this entry is that you need to take care of yourself as a parent. If you are not feeling like yourself, then you need to seek out the support of others. When I think about it now, I can't believe how long I went on in zombie mode. What a difference a couple nights of improved sleep and a new outlook can make. I hope all you mommies and mommies-to-be are resting when you can. It's a big job saving the world. :)

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