My baby is going to be ONE in a few short weeks. It is hard to believe that almost 365 days ago, my little person entered the world. My life has changed in so many ways since then. I’ve become more patient, I’ve learned how to be a mother, my opinions on nearly everything has changed, and I’ve learned to accept exhaustion as a norm.
It wasn’t until recently that I realised that exhaustion should not be normal.
Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is tiring, and I would love to be tired. It’s this exhausted thing that I am struggling with. My baby is a year old and still wakes up every hour in the night to nurse. Every. Hour. On top of that, he doesn’t have a bed time because bed time routines have never worked for him, which means he goes to sleep when Adam and I go to sleep. Oh, and he wakes up at 7 am every morning roaring and ready to go. I am struggling.
I want to be totally honest and talk about how this exhaustion has affected my life.
- I lose my temper very easily
- I dread waking up in the morning. I want to wake up excited to see my baby!
- I tend to be cranky and emotional about the stupidest things (poor Adam)
- My marriage is struggling because we are both so exhausted
- I don’t get any quality time with Adam because Hudson is always awake (as much as we love spending time with him, it would be nice to have an hour to ourselves each night)
- I don’t have the energy during the day to do the things I would like to do with Hudson
- My house is messy and sometimes I am too tired to care
- I’m afraid to leave him with anyone in the evenings because his sleep is so unpredictable and he relies on me for getting back to sleep.
The list goes on and I’m sure that some of you are feeling the same way and you don’t know what else to do. You, like me, have probably tried it all and have just accepted exhaustion as a way of life. It wasn’t until Janelle, a sleep consultant reached out and talked to me about their services and the importance of teaching my son the ability to put himself to sleep, that I realised that something needed to change.
She explained that right now, Hudson’s only sleep association is with nursing, so every hour when he goes into a lighter sleep, he is waking up and nursing to get himself back to sleep because it’s the only way he knows how. She described teaching him how to put himself to sleep as a “gift,” and you know what? That made sense. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I turn over, cradle my pillow, and fall back asleep. I should be helping my son to learn the same things.
That’s why I’ve made the decision to star a sleep training program with Janelle. Although they are located in America, she has been so readily available to answer all of my questions and has even offered to be available via phone throughout the whole night once we start the training. I filled out a questionnaire about Hudson and his personality and explained that I didn’t want to let him cry it out, and she returned in the next 24 hours with a personalized sleep plan for Hudson. When we skyped, it felt like I was talking to someone who had known Hudson forever. She really worked to create something that would be effective for him and his strong-willed personality.
This week we are going on vacation, but we have been doing little things to prepare Hudson for the sleep program that will begin when we return. We spend lots of time outside in the evenings, going for walks and playing at the park. We have gone back to a bedtime routine at an earlier time, and although he is still waking frequently, the block sleep from 7-10 is a great time for Adam and I to spend alone.
Over the next few weeks, I will be filling you in on our journey, and hopefully, by the time Hudson is one, we will have a baby who sleeps through the night!! If you have a baby who is struggling with sleep but you are unsure how to fix the problem, just know you aren’t alone. I have cried so many times at night because I was too tired and too frustrated. I hate myself when I get angry or frustrated at little things, but that is the reality of exhaustion!