dating, Motherhood, Mums, Parent, single parent, toddler

Regression

Definition:

A return to a former or less developed state

A return to an earlier stage of life

It’s a strong word. When talked about in parenting circles, it’s usually pre-empted by ‘sleep’ as bleary eyed mums and dads find a fancy term to describe why their kid won’t pipe down. This is happening for me once again right now, but I will get on to that shortly.

First though, I am also regressing in my own life as I am reverting back to being single, moving back to my home town and likely to end up stumbling around some old and familiar haunts in heels that I can’t keep upright in.

Following the recent decision for me and TJ’s dad to go our separate ways, I find myself at the beginning of starting over after a decade of familiarity. One of the biggest changes in modern day living which has completely passed me by is the dating game. The apps, the swiping left (or is it right?!), the etiquette on that fine line between messaging and pestering – I am completely clueless on it all.

I have never been good at knowing what to do or what to say when it comes to courting and I have had little chance to hone my skills in recent years. I do find it easy to get on with most people, anyone who follows my blog knows I usually have quite a lot to say for myself and I truly enjoy meeting new people and discovering what makes them tick. Becoming a parent has also changed me for the better as I am stronger, more confident and more driven than ever before. So, that may be a winning combination to find another happily ever after.

I have no plans at all to throw myself into something too serious head first. I need time to heal, to recover and to learn to have some ‘me’ time again. I am also not looking for a replacement dad for TJ, he’s got one of those already.

But, I believe in love. In the words of SATC’s Carrie, I want real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, can’t live without each other love. Wanting more for my life is the reason I am applying for my own mortgage in the first place. But when that time comes, I know it will bring the phone checking, the self-doubt and the constant ‘is he just not that into me’ questioning. Online dating can only fuel that. Maybe I won’t have to resort to downloading Tinder and there is that person in the real world for me instead. I will keep you posted.

So, about last night. That parenting pitfall of sleep regression reared its ugly head again.

TJ has been a dream baby overnight for months now, and it’s been essential in order for me to function as a human being. So, when he screamed the house down at 1am one night last week, I resorted to pulling him in bed with me – two hours later when I had exhausted all other options. I prayed that it was a one-off and this wouldn’t be the start of the co-sleeping we abandoned way before TJ’s first birthday.

I was wrong. It happened again last night, at 2am. I didn’t even put up much of a fight this time, grabbing his massive Sleepyhead pillow and thanking God for the space afforded by the king size bed. TJ calmed down thanks to a combination of cuddles with his favourite soft toy and grasping at a chunk of my hair.

Despite the awful sleep deprivation (we both only grabbed a few handfuls of sleep in the hours that followed), it was blissful on fleeting occasions. When TJ let go of my hair and playfully felt my face and said ‘nose’, my heart leapt. When he woke up a little unsure of where he was but relaxed when he saw me and said ‘mama’, I took reassurance that I had done the right thing.

But what’s next? Is this the start of things to come again? It really can’t be as we both need our precious sleep to have positive experiences the following day.

What about you? Have you experienced toddler sleep regression and if so, any tips on how I can get through it?

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