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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Mums, Parent, toddler

Sleep

Ah, there’s a loaded word when it comes to parenting. Prior to producing people, it could only have positive connotations of beautiful slumber following a day (or night!) of life.

Now, it’s not such a pleasant thought or experience.

And this time I’m not talking about the baby.

At 17-months-old, TJ is (mostly) sleeping through the night. Aside from one problem. He wakes at around 5am for a cry. It’s short-lived, doesn’t require assistance, seemingly for no real reason and yet it’s primary function seems to be to wake me up.

This has become such a regular occurrence that I wake up at that time, whether TJ does or not. It also happens even if I am not at home, as I’ve been painfully reminded when I’ve had a night off and stayed with friends.

That little sod of a body clock ensures my day starts bright and early anyway … and continues to wake me up every 30 minutes until TJ is ready to start the day/I finally concede defeat in getting more shut-eye and get up out of lovely, lovely bed.

I know I am lucky that TJ is sleeping well at night. I know that I am also lucky that he doesn’t seem much interested in getting up before 7am. I also know that I could (possibly) remove this issue if I switched off the baby monitor and did some sleep training of my own.

But I won’t. I love feeling like the little man is right with me by having a black and white version on that screen on my bedside table. I also still feel a duty to keep an eye on him or listen out for if he needs me for anything overnight.

So I’ll just hope that the 5am wake up calls make a hasty retreat soon – and that hopefully they are not replaced by an even earlier call to action.

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Baby, Parent

Rock a bye toddler

Not another one. Please not another one. Just when we thought we had got through the worst of the sleep-related battles, another regression appears to have come along.

TJ is nearly a year old, which according to Google, is a common age for them to decide sleep isn’t for them. Again.

It had been going so well. A reliable 90 ish minute cot nap in the morning, and another nap of varying length in the afternoon. He was sleeping at nursery. And sleeping at night.

Something has to give – and it’s the day naps at home.

I think someone at nursery – a kid from an older group – whispered to TJ “hey, you know you don’t have to do this napping stuff”. And TJ relished the thought.

This has resulted in three days (and counting) of battles for morning naps and a regular-as-clockwork 30 minute wake up with a will he/won’t he go back to sleep few minutes of tension thrown in for good measure.

I’m going to keep going as TJ may feel like he doesn’t need the break – but I sure do.

In years to come, I’ll laugh at this even being considered an issue. Probably.

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Motherhood, Parent

Bed time

And I’m not talking about the baby here.

For the last few nights, I’ve been crawling into bed approximately 10 seconds after TJ (finally) goes to sleep.

I did put up a fight for a while – persevering through bleary eyes to have some baby-free sofa time with the other man in my life (TJ’s Dad)

But there’s almost a direct correlation between how heavy TJ is (currently tipping the scales at 20 pounds) and how early I’m a walking zombie. Lugging that not so little man around is tiring work for most, never mind someone with my shockingly low fitness levels of late.

So in the battle between binge watching box sets and bed, I’m afraid the latter is definitely winning at the moment.

At least TJ’s Dad gets to enjoy hogging the remote.

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Baby

Sleeping like a baby

Whoever came up with that expression clearly never looked after an infant.

Or, if they did, they never tried to put an infant to sleep in a cot. Or a Moses Basket. Particularly in the day time.

Maybe they had tried to put a baby, say my baby TJ, to sleep in a car seat. Or a swing chair. Or maybe even just on themselves. That’s all fine for the most part.

But in a cot? Never. Not with a hot water bottle. Not with white noise. Not with a mini version of a somewhat successful night time routine.

With TJ’s first date with the nursery looming in the distance, I’m determined to put a day time nap in the cot into his routine. But so far, TJ is just as determined to not.

Anyone got any tips?

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Baby, Parent

Screen time

I’ve been getting plenty of my own screen time in by staring at the baby monitor. After a couple of months of TJ calling it a day at the same time as mum and dad, it was time for him to hit the sack on his own.

It’s not been easy of course but we’re getting there. I just need to train my own eyes to stop staring at the baby monitor and to relish evenings with the other man in my life (TJ’s Dad) by catching up on my box sets instead.

Any tips for successful sleep training?

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