baby lotus


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Try not to compare.

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My little daughter Olivia is growing up so fast. She will be 1 in two months, and I feel like it was yesterday I brought her home from the hospital in her little tiny onsie. She is my little bubble of energy that keeps me on my toes.

Before she was born I thought I had this mummy job thing worked out. My son Jensen, was a little text book baby, who honestly was the easiest going little boy. Play, sleep and eat. He was good at all of them. I was confident, and excited about baby number 2.

Then Olivia came along, and shook me to my core. She wasn’t doing the things I was expecting her to do, and was nothing like Jensen was. She wouldn’t sleep at night, and if I wasn’t holding her or near her, she would cry for me. She was so tiny, and so damn cute and so exhausting. And unlike your first child, I didn’t have the luxury of devoting all my time and energies on her. It was shared between two babies.

Please don’t think this is a post about all the negatives. Quite the opposite. I am writing this to let people know what I have learnt with my second. What Olivia has shown and taught me about my abilities, and strengths and the love a mother has for her children.

Olivia is 10 months now, still wakes at night, and still loves me holding her all the time, but that is what I am here for. It is tough at times, and I wake up some morning looking like something out of a horror movie, but that is the beautiful thing about your children. They can drive you mental one minute, and make you laugh the next. Olivia can literally drive me to exhaustion, but then come the morning I will walk into her room and the way her face lights up and smiles when she sees me is priceless. Those moments make it all worth it, and so grateful that I am her mummy.

It is so easy to compare your children, and assume you know what is in store. But if I could make one suggestion, it would be to keep an open mind, and remember that each child is different in their own special ways. Whether you have one or ten children, each one comes with their challenges and blessings.

I am still learning how to be a mother to two children. It isn’t something that comes naturally at first. It takes trial and error, and lots of tears and tantrum from us all. I think you never master it, because your children are ever changing and growing, and reaching new milestones. You just have to learn to be flexible and roll with it. Don’t get comfortable, because before you know it, they will change that script on you.


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My Baby Won’t Sleep

The last week I was on prac for my course. I spent a week at an Early Childhood & Family Centre. I loved it, and learnt so much. The Centre provides all sorts of services to the community with children under the age of 4. They run mothers groups, support groups, sleep and settling classes, newborn home visits, and your regular developmental checks such as 6 month/12 month checks. It is a place where families can take their child really for anything, and the nurse can provide the right education/ support/ referrals.

One thing that struck me during the week was the amount of parents that are struggling with babies that cry, and are not sleeping well. It is something happening so often, and puts a massive strain on a family. The mothers that came to the sleep and settling class looked exhausted, and obviously desperate for help. As the nurse running the class said “sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture!”. It is no joke what these families are going through, and needs to be taken very serious.

It became apparent that a lot of these women used this class as a place to vent, and a form of therapy. Many just wanted to voice their pain, and feel safe enough to do so. It was heart breaking to see these women share their stories, and how desperate they were.

After the class I had a chance to chat with the nurse running the class and she made some interesting points. She said that it’s all good and well teaching a mother to settle her baby, but the home dynamics and situation is really what makes it work. An example is a women at the class who had a husband that worked double shifts, and needed to sleep. He was the bread winner, and financially supported the family. The mother was so scared to wake the husband, that she literally had her baby on her breast 24/7 to keep the baby quiet. So now she has a 3 month old baby that won’t sleep unless she is holding it. To simply give her some instructions and send her home seems rather pointless. It is a complex problem, and not something that is fixed in a day.

Another point the nurse made is that the way we interpret crying will depend how we react to it. She explained that depending what our history and memories are with crying will depend how well we handle it when our own baby cries. An example is if a woman was abused as a child, her memories of crying will be a lot more traumatic. So when that womans baby cries, that crying could possibly bring back awful memories and feelings from her past that will dictate then how she handles her baby crying.

So a baby crying can mean different things to different people. It is easy to judge others, or brag about how great your baby is. But if there is one thing I have learnt this week is that we all have a past, and all have our vulnerabilities. We all want the best for our babies, and strive to be the best parent we can be. Some people just have better coping skills than others. Some people are better equipped with the tools for handling a challenging baby. With that being said, from now on I will be more supportive of my fellow mothers and fathers out there. It is a huge job being a parent!!