Posted to facebook 2 years ago, but still applies.
This is why our house is a disaster, why the lawn looks like crabgrass, why the roof has mounds of moss, why the siding is dirty, why the piles of laundry look like leaning towers of Pisa, why you may need plastic gloves to enter my bathroom, and why we don't have a lot of extra time for stuff other than our kids right now:
Chris and Lena hit their Morning daddy and me yoga at We Rock the Spectrum - Buffalo Southtowns, then Ben and I met up with them for some kids' gym time together. After that, we decided we were all starving, so we headed of to lunch at Aunt Millie's Family Restaurant. After lunch is naptime, so we took the chance to drive out to pick up our eggshare at Farmthisway (and comment on our dream house, plans for the future, which bill to pay when, what birthday party comes next, etc. Our only time to talk without our children interrupting...because even bedtime doesn't allow for adult conversation when you have a child who doesn't sleep.).
Now it's almost 4. I've been sitting on the couch for 2+ hours, snuggling with my child who will nurse/sleep on my lap until he's 2, maybe more from the looks of his needs... He hasn't slept all week and won't let me out of his sight. He's anxious and twitchy. His body and brain are growing.
I know it's normal, but it's hard.
Chris is outside with Lena. 50 hours of his life are spent away from these kids, 50 hours away from two of his favorite people on Earth and he still somehow manages to cram in as much quality time as he can every day...every single day. Bath time, night time reading, putting Ben to sleep (for the 1st round): all duties he takes on to give me a break and to give our kids dad time. He does this all after working at a kind of difficult job...and when I say difficult I don't mean it in a "can you handle it?" kind of difficult, but in a "holy shit, Chris's job is so cool! I can't believe how smart he is!" kind of difficult. I know he comes home needing to rest his brain for 3 seconds, but can't.
I know it's normal, but it's hard.
So when you have that inclination to worry about your grass or your laundry or other people outside of your immediate family, prioritize.
My son slept the full night for three nights in a row. I think my husband and I got SEVEN hours of sleep for the first time in months last night. MONTHS! It's going to take the 3 of us a while to get back into a restful pattern where we can finally feel good, but we'll get there!
It has not been an easy journey. The advice from other families has been endless and we’ve tried almost all: heavy blankets, lavender, diffusers with really expensive oils, nap, no nap, early to bed, late to bed, supplements, more carbs, less carbs, more iron, more protein, talked to our not-very-helpful previous pediatrician, sleep specialists (consulted with TWO!). Of all the suggestions, the most important came from other moms who talked about waiting it out and mindfulness.
Shifting our mindset to a place of compassion for our kid has helped a lot. I’m not going to say that it made it easier, but it made it more bearable. And the cool part of waiting this out? Our kiddo is finally at an age where we can talk about what's happening in his body and what's causing him to feel scared. For him, it's nightmares and a serious fear of the dark. When he brings up being scared, we talk about how safe and special our house is, how there's so much love, how his big sister (who's seriously NEVER been afraid of the dark) is right there in the room with him, just in case....and that we're just a few steps away from his room if he needs us later in the night.
Every morning that he wakes when the sun rises we throw an effing parade of gratitude and express to him how awesome it is that he was able to sleep the night through and help his body get well rested. Yesterday he reminded me that I owed him money for sleeping. Several months ago, I was feeling so frustrated by the sleep deprivation that I bribed him and told him that I would give him 10 bucks if he stayed in his bed. Turns out he remembered that bribe.... :)
Please, Goddess/Sweet Baby Jesus/Buddha/whatever deity can assist here: keep this trend going and we'll be Golden.
You can read more about our sleep adventures.
Please don't miss this year's WNY Doulas Better Birth Conference THIS Sunday, April 15 from 9AM-2PM.
This year's corporate exhibitor list is incredible:
Catholic Health, Moonshine Studio of Photography, Correra Physical Therapy, The Fountain Wellness Center, Postpartum Resource Center of New York, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
If you're planning, pregnant, carrying a baby in your arms or just a birthy nerd like me you NEED to check out this year's list of exhibitors:
Stacey Austin L.Ac.
Baby's Sweet Beginnings Breastfeeding&Maternity Boutique
Birthing Center of Buffalo
Calming Nature; Doula Center
The Care Connection
The Gentle Parenting Institute
Gleason Family Chiropractic
Gypsy's Corner Photography LLC
Northeast Integrative Health
Amanda Rayburg LMT
Soma Cura Wellness Center
WNY Postpartum Connection
Please don't forget to come and say hello to me, Lindsay Conley. I'll be volunteering for The Postpartum Resource Center of NY with Tess Butera, another mom and postpartum doula passionate about perinatal mood disorders.
Grab your ticket.
9AM Buffalo Parenting Partners
Join seasoned and unseasoned partners in a casual, judgement free open discussion on parenting from the other side. Sharing stories and advice is encouraged, but not required. Refreshments will be provided and free, but donations are accepted and will be used to fund future refreshment endeavors.
Feel free to give your partner a break and bring along the babies or kids.
10AM Mindful Mamas: Sacred Postpartum Support at Yoga Parkside
Postpartum Support, Sacred Space and Community for New Mothers: Hosted by Megan Callahan of Yoga Parkside with special guest teachers and presenters
Come together in sacred circle to be with other new mothers, share your stories, get support and discuss various topics related to the transition to motherhood. This circle offers mothers compassionate community in a loving and nurturing environment and includes a weekly meditation, mindfulness techniques and other self care techniques to weather the storms of this massive life adjustment. Additional topics may include baby wearing and its benefits, healthy sleep habits for mom and baby, self care for mothers, infant massage, holistic health at home, and creative ideas for sensory play with your baby. Women and their little ones welcome as soon as they feel comfortable venturing out.
Hi. I'm Lindsay. Daughter, sister, wife, mother and collector of useless (and useful) information.