Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Sleeping, feeding and feeling selfish...

As of Saturday night, Eva made the big move into her own room. I had been dreading this moment for a long time, and any time Stuart had brought it up in conversation, I would be extremely swift to change the subject, I was in no way ready for this milestone. The turning point came after we'd endured well over a  month of sleepless nights, literally waking every half an hour to a fussy Eva who seemingly could not be settled. The minute I heard her dummy hit the mattress, I could have cried. And I did cry, a lot. The past month has been emotionally and physically tough for us all, running on a serious lack of sleep. Stuart and I had ran out of explicit words to call each other, and if I was to hear "I've got work in the morning, at least you can have a nap during the day" One. More. Time. 
If only it worked that way, if I could nap on cue and get all the housework done so that our home doesn't resemble a squatter's den, all in the half an hour that our daughter naps.

Many a sleep deprived night I spent on Netmums browsing through the Sleep Support boards for the answer, but it left me feeling overwhelmed with the hundreds of different techniques and routines. I downloaded The Baby Whisperer book on to my Kindle and had to stop after a couple of chapters, as it was infuriating me more than anything. I tried to follow the E.A.S.Y technique (Eat, activity, sleep, you time) and found myself watching the clock and trying to stick to the routine so rigidly, it was making us stressed more than anything when it didn't go to plan. It proves the point that every baby is different and what works for one, won't necessarily work for another. 

I'll no doubt touch on Sleep again on a separate post, but to cut a long story short, after talking to some other mums, Stuart and I decided it was time for Eva to move into her own room. Much to our surprise, she took to it really well, only waking twice during the night but going back over with ease. I thought I would be extremely emotional about the whole thing, considering she's been sleeping by my side for over twenty weeks, but in all honesty I think we were both more than ready and well overdue a good nights sleep.
It's still early days and probably many more tough nights to follow, but we're hopeful we're on to a routine that works for us. Our room feels so spacious now and there's no longer a cot there for me to stub my toe on at stupid o'clock.

(She doesn't look too bothered by the whole transition, does she?)

I purchased this Ella's kitchen book with Amazon vouchers kindly given to us from a relative when Eva was born. I had bought it thinking it would be perfect for meal inspiration but found that there were only a couple of pages that were applicable to babies of her age. There is actually a first stage Ella's Kitchen book being released in the summer and I highly recommend considering it if you're expecting/have a young baby, I wish it had came out earlier as i'm sure it would have made the weaning process a little easier. However, I love this book and have been using the recipes to cook Stuart and I dinner. We've tried the Carribbean Mango chicken, Cosy Cottage Pie, and our favourite, the Beef Ragu. The recipes are absolutely fool proof, and it has shamefully taken a recipe book aimed at kids to get me to enjoy cooking, I'm sure Eva will love it just as much when she's old enough to explore the kitchen. 

On the topic of food I have been making up batches of fresh food for Eva, and freezing them. While I still think pouches are great- they are extremely handy when you're out and about and perfect for keeping in the grandparent's cupboards. (We use Ella's Kitchen - I swear this isn't a sponsored post, just an Ella's Kitchen fan girl!) It's just nice to make it from scratch and know exactly what Eva is eating, it's also enjoyable seeing her reaction to new textures and flavours. It works out a lot cheaper and its good to see our fruit and vegetables being eaten instead of binned by the end of the week. This girl takes after both mum and dad, she can eat.A part of me fears we will be rolling her out the door by the time it comes to start nursery. Long may her enthusiasm for her veggies continue.

Pear & apple
Sweet potato, carrot, broccoli and cauliflower.

 I often feel like i'm being negative at times when I blog about parenthood. It's not that i'm not enjoying the experience- I really am, but I refuse to sugarcoat what hard, hard work it is. I think new mums tend to only talk about the positive side: the new found unconditional love, the late night cuddles, posting pictures of our little cherubs snoozing with captions such as 'I didn't know I could love anyone as much until now...' etc but we tend not to talk about the bad bits, because we don't want to come across as ungrateful, like we aren't coping, which is completely ridiculous, we are more than entitled to have bad days. Days when nothing goes right, when you don't manage to get out of your sick stained pajamas,when  you can't seem to make a bottle up quick enough and the screeching sounds being emitted from your little one's lungs are enough to make you want to run away and not come back.... (well, at least not for a few hours). 

Hannah Magg's posted a link to a blog post yesterday which sums it up perfectly 

You might be so exhausted that you’re crying on the toilet but these are the best days of your life SO BE GRATEFUL - leads to those parents shutting down and never sharing how they truly feel. It leads to parents not having support networks. It leads to parents walking into parenthood without any idea of how hard some moments, some days, can be. It leads to such unfair expectations on parents – enjoy every minute or you’re a f**king monster. It leads to feeling like you’re doing it all wrong.

 ( http://boganette.me/2015/02/26/i-am-grateful-now-fuck-off/ )

Reading through the comments on that particular blog post made me feel so relieved, so relieved to know that there's people who have felt the same way, people who feel pressurized to feel grateful and happy, all the time. It's just not natural. As much as we love our little ones, unconditionally and wouldn't change them for anything in the world (It's only been five months and I have no idea what I ever did without Eva, she is undoubtedly the best thing to ever happen to me) ,it's ok to dream about the days that you'll be able to leave the house with nothing but a handbag, not have to change your outfit the entire day, and enjoy hot dinners. It's OK.

...And with that, i'm off to give my daughter a kiss. 


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