Once upon a time I was a dick. I didn’t mean to be. Dick is maybe not right…. delusional is probably fairer. 7 years ago I had a baby. Baby Lewis. He was a happy little thing, ate well and slept through the night from about 6 weeks. That actually is a thing. Who knew?
I can almost guarantee a few people already hate me at this point. I don’t blame you really. I wasn’t smug but admittedly I took the credit. He was a good boy and I was clearly born to parent the shit out of life. As soon as I wrote that I realise how fucking smug that actually make me sound. Sorry! Never once did I look down my nose at people who had non sleeping, unsettled babies. I may have been delusional but I’ve never been THAT person.
I suppose I just didn’t really think in all honesty. When you have a child you know your child and their ways and quirks. Other children didn’t really come into it.
When Steve and I decided to try for a baby 6 years later I still didn’t really think. “you never get two the same”. Many an old dear told me but I didn’t really take it in. Who wants two the same anyway? I want my kids to be their own people!
Along came Joy. Our beautiful, sassy Joy. 6 weeks in and she didn’t sleep. Obviously I wasn’t worried as I knew Lewis was in the minority. Fast forward a year and I was starting to realise that sleeping all night wasn’t really Joys thing. That was quite hard for me to accept. It’s easy to think you’ve failed as a parent, especially when you’ve had a ‘textbook’ child first. 16 months in and I know I haven’t failed. Joys thriving, she’s smart, funny and she sure knows her own mind. What more could I ask for? Actually a full nights sleep would be nice but let’s not push it eh?
Joy suffered with colic and reflux. She didn’t settle without a boob in her mouth for 5 months. She was a screamer and we’ve never left her to scream. Judge away! Lewis would wimper for a few minutes at bed then drift off. Joy could scream herself into projectile vomit and that’s just not something I’m willing to let happen.
We co-sleep (mostly) and Joys a complete Mummys girl. Many a time I’ve cooked the dinner with her in the sling and she gets stroked to sleep like the Lady of the manor. That’s what works for her- and us and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard the old “rod for your own back” I wouldn’t need to do a lotto. Funnily enough it mostly comes from people with no children or people who had theirs when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.
I adore both my kids. I don’t always like them but I love them immensely- and equally! They’ve taught me everything I know about parenting and now I know just how different they can be. I’m not a dick anymore and I’m certainly not delusional. You get what you’re given and you love them regardless.
Once you’re an adult no one gives a shit about how much you sleep so I’m not sure why we put so much pressure on babies.
If you’re reading this and you have a Lewis please don’t panic. This isn’t to put anyone off. They are all worth it. I promise! If anything this is to let all the parents with the non sleeping, non settling kids know that they are brilliant. It’s not a reflection on us and we can sleep when we’re dead right? 😉