Its amazing the difference that 1) a decent night of sleep, and 2) wise words from some friends, can make.

Gwen was a dear last night. I'm sure she needed the sleep too, but I swear that girl can tell when I'm running on empty. She went down a little late last night (though not from going up any later!), around 8:30, but then slept straight through until 6:15!!! I headed up early, was in bed by 9:15, asleep by 9:30, and slept until my alarm went off at 6 (with just a brief waking at 5ish). It was wonderful, lovely, so needed. I felt like a new woman this morning, and I think Gwen did too... she was smiley and happy, and ate like a fiend. :-)

I also got some great advice from some very smart ladies. I'd like to share some highlights here:
  • Most likely this is a phase for Gwen. At some point, she'll stop hating the car rides, she'll sleep better, eat less often, be less clingy, etc. And you (and Travis) will look back on these rough months and while you might be sad that she is growing up too quickly - you'll also probably be glad that phase is over.

    [Re: wanting Mama]
  • When baby only wants the other parent, it can be very hard and disconnecting. Combined with the lack of sleep, i can totally see where it would lead to frustration and shut down.
  • When A went through her "mommy" only phase it was really hard on C. It was harder for her to connect with A when she felt like A didn't want her. On the plus side the phase did swing to "mama" only for a while after that. At that point I knew what C had been feeling and it made it more relateable.
  • I can imagine that its tough for him not to be able to instantly comfort Gwen...tough to feel like the babysitter until what she really wants is available. ... Sometimes a little empathy is all she needs - some recognition that our parenting experiences are not the same and that she has struggles I don't. A hug and a reminder that it won't always be this way and that I'm on her team.

    [Re: Sleep]
  • I completely understand your frustrations (as in: what's he complaining about - he gets to go right back to sleep!), but dealing with exhaustion is a skill. some people are better at it than others.
  • People handle stress/sleeplessness differently. G was up to eat/hang out multiple times a night for about a year. And while we would both wake, I was always up longer/more. I don't handle sleeplessness well and would become as you describe Travis - distant/resentful/vacant - not all of the time - but enough that it became an issue in our house. Part of me knew I was doing it, and part of me couldn't care b/c I was so tired and I had no clue how to be less tired/grumpy/etc. Meanwhile, even though L was exhausted, she kept it together better. Once he started sleeping better - and we relented to co-sleeping - I got more rest and reconnected with my life and my family. Sleep is a powerful thing.

Don't I have wonderful, insightful friends?!

Things aren't suddenly perfect, but it was really great getting both reassurances that others have gone through this exact thing, and also views from "the other perspective." Here's hoping that we can use this experience to learn to communicate better.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave me some love!
~ Meegs