Saturday, July 21, 2012

Miss Two's big adventure

We put up Miss Two's big bed today. It was an adventure, she smiled, hopped onto her bed and climbed under her doona with her toys. She told us stories about how her room and bed was going to be. She bounced on her new doona. A mix of vintage and homemade to embrace Miss Two's imagination and creative spirit. Finally her mermaid quilt I made sometime ago went on her bed.

She showed us all how much she loved all that newfound space. She was happy. Nana and Gran helped supervise all the activity in the afternoon and move furniture around, they joined us for a celebratory dinner and then it was bedtime.
The last week and a half there's been night long tantrums til 11:30pm, tears and yelling and I confess not always Miss Two alone. I'm not a perfect parent, I get frustrated + then patience is in short supply. I've prayed a lot about it. It definitely gets harder when its every night and the lack of sleep sets in for the whole family.
I guess part of me is still traumatized and sleep deprived from the last two years and sleep problems make me anxious. I'm slowly changing that. Keep calm and be consist with love has been my new motto this week. It's a work in progress. I'm trying to put my trust in God.
I've faced a lot of feelings of guilt, failure and shame at not being able to succeed in getting Miss Two to sleep properly. With undiagosed reflux at four months of age, an inability to self settle and an admission to sleep school for the two of us, ongoing croup, asthma and colds in her first year of life it's been hard. Miss Two's journey with sleep has been a bendy, unyielding road at times. It pains me to think about how hard it's been for her. I know I'm not alone in facing sleep problems but at times it has felt unrelenting and left me feeling helpless to effect change.
Participating in the Motherhood Unmasked group a few months back looking at the many facets and threads of motherhood it gave me the space to revisit a lot of these feelings and recognize that motherhood is an interweaving of the passionate, joyful and dark times.
Staying home and caring for Miss Two in our little family nest is wonderful but not always filled with sunshine and rainbow colour. I'm slowly learning to let go more and embrace my mothering of Miss Two but I still struggle with low self-esteem and a sense of failure when obstacles come up that hinder me and impact on my attachment to my daughter.
It's not surprising that one of my first art pieces for the April exhibition was a rainy day canvas called 'There will be rainbows'.
I recognise the power of the love I share with Miss Two, it truly takes my breathe away sometimes. It's an incredible privilege to be her mother, sharing in those lessons, milestones, treasured smiles and cuddles but it's not easy maintaining the balance of me sometimes in that heady equation or finding enough space or stillness.
With the last two weeks being problematic with night times- I held high hopes that changing Miss Two's bed might be the opportunity for a new chapter in sleeping and a new story in our lives together in our family nest.
The night time routine went well tonight, pjs with nana, cuddles with mum, bedtime stories with gran. Then tucked up into bed by both Ads and I. It was playful, a bit crazy and an up and down night. It took from 7:30-10pm to get her to finally fall asleep but there was no big tantrums or yelling.
We told stories, talked about being big and how special it was to have a big bed with a couple of ultimatums thrown in. And Miss two knows that if she stays in her bed all night through there's a special reward tomorrow whether it be bike ride or visit to the playground. Tomorrow's a surprise left up to daddy.
If she stays in bed she gets a sticker on the calendar, seven stickers and she can choose something special as a treat. I decided kisses were best while explaining this, it seemed to work. I was winging it.She hugged Fudge her bear + snuggled under her doona and I went back to bed. All was silent.

She sleeps.

The new story of bedtime begins and I'm going to pick myself up and brush myself off and enjoy the fact that there is silence in my house. My husband and Miss two sleep, the baby kicks and I can enjoy a few moments to reflect on motherhood alone.

How do you find it?

X Mummafox


Katrina couldn't post on the actual blog so l got an email and some fb replies. So I thought l would add the comments I received. I think it's all valid and it might help others., here is what she said (in response to "Miss Two's Big Adventure"...
Lovely post Mandi. Motherhood is definitely not always full of sunshine and rainbows and it takes guts to 'put it out there' in a blog. You are certainly not alone in feeling low self esteem and guilt at times, just a lot braver than most to admit that motherhood can be trying. Poppy is blessed to have such a thoughtful loving mum. You might be interested in a book I found it is called "How to be a happy mum" and it tackles how the thoughts we have can impact on us and make us feel worth less when really, our worth never changes. I think you will appreciate it. Hope you are feeling well and that bubs is healthy. x
Love your work, Mandi! You are a wonderful Mumma! Parenting is a bit like quilting. You find a lot of (beautiful) pieces and need to lovingly stitch them together to make a whole person. What a marvellous Poppy you are helping to create. xo
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