Updated: Nov 21, 2022
We are such reflections of one another. Anaiyana has been going through some sleep shifts where she’s wanting to feed every 1-2 hours in the night and stay snuggled close. If I roll away she inches her way towards my body wanting to be in physical contact. There is something so precious about this need for contact and comfort. I also notice after multiple nights (weeks) of this, this is naturally impacting me getting deeper sleep, leaving me feeling more tired and not able to be as present as I desire with her. And I notice this affects her. When I’m a bit more irritable and distracted, she’s a bit more fussy. This is our symbiotic relationship. She’s feeling me as I’m feeling her. She’s responding to me, all the time! At this stage of her development, she’s still learning how to regulate her own emotions and so I also feel the responsibility to stay clear and resourced in my own system.
"When I’m a bit more irritable and distracted, she’s a bit more fussy. This is our symbiotic relationship. She’s feeling me as I’m feeling her."
So what do I do on a day that I’m more tired? First off I recognize and acknowledge it. I don’t pretend it’s not occurring. I also don’t jack myself up on a bunch of caffeine because she’s going to get wired too through my milk and my nervous system. I don’t try to override what’s occurring.
I ask for support. I have a loved one come be with us at least for part of the day so that I’m not caring for her alone. I acknowledge it’s not her fault, AT ALL. And it’s not for her to fix. I stay mellow with her instead of doing a lot in the day. I give myself space to bitch and moan and feel the exhaustion. I get reminders that I will be rested again and this is only a phase. I also feel the preciousness of this baby stage where she loves snuggles and being held, even if it’s in the middle of the night. I feel blessed that I get to be her source of comfort and that her system settles in my arms. What an honor to be this for my child. As she’s navigating life on this planet, she’s still so fresh to all of her experiences and if being held and nurtured throughout the night supports her in integrating all her new experiences, I’m happy to be that person for her. And yes, sometimes in my tiredness I have to stretch a little to remember this.
"Tired and strung out as my baseline is not what I’m interested in as a parent."
I write a lot about my disbelief in the status quo regarding what being a new mom has to be like. And this is one of those times. I let myself feel all the feels, and I feel into what I need to be more resourced again. Tired and strung out as my baseline is not what I’m interested in as a parent.
And today is a new day. We got more sleep last night and I notice myself brighter and more engaged. And how does my baby respond? With more smiles and delight and ease in her system. She’s feeling me as I’m feeling her.
Like life, some days are clunky, some days are smooth. What am I choosing to maintain as my baseline? In the calm, joy and pleasure of this experience of new mamahood so that the days of less presence can be waves in our ocean instead of the ocean.
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