Amaya used to sleep through, but since having eczema, she has been waking a bit through the night. This obviously equals broken sleep for me, night after night this adds up and then I become tired, emotional, irrational Bree. Anyone that knows me, knows that I struggle with lack of sleep. Lack of sleep effects every aspect of my life (cue snappy Bree).
The other night, midnight – Amaya is crying. She sometimes just wakes through the night but will go back to sleep if I cuddle her and hasn’t fed through the night for ages. Why is she crying? This worried me, as it is completely out of the normal for her. So, tired, emotional, irrational Bree starts to join the crying party too. In comes Teina, our knight in shining armour (hahaha). He takes Amaya, makes her a bottle (duh tired, emotional, irrational Bree – your baby is HANGRY! She must be growing or something, but I honestly did not think she was hungry, as she does not feed through the night, but I was wrong) and tells me to “lay down, go to sleep”. Well, he didn’t have to ask me twice. Out.Like.A.Light.
I remember reading a woman’s comment on Instagram once that she would get anxiety as the sun went down, as she had no idea what the night would bring. I remember I felt like this when we first brought Amaya home. At night time it is easy to feel lonely, it can feel like you & your baby are the only people awake. My Mum once told me that when she was up with me & my brother through the night she would think of all the other women, around the world, who were up with their babies too. It helped her to feel that she was not alone. One thing that always helped me was that I knew Teina was there if I needed him (I would try to let him sleep as he usually has work the next day).
But what about single Mums?
It’s entirely on their shoulders. I really don’t know how they do it and boy do I take my hat off to them. Seriously though, how do they do it? I know they don’t have a choice and that is how we always power through the difficult times, but really – they are like superhuman!
I was reading an article the other day called “We are torturing new mothers and then wondering why they get mentally ill” (a good friend tagged me in this, because we spent our time together the other day discussing how tired we are, the permanent black rings around our eyes, as well as how motherhood is just a tough gig in general). This article, I believe, is so true. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and changes the way we think and see the world. I know with me, it changes my perception of reality, I get snappy and can be offended easily by things that I would not usually even think twice about.
This is where we, as women, need to band together and help each other. Support each other. This is something that is so foreign to some people. I read some of these ‘Mum’ pages on Facebook and Instagram and all I see is women judging each other. Ummm…we are all tired and trying to do the best we can to raise good humans! Can’t we HELP each other rather than JUDGE each other? Why do women feel the need to compete with each other? How does this benefit you & your child(ren)? It doesn’t. So stop it. You know, as well as the next woman, how challenging Motherhood (or just being a woman) can be, so let’s try to be patient, kind, loving, supportive and helpful to each other. And to all the single Mum’s out there, I send you love. You are doing a fabulous job!