My Sisters and their Brother in August 2016
As I type this is it is half past nine on Sunday night and I have left writing this post till the last minute as usual. I am so tired that I can feel my eyes closing as I write it. I’m that kind of tired where it almost makes you feel a bit poorly, just that general run down kind of exhaustion where you have no energy whatsoever. Mr E is upstairs comforting a crying sad baby and I am downstairs feeling all kinds of drained. For the first time since he was born I have admitted defeat and after him basically making me so sore from constantly feeding and pulling away crying as he is so overtired for the best part of the evening, I have left it to Mr E to rock him and I have come downstairs and had a little cry, pulled myself together and carried on.
We’ve been struggling with our baby boy’s sleep for a while now. Of course when all my babies were newborns, their sleep was a bit hit and miss, but they slowly started to go longer and longer stretches and by nearly four months which our baby boy is now, both the girls were almost sleeping through. It wasn’t a definite sleeping well every single night at that stage, but it certainly was a lot better than it is for us currently. Our baby boy got a little better at sleeping, only for the last couple of weeks suddenly to just revert back to worse than when he was a newborn. He is waking every couple of hours at the start of the evening, before become really unsettled around 2am where he will just come in our bed and feed/sleep/feed/sleep till morning. He just cannot settle himself back to sleep without being fed and he’s also a really light sleeper.
I’m at that point of desperation to be perfectly honest. I am rocking him to sleep, feeding him to sleep, feeding him constantly in the early hours of the morning even though he’s not hungry and just wants the comfort, I am doing all I can to even get a little sleep. But I am still so very tired and in turn I know that I am making him develop these stronger sleep attachments. I don’t really agree with the ‘rod for your own back’ statement, as babies sleep changes so much over the course of a year, but I also know that what I am doing now to this extent isn’t particularly good for either of us.
I actually relish the sleepy cuddles and him coming in our bed, I have hindsight on my side to know it won’t last forever, it’s not that bit that bothers me, but I just want him to sleep a bit of a longer stretch. His longest sleep usually comes at about 8pm until around 11 or 12am, but this is when I need to work, so it is a bit of a vicious circle. I know it will get better, all these things are just ‘stages’ but at the moment I am just so very tired. I think it’s more the fact I need to work and the unpredictability means I never know if I’m going to be able to get anything done, and if he does go to bed at a reasonable time, I end up having to stay up so late trying to get things done.
Anyway this isn’t meant to be a post about sleep or lack of, but more the fact that I am really realising how different babies can be. Our girls are so different now, like chalk and cheese, but as babies they were actually quite similar. They both were pretty chilled out, smiley, slept pretty well and followed similar patterns. This little boy of ours is a completely different kettle of fish. Luckily he is the most smiley and chilled out of the lot during the day, it is just night it is a different story. But I do find it really fascinating that they can be bought up in exactly the same way, yet be so very different too.
For all the temporary (I hope!) tiredness, I am absolutely loving this time with our baby boy. I feel like for the most part (bar this evening) I am more chilled out and relaxed about everything this time round. I am absolutely loving having a baby in the house again, and this baby boy is doted on by everyone in our house. His sister’s couldn’t be better with him and I am so incredibly proud of them. He is the missing piece of our jigsaw and we all adore having him in our lives.
It’s the summer holidays of course and therefore the three of them are getting to spend lots of time together. Mads is still the most affectionate big sister, constantly wanting to hold him and love him, but LL is creeping up the rear. If he ever cries she will shout me and say ‘Mummy! Baby wants booby!’ which never fails to make me smile. If he is on his mat I will come down and find one or both of them there lying on it next to him, and LL often gives him her toys to play with as well. It’s just those little things that make up our day to day, but they really are so sweet to watch. They love him so very much and in turn he rewards them with lots of smiles and inquisitive looks.
It goes without saying that my girls are still so close. In fact their relationship is incredibly intense. They are either the very best of friends, which happens luckily 70% of the time, or they are arguing. Their arguments can stem over anything but are quite amusing to watch as they are such typical sibling squabbles. Their usual Friday sleepover has been upgraded over the summer holidays and they sleep in a bed together most nights. It takes them ages to go to sleep but it is the summer and this is how memories are made.
I do think any more children than two is often quite fascinating to others. I must admit know I was the same before we had three. When we are out and about we do get the whole ‘You’ve got your hands full’ or ‘How do you cope with three?’ or even ‘You’re brave’, especially if we are travelling or on an airplane or something like that. But in all honesty three doesn’t seem like any extra work than two. Yes having a baby can bring it’s challenges, as can having a five year old or three year old. But collectively together it doesn’t seem to be harder work having three. There are times where it all feels a bit hectic and crazy, but I think it would feel like that if we only had two.
These photos were taken in Portugal, where we went for a long weekend (which was a little crazy of us!) at the start of the month. I have lots of photos and a video to edit when I get out of my fog of tiredness, but in the meantime I had these on my camera and just had to share them. The resort we were staying was up in the mountains and as a result the sun disappeared really quickly behind them, so in the evening once we had dinner I often didn’t have time to take any photos. Luckily on the last night we had dinner later, so we took advantage of the sun being low to take some of my favourite golden hour shots. The only place that still had sun was a random pathway in the hotel, not that you could tell from these.
I love these photos and the tenderness the girls are showing their little brother. I feel so very thankful and lucky that we travel with our children and we get to share these moments together. It isn’t always easy travelling with children and I do get anxious sometimes, but we will always continue to do it if we can as already the girls, especially Mads have picked up such a fascination for the world around us. On our return flight home, we arrived home at 11pm and the lady who was sat next to me on the plane, turned to me and said ‘Your children are incredibly well behaved, you should be so proud,’ which in turn made the family in front say the same as our baby boy was grinning away at them.
And that’s the thing. Parenting is never easy. Children are never good as gold. They all have their moments. We have our bad days. But we also have far more many good ones. These babies of mine make me tired. They make me frustrated. They make me feel drained at times. Sometimes they even make me cry. But I look at these photos and my heart bursts with pride. It’s not always plain sailing, but it’s the biggest joy raising these three.
It will always, always be worth it. And I will always feel like the luckiest Mama in the world.