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  • Writer's pictureAnika

A January pick me up

So this week it is all about sharing the 'ugly' when it comes to being a parent. For me, it is sleep, glorious sleep. Those that know me well, know that my children 'do' sleep with varying degrees of success. Bearing in mind the youngest is 2.5, I would have thought that this was old news for me by now and they would all be sleeping through the night reliably... Don't get me wrong.... We have nights where everyone sleeps (on those nights Mat and I often still wake at the times we'd normally be woken up and then struggle to get back to sleep (duh!)). But that is still hit and miss. It is getting better yes, and we even have whole weeks where we get 6, sometimes 7 hours in a row. Well, last week, I was starting to feel smug about how sleep was now REALLY good. We had had 6 nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep. And it was MARVELLOUS!! Until, well, this happened.

That evening, bedtime was a bit of a struggle - both Rupert and Isla needed extra cuddles and stories, but finally went to sleep around 8.30pm. So, then I went to spend some quality time with Josh. We had lots of fun, but every time it was time to turn the lights off, he would come back into my room, asking to be tucked back in again, needing a drink, the toilet again, another blanket (you get the idea...). He finally went to sleep at 10pm. At which point I was tired enough to go to bed myself. At 11pm Rupert woke for some water, and again at 12.30am and again at 2am (this time he was hungry :-( .... So up and down like a yoyo we go. But I was hopeful that after being up three times, we would now all be able to get some sleep. Well, not quite...

At 2.30am Isla gets into my bed from being disturbed so much. And after much tossing and turning for an hour (too hot, too cold, thirsty, need a wee, Mummy...) she decides she wants to go back to her own bed. So now, it is 3.30am - a few hours left to sleep, I am thinking (fingers crossed). But it was not to be. Just as I am finally falling asleep, Josh wakes me, standing by my side of the bed, explaining he has had a bad dream. We have a snuggle and he feels better. He also tosses and turns in the big bed for about an hour before he decides to return to his own bed. YES! Finally, some sleep :-) It is now nearly 5am. Luckily it is winter, so the sun won't come up for another couple of hours... But by the time I settle and fall asleep, Rupert wakes up for the day at 6am....

That day was a bit of a blurr - and the mantra became 'Coffee, glorious coffee!' Needless to say the kids fell asleep the moment we got in the car. We also all went to bed VERY early...

I am pleased to say that nights that are quite this 'active' are few and far between. And I know that one day I will remember them fondly (or so they say!) but for now, I am thankful for the nights where we do all get some rest. Does your family struggle with sleep at times? Or are there other things that are difficult?

On days that are hard - when I am overtired and snappy with the kids, I find it tricky to find the energy to be playful and patient and consistent... I am sure we all feel that way at times, and it feels soooo good to share that with other mums (and dads). The REAL stuff that happens, not just all the good, happy stuff. The things that make us stronger and help us grow (and our kids, too). I've recently been following an interesting speaker on social - she is all about reframing issues to something positive. And even when there are challenges to see them as a reminder of what we like (i.e. we can only know what we like when we know what we don't like and feel resistance to it). Reframing even the tricky days in this way has helped me connect with my inner happy place more. It doesn't always work, of course, but it helps! And it doesn't mean that it doesn't still feel good to 'say it like it really is' at times - to allow those feelings space to be aired, but then move on and put it all in perspective. I find fellow parents are good like that - somehow wise, and kind, and patient. I think that is one of the biggest things I miss about not being able to do the daily school run due to lockdown. That 10 minute check in, chat and connection with fellow, like-minded individuals that are able to share the 'good, the bad, and the ugly' with empathy and a heartfelt giggle that always picks me up :-)

I hope you are all staying safe out there. It won't last forever, and soon we will be able to have a much needed real hug with our friends and loved ones! Sending you much love,

Anika xxx

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