In the thick of our sleeplessness I shared an article on my personal Facebook page that author Emily Writes had written on the subject. I had read the article over and over again, days apart, and cried each time. I read it to my husband aloud and cried again. I thought that by posting it, I might just help someone else who was going through the immense struggle that our family was. That wasn’t really the case. I received a few private messages reaching out and sympathising. These were incredibly kind. But what I mainly received was well meaning advice and instructions on how to get my child to sleep. If you are reading this and remember commenting please don’t feel bad, I know that it didn’t come from a bad place and you were simply using your experiences or resources to try and help. But the thing about having a baby that is a terrible sleeper is that you’ve probably tried literally everything that you are comfortable doing to help them sleep. Because you’ve been awake so long you have done research every single day and night on the subject. You have read it all, tried it all. Sometimes, often, more than once.
You may have noticed that while I sometimes refer to our lack of sleep I have not written a blog post about it. I’ve tackled a few big meaty subjects but after the experience above I stopped talking about it. It felt safer that way. When people asked about it I just said “fine”, “better” or “the same”, and swiftly changed the subject. Or when it was so bad my eyes burned all day I would sometimes try and make a joke out of the situation, better to laugh than cry right?
It seemed easier just to try and cope alone, as a family, within the safety of our four walls.
I met someone briefly this week who I could tell was going through the very same struggle. Her daughter was 10 months old. It took a couple of confessions by me for her to open up how bad it really was. She felt like she couldn’t talk about it with other mothers because she was cosleeping, which is often frowned upon (but in my opinion the best way to get a little, even just ten minutes, more precious sleep). She didn’t know anyone else who was going through this and she could have used some resources. This is what has prompted my post today. While I’m still not quite ready to do a full blog on our early days, well, months (16 long months) I wanted to share a few of the places I found solace in some form or another.
Just in case anyone is wondering the sleep situation is remarkably better in our house now, and whilst still not ideal we can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Here are the people and places that helped me get through.
She is a wealth of knowledge and I have been known to google my ‘problem’ on her website for advice.
Arguably most well known for his book advocating co-sleeping. I respect this is not for everyone but more info in the article below if you are interested. “Try not to judge your infant’s sleep. Don’t confuse the perceived medical good of sleeping through the night with a “moral good” — the idea that “good babies” sleep through the night. The worst invention culturally for all parents was the notion of the “good baby.”
If you are reading this and you are struggling please feel free to message me. It is not easy. You are doing well. I understand. And I am part of some amazing Facebook groups that have been amazing support too which I am happy to share with you.