Expectations Versus Reality

Friday 13th August 2010

I am sitting here struggling with the 'Expectations Versus Reality' issue... my Mother-in-Law mentioned it yesterday to me when she rang; as she said - "No one can tell you what to really expect with a newborn as they are all individuals and different! But until you've gone through it, you really don't know what you're facing." She is so right - I really went in with my eyes shut, I thought I would be fairly okay with my experience and training - how arrogant is that! I knew enough to know it isn't the same as Childcare, as you can't hand them to someone else when you're having a hard time, or pass them over at 5pm and go home - I was a little more realistic than that!

Conversations with Mummy

However I was expecting the nights to be much harder, and the days MUCH easier... I have to admit to assuming that ALL newborns slept during the day, and 'just knew how to do this'. I had no idea that we had to teach them how to sleep - it didn't just come naturally to them, and that when teaching them this it could just about do your head in! I am definitely going to be doing some things differently next time shall we say ;-)!

Sitting up alone for the first time... 

My daughter is gorgeous, she is the perfect reason to get me up each morning - I love being able to spend the day with her, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but at home with her right now... But in saying this, not all days are easy; and currently the tough days are out-weighing the easy ones! Once we get a handle on this sleep issue I am sure things will lighten up a bit for us, at least until the next big issue arrives *grin*! See she has her Father's strong will, and I am the softie of the family - so having to listen to her scream herself to sleep every time is driving me almost to insanity (it feels like anyway - I do have a tendency to exaggerate, so please take these types of sentences with a teaspoon of salt *grin*)! Take for example the latest episode - I gave her the obligatory 10 minutes, and quite often she is starting to slow down after 10 minutes, so even if it takes another 10 minutes to stop; I will leave her if she is starting to self-settle. However, this time she wasn't - she was getting more and more wound up, so I went up... a small burp (caused by the screaming I am sure) and silence. In fact as soon as she saw me she stopped crying, no sobbing - nothing. So I knew she was fine, popped her back down after a couple of minutes and left her... took another 20 minutes before she finally gave up and went to sleep, 15 minutes of this screaming! After the second ten minutes I rang Mum sobbing - I can't handle her like this, even though I know in my head she is ok... it leaves me feeling like a horrid Mother.

Snuggles with Mummy!

Considering how often I have found myself in tears over the past 3 months, I am thinking that I may have had a taste of 'The Baby Blues', I don't think they are bad... But when my Mother-in-Law mentioned the whole 'Expectation v Reality' in struck a nerve, and made me think - I now wonder if this is where those blues have come from? I had certain expectations of Button; that she'd sleep during the day, that she'd out-grow her wind at about the 8 week mark, that she wouldn't sleep through the night until the 10-12 week mark and that she'd be a relatively easy and happy baby!

Reading with Daddy!

But reality for me in this situation is that she doesn't sleep during the day - I am in the throes of teaching her this as we speak, she has still got bad wind (which is why the original bad habits started), she has been sleeping through the night since about the 4-5 week mark - in fact it happened so early on that I now take it for granted, and if she gives us less than 11 hours at night I wonder why! But she is, in the big scheme of things, a relatively easy and happy baby... she just doesn't like going to sleep! My Mum (her Grandma) thinks it's because she is a little social baby and doesn't like missing out (as well as the fact she is strong-willed and trying me on); however, I have not taken her out much due to the lack of sleep, makes her to unpredictable and leaves me scared (seriously -  I get scared of a 3 month old, silly me)! Mr. C thinks I'm a little crazy being scared of her - as he said 'What can she do? So you have one bad day - what's the big deal? She'll be fine the next day...'

Checking out the wriggling toes!

What doesn't help is that every time I tell people she is not sleeping, everyone assumes that means she doesn't sleep at night... so when I correct them and say that she's an angel at night, just not during the day I get looked at like there is something wrong with me! If I am sleeping at night, then surely I can handle whatever the day brings, as a good night sleep fixes everything. Hmmm; let me assure you, it doesn't! I do know a number of others who have had the same problem - and we have all come to the same conclusion, we'd still rather be getting up once during the night than have to deal with a grumpy and unpredictable baby all day every day! It might be a different stress, but it is still stressful!! It was good to meet others in the same boat as I did start to wonder about myself when everyone keeps saying how lucky I am she sleeps through...

Huh - what was that flash Mummy!?!

Anyway - I digress!

So I am wondering if I get my expectations meeting with reality, will these baby blues lift? I am hoping so, and I am praying for that... it is what keeps me going! I am looking forward to enjoying my little baby, as currently the hard work of listening to her screaming undermines all the gorgeous smiles and conversations we have in between!

I promise not all posts are going to be consumed with Button - but this gave me a good excuse to include loads of photos of her ;-)!



MaxineD said…
Try some B vitamins for the blues, and stress. Your limited diet because of the wind will not be helping that!!
Enjoy the weekend with another pair of hands to help and ears to hear!
Andrew said…
So you are saying that M is the model child then? Actually, he has stopped sleeping as well during the day at the moment. He will sleep for half an hour at a time, then seems to think that it is play time after that. But he still doesn't sleep through the nite. We had a reasonable nite last nite. He went to bed about 9pm, woke about 12.30am (usually this is not until 1 or 2am), but then he went back down until after 5am. For him, that is pretty good.
I think it helps A that I am home during the day, and can help out around the place. Could be a different story if she was at home on her own all day, for five days per week.

Looking forward to meeting L again in a couple of weeks, and seeing how much she has grown. And seeing how much bigger M is than her ;op hehe
hljourney said…
Wonderful sharing here! Our little ones can truly bring havoc on us at any hour and through any reality or expectation we have! Hang in there hun; praying the blues are relieved soon!
Hugs, HL
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