I have decided that parenthood's ups and downs happen in two week cycles. For two weeks things will go great and then it's like a switch flips and then for the next two weeks you are pulling your hair out. Then things go back to being great. This may not prove true for everyone, but it does for us. Some of you are blessed with an "angel" baby and things have been relatively great since the beginning while others have a bit of a challenge on their hands. It is so easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated when baby doesn't sleep or eat well, but if I continue to remind myself that this is just a phase and things will get better, it makes it easier to deal with.
For example, when we switched Hannah's schedule to more of a 'Babywise' approach, things were great right away! She started sleeping 10-12 hours through the night and napping 3 times per day for at least an hour each time. I kept a very detailed log of our entire day so I could see the patterns and what worked and what didn't. For about 2 weeks, things were going GREAT! I spoke the praises of 'Babywise' and told everyone I knew that 'Babywise' was exactly what we needed. Well, then things changed. I didn't change anything with our schedule or routine, yet she stopped sleeping through the night and her naps became almost non-existent! UGH! What happened to our 'Babywise' cure all?? I had several break-downs and tried to figure out what was happening. What was I do differently? Was she sick? What she teething? What she going through a growth spurt? Nothing I did seemed to solve the sleep problems. So we are just dealing with it. I continue to stick to the routine (as much as possible) and hope that things will click again. I assume that by next week, she will be back to "normal" and things will be great again. But in the meantime, we push on. Today has been especially tough. Hannah woke up two hours early, ate, and thankfully went right back to sleep for 2 more hours. But then the rest of the day was completely off! She didn't take her morning nap at all (after letting her cry it out for an hour, I gave up). Then she only took a 30 minute afternoon nap (again, I let her cry it out for an hour when she woke up early...no luck). Now she is down for her final nap of the day and thankfully has been sleeping for the last 20 minutes, but I'm sure it won't be long before I hear her crying again. Oh the joys of parenthood! haha
So, what's my advice for those days and nights that are just completely crazy? Keep trying! Just chalk it up to a bad day (or week, or month) and move on. Yes, you will be frustrated. And yes, you will shed some tears. But things will get better (eventually) and when they do, you will be that much more thankful. Times like this remind me so much of our struggle with infertility! While we tried to conceive for 2 years, deep down inside I knew it would eventually happen, but the waiting sure did stink! I pleaded to the Lord and cried out to Him for strength. It was the hardest thing I had ever gone through. But the Lord was faithful! He heard my cries and He blessed us with our sweet little peanut. The same was true with my horrible morning sickness during pregnancy and my extremely painful labor. And it's still true today! God is always faithful! He will always bring you out of the darkness and show you His mercy! But sometimes we have to endure the tough times to get there. And when we do, the good times are that much sweeter!
So press on. Don't get completely obsessed with the "little" things that go wrong every day. Focus on the good times and the many blessings in your life. And know that God will be faithful and will bring you brighter days!
That's my sermon for the day! ;-) I needed to hear that more than anyone!