My sweet, precious baby boy is an absolutely terrible sleeper. Before he was even born I developed a typical list of hopes and wishes for him. I hoped for his happiness, health, general success in life, and I really really hoped he would sleep. I wanted to be one of those parents who considers him or herself super lucky, who says things like “we really have no complaints, he sleeps right through the night!” I have had sleep issues for most of my life. I’m bad at falling asleep, I’m bad at staying asleep. I have permanent dark circles under my eyes that I hate, and I didn’t want them getting any worse with arrival of my little guy. We have been parents for 3 months now, and it appears that baby has inherited my poor sleep patterns. The dark eyes are worse, my memory and energy are gone. This post is not meant to be a list of complaints though, it’s meant to explain the shift in thinking that has kept me from comparing myself to parents of “easy” babies and helped me to start seeing my parenting experience as awesome.
It was an early day of my son’s life when I came across a click bait-y looking article entitled 11 Comebacks for Parents of Babies Who Do Not Sleep. Despite its implication that parents should be dealing with annoying comments by preparing snappy comebacks, this article did change my self-pitying perspective regarding the baby’s sleep habits. I don’t think I would go as far as saying that I’m lucky to have a little one who is always awake, but I loved reading something that made me see the up side of what is usually considered a flaw in babies. The main point that the article makes is that less sleep time means more snuggles, laughs, and special moments; to quote the article, “I didn’t go through 9 months of pregnancy just to look at a bundle in a blanket”. It’s obviously easy to complain about the exhaustion (and I definitely do), but this little piece of writing made me realize that it’s also easy to just shift my thinking a bit and take notice of what I am gaining by having so much extra time with my sweet son.