Bliss

There are moments in the day when the little tambourine will sit on my lap, rest his head against my chest, and relax for just a bit. These moments happen rarely, as the little one is 9 months old with more energy than I’ve ever had in my entire life. He is in constant motion. His curiosity outweighs any desire to remain in my lap longer than is absolutely necessary to catch his breath. However, in those minutes, when we both are calm with nothing surrounding us but peace and quiet, it is in those moments that all the hardships of the day fade away and I experience pure bliss. The bliss of motherhood, the bliss of unconditional love, is very empowering. It’s these moments that give me the strength to continue with my day.

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We’ve been having problems with the little tambourine’s sleeping. Again. I’ve said this before, and I will most likely say it again, but the most frustrating and infuriating part of parenthood is an infant’s sleeping habits.

I will one day write an entire post about his sleeping issues prior to 6 months. For now, let’s keep it at “he didn’t sleep, ever.” After 6 months he started sleeping quite well. 11 hours at night, two naps during the day.  We never did have a problem getting him to sleep. It was mainly keeping him asleep that was the issue.

In the past two weeks, culminating in last week’s doctor’s appointment, it has been a nightmare trying to get him to fall asleep. It used to be bath, pj’s, story, cuddle, asleep. But he decided he wasn’t happy with that situation and has required me to rock him for hours upon hours at a time before putting him down. If I dare put him down before he is completely in the throws of slumber, he will awaken and scream his discontent. It’s gotten to the point that I dread bedtime. The time that used to be one of my favorites, is now my least favorite, and that makes me truly hurt inside. Instead of leaving his room at night feeling calm and happy, I leave exhausted, and already dreading the following night.

Something needs to be done. I understand that it is the parent’s job to parent their babies to sleep, and I am truly not averse to rocking him. However, he is at the age when I certainly should not be required to rock him all the way to sleep in order for him to stay that way. It used to not be like this. He used to be able to go down drowsy but awake (the perfect way to go down according to most books) after only a little rocking. Not recently.

I also understand that he is 9 months and is going through a lot of changes. He learned how to pull himself to a stand last week, he’s been crawling now for about a month, and he’s entering the separation anxiety phase. I know that when he doesn’t want me to leave it’s because he’s starting to understand that I still exist even after he can’t see me, and thus does not want me to be away from him. I know this should be flattering, but I also know that he’s going to get used to me rocking him all the way to sleep, and that, my friends, can never be a good thing. The only ending to that scenario is an exhausted mother and an upset little boy.

I thought that after the 6 month mark things would be better. I figured there’d be some set backs, but I always thought it would be with his night waking, not the initial bedtime.

Motherhood: the hardest and most rewarding job in the world.

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