Sweet dreams?

IMG_2410.JPGI have realised that the past three years and four months have – pretty much – been dictated by Charlotte’s sleep or lack there of. That seems absolutely crazy doesn’t it? There have been a few reprieves where I thought I’d/we’d cracked it but as soon as my body and mind got used to a full nights sleep something would rock the boat. Sometimes I’ve had no idea what this something was but it has been a intensely frustrating and sleepy time.

It’s amazing how much lack of sleep affects you. (I guess it’s not really considering some countries use it as a form of torture.) I get irritated quickly. I get angry quickly. I panic easily and I just can’t seem to lead a normal life where things get done on time or completed at all. The NHS even states that…

Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.”

Perfect! It is a horrible state to live in and I think I’ve only recently realised just how sleep deprived I am.

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After my post a couple of weeks ago I’d nearly come to the conclusion that I would have to bring in external help. A counsellor? A sleep consultant? A cranial osteopath? I wasn’t sure what would work and whether there was any chance of me being able to afford it. After some research I realised that there the answer was probably not and I would just have to work on it myself as best I could.

Until…I followed Jennie Harrison – the Sleep Deprived Mum’s Coach Facebook page. Her posts hit home instantly as they were mainly about toddlers and when I clicked through to her website it sounded like she’d been watching my bedtime battles for a good couple of years! She had been through it all and had apparently worked out why toddlers resist sleep and how to counteract the reasons for them doing so whilst also managing to help calm mum down too. After messaging her and finding out a bit more (no crying it out, no ‘sleep training’ per se) I signed up and my eight week programme starts today.

I am looking forward to getting stuck in and to hopefully become a more coherent, patient mummy and person in general as we work on the reasons behind Charlotte’s sleep issues. I just filled in her questionnaire and I think she’s got a big job on her hands with us. I think I ticked all the boxes she gave us!

When did your sleep difficulties start? – From birth – check!
Did you have a difficult birth – check! Have you or do you suffer with PND, stress and anxiety – check!

We shall see how it goes but I am optimistic and willing to try anything. Wish us all luck and I’ll keep you posted!

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The three dates of Christmas. 2) The ‘coffee’ date.

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James seemed like a good guy and good to chat to, I wasn’t sure if I actually fancied him though. His profile picture on Plenty of Fish didn’t really help and when I asked for a couple more they were group shots and I still couldn’t work out what he looked like. He was one for fairly loaded innuendos or changing the conversation path so we ended up talking about something a bit risquΓ© but it was fun and not necessarily a bad thing, so I just went with it.

He had his son 50% of the time and had him over Christmas, as I had had Charlotte so the earliest time we both had available was Boxing Day afternoon/evening and we decided to meet for coffee.

When he walked in he was much taller than I’d thought and was quite good looking. He’d just come from a family lunch so was wearing the obligatory Christmas jumper and cords which gave him a boyish look like his mum had told him what to wear. He also had a very cheeky twinkle in his eye. I don’t think I’ve come across them before but these were definitely ‘bedroom eyes’. I was wearing lots of layers and had also got rained on on the walk to the coffee shop so Lord knows what he thought about me! Although it couldn’t have been that bad…

We had our coffee and talked easily about our families and work and moving houses etc (he was about to after living with his parents for a year and I wanted to) but all along he was looking at me with those eyes making me go a bit mushy. I couldn’t concentrate and, despite it being cold, I could feel my cheeks flushing and before I knew it we were kissing on my bed! I can’t even blame any alcohol!

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Now, I didn’t know whether I should write this, but sometimes this is what happens on dates and I’m really not good at lying (and it would have been quite difficult to end the story if I hadn’t!). I’m also not entirely sure who suggested changing the venue but it didn’t feel odd or too fast just that it was the right thing to happen next. I didn’t question it and something in me (no pun intended) decided that I deserved a belated Christmas present and this was the best sort of present to receive.

So we had some – read ‘a lot’ – of fun. We chatted a bit more about the everyday things and then arranged to see each other soon and he left. A little bit different from the turkey curry buffets you’d normally find yourself at on Boxing Day!

We have messaged each other quite often since then and although he’s adamant he does want a relationship and not just sex, his messages aren’t necessarily saying the same thing. We haven’t managed to meet again just through lack of time and mutual availability but I’m not sure if we will. I don’t regret sleeping with James but it has definitely made me realise that, despite everything you’ve just read, I am actually looking for a relationship and for someone I can spend time with, out of the bedroom, as well as in.

D in the Park

I thought struck me yesterday morning. What is a fail safe way of telling if a hot dad in the park is single or not? Is there one? Are they a) better than my ex and actually have their children for more than 24 hours every two weeks and have made the decision to be proactive and entertain them by going to the park or b) are they better than my ex and giving their lovely wife/partner some well needed rest on a Saturday or Sunday morning?

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It’s difficult to spot a wedding ring whilst they push their toddler on the swing or whilst they help a wobbly new walker up the steps and down the baby slide. This is a serious question for me as it is an ideal environment to meet like minded men who may understand the joys of being woken up at 6am and making the decision to drag your tired arse to the park at 8.30-9am because you have exhausted all entertainment at home already, but I don’t want to be known as the woman who loiters in the park preying on attractive single (or not) dads! Creepy!

Yesterday’s trip also made me realise that even though it is early and I have to stop by Starbucks to stop myself from drifting off on a park bench whilst Charlotte plays, I should really try harder with my appearance. I was definitely not giving off yummy mummy vibes. Hoodie, cropped yoga pants, battered converse trainers, bed head and not even a lick of mascara is not the way I’m going to lure sexy single dads into an exciting conversation on toddler preferences of scooters or bikes or a discussion on how many times they’ve watched Frozen and whether they know all the words to all the songs yet. Must try harder!

Single Parent Pessimist

Bank holiday blues.

It’s bank holiday Monday today so when my alarm went off at 6.15am I leisurely rolled over turned it off and inwardly did a little fist pump because I didn’t have to get up. My daughter had other ideas though. 6.34am she strolled in telling me that it was raining and so started her outer monologue for the next 10 hours.

This is a guess. It is only 8.32am and I am already pooped. We have played dolls, shops, I have ‘eaten’ endless plastic play food in the oddest combinations and we have both taken out the dog and splashed in the puddles.

We have done all of this in our pyjamas, I have not yet put my contacts in which means I still feel like I’m half asleep and I am clutching for dear life to the largest mug of coffee you can imagine. It is tepid but this is the normal temperature nowadays and I have learnt to tolerate it.

As it is grey, drizzly and fairly depressing, all plans of venturing out today have stalled so I’m wondering if I can make tidying and cleaning into a day long game? After Charlotte came back with not one, but two certificates for ‘good tidying up’ over the past month from nursery I’m thinking she has a few tricks to teach me!

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Just five minutes more…

Despite having had a few days off work I am currently chugging coffee back like its going out fashion and applying extra concealer over the dark bags forming rapidly underneath my eyes. The reason, or one of them, is that my daughter has decided to drop her nap. Yes, yes it means she obviously doesn’t need it all the time as she has chosen this and it does mean that the bedtime routine hasn’t been quite so fraught and full of tantrums but has no one stopped to think about how this will affect me?

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I am knackered! I make out that the couple of hours in which she naps is used to zoom around the house, do the washing, tidy up, maybe a bit of ironing and batch cooking all meals for the week but usually it ends up with me vegging with a well deserved coffee and cake, checking my Facebook! If I am feeling very lazy I will actually have a nap with her, which, at the end of yet another crazy week of work, nursery, pick ups, drop offs, food shopping and dog walks is sometimes desperately needed. So how on earth will I cope without this now? Well so far not great. I’m insisting she has some quiet time so I can have some too! How selfish am I?? But look, I’m being slightly more productive this time round…I’m writing a blog! The washing up can be done another time hey?