For almost ten months, my dear, wonderful, excited and enthusiastic little baby would nap in one of three places. In a sling, walking around, in a buggy, or on me.
Do you know what it does to a person, not having a baby-free minute in a day (because she wakes to nurse a gazillion times a night too, so no breaks there)? It means you have to rush up and down stairs a lot to make cups of tea and eat lunch while the baby plays upstairs and screams at you to get back up here as soon as she realises you're gone. It means you rush quick showers while the baby blows raspberries against the glass and laughs at you, wondering what you're hurrying for. It means that all that time to meal prep, or clean, or take care of yourself, or read a book, becomes time that is only to facilitate the baby in her sleeping.
Sitting on the bed, with a sleeping baba in your arms, scrolling Instagram. It's kind of really a wonderful thing. It's cosy and warm and comfortable. But it also takes it's toll. I really started to question myself. Had I created this situation? Was it a 'habit'? Would I ever be free? I'll admit that it had a negative effect on my mental health. Around month 8 and 9, I just wanted her to nap, on the bed, on her own, like all the other babies I imagined did. I blamed myself for my failure to make this happen. I couldn't get anything done and I was stressed out because of that. When I had visitors over it was a disaster, because I couldn't disappear for an hour at a time but she wouldn't nap otherwise, so she'd be cranky and then teary. People would give advice, but honestly, well-meaning advice from people who don't live your life is at best useless and at worst upsetting.
The end of this particular tale is that she worked it out. Call it whatever you like, cognitive development, a 'leap', growing up, maturing, becoming more comfortable in herself. Whatever. She worked it out. It didn't make a damn bit of difference what I did, the different silly little tricks I tried. When she was ready, she let me lay her down on the mattress and curled up and stayed contentedly asleep. I can go downstairs, make my tea, read a book. I don't have as much time as I would like because we never have as much time as we would like, but I have some time, and that's more than I had a month or two ago.
I don't write as many blog posts as I did in the first few months. As time goes on, it becomes easier. It's more hectic than ever, but it makes sense, you know? Anna communicates her needs and wants quite clearly, without words (unless 'mamamama' or 'babababa' count), and I don't feel the need to write these meaning-making posts to work it out. It's nice to have a written log, but it's also nice to know that I can just live it, and not think about it too much.
Cheers to that.