IMG_1041.JPGA portrait of my daughter every day in 2014

I don’t think you really understand how much of your life will be devoted to the process of sleep once you have a baby, until you have that baby. She slept like garbage last night. Stayed up until midnight, up at 5:30, back down at 8 and slept until I woke her at 11:30am. I have no clue what was going on. I made the idiotic decision to stay up watching tv until 1 am, so I was exhausted to say the least.

It’s hard to understand that kind of interrupted sleep until you’ve been there. I haven’t slept longer then six hours straight in over 2 years. The only night I slept longer was the night she was born, grief stricken and ambien fueled I slept.

Everyone tells you to prepare to be tired when you have a baby. What no one mentions is that it’s ok. That you don’t have to somehow fix your baby to make them sleep. It’s ok to be totally and completely exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s ok that your laundry remains undone and your dishes pile up. It’s ok to take a nap. Or as many naps as your baby.

My daughter is 2 now. She went to bed at 7:30 tonight and has already woken twice needing help to get back to sleep. I don’t know that she will ever be a “good” sleeper. And that’s ok.

She tried to take a nap when I got home from work tonight. I sang, I jumped around, I made animal noises, I tickled her. Finally I threw her in the ergo and went about my night. It worked and she was up minutes later, happy and ready to play.

Infant sleep, toddler sleep, it’s all sort of a mystery. One day I’ll look back at it with nostalgia, and miss those days I had to rock, sing or nurse her to sleep. But today there is coffee. Lots of coffee.

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