I feel like I’ve been quieter than usual on the blog recently, other than a few reviews and giveaway stuff. I’ve had loads of post ideas in my head, but have been lacking the energy to put fingertips to keyboard. So, I thought I’d post a bit of an update as to what’s going on and where my head is at.
In all honesty, things feel a little tough at the moment. Really it’s just within the last couple of weeks, though when you’re in it it feels like it’s been going on forever! And even saying that things feel tough makes me cringe, as I know how wonderfully lucky I am to have two amazing little girls, and really am very happy with my lot. But still, everyone needs a mini release of feelings now and again!
I’m pretty sure Sienna is teething. She is grumpy, especially in the afternoons. I can’t seem to entertain her as usual with toys. Even holding her doesn’t really soothe her, so sometimes it’s just a case of cuddling her through her tears, and trying to avoid resorting to Calpol and Ibuprofen. This week, she is struggling to eat (keep meaning to do a post on weaning, it had been going well up to now!). And she’s also struggling to sleep for longer than two hours at a time at night, and one hour during the day. She’s exhausted. Which of course is adding to the irritability and the not wanting to eat. I’ve battled many times to try to get her back to sleep, or to take an extra nap, but she is steadfast in her ways! All signs that a tooth may be on the way, or maybe it’s just a leap in her development. Regardless, I’ll keep rubbing that Anbesol in to her gums just in case!
Ella is being a bit full on at the moment too. I’m not really sure what it is with her right now. She’s being slightly more naughty than usual, though not all that much. But the main thing is her demanding attention all the time. Of course, this makes settling Sienna even harder, when Ella is there in a flash asking what I’m doing, telling me that Sienna is awake, asking why Sienna is crying, and so on. It’s all typical toddler behaviour. But up to now, I was able to distract Ella with the iPad or a snack while I dealt with Sienna. Now she’s there, shouting, asking questions, and really not helping to settle Sienna! And she wants to be on me all the time. I guess it’s left me feeling a little bit touched out!
Ella is also struggling a little with sleep. The last couple of nights she wouldn’t go to sleep until gone 9. Last night it was closer to 10, and she worked herself up so much sobbing in her room. We just couldn’t settle her. It’s not like her at all, as she’s always been pretty easy to settle to sleep at night, and is usually fast asleep by 7.30pm, if not earlier. She’s also waking in the night some nights, though thankfully not every night, shouting for me, and crying. I think some of it may be night terrors. She won’t really say what’s wrong.
The result is that, the last few nights, I’ve not had more than an hour and half’s sleep in one go. And I’m in and out to both of them. So, I maybe amass about 4 hours broken sleep across the night. I don’t think exhausted is the word any more. I’m kind of passed exhaustion. Life with a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old is exhausting anyway! It’s not a feet up and chill out existence! But this is beyond that, and the sleep deprivation is definitely affecting me mentally. And, of course, an irritable baby and full on toddler are not really helping the situation.
And I’m going to be honest, because this is real life. Yesterday morning, I just couldn’t stop crying. And then it got to the point where I had a mini panic attack and was really short of breath. I hid myself away from Ella in the kitchen until I had calmed myself down. I’m struggling with anxiety, and have been on and off since Sienna was born. My chest tightens regularly. I have a fear of something happening, particularly that Ella will get run over, as she does occasionally like to suddenly leg it with disregard for where she is. I am pretty sure that these symptoms are very much due to sleep deprivation and the affect it’s having on my brain. Making it scientific almost makes me feel easier about it! I’m not sure it’s postnatal depression, as it’s not constant and definitely seems related to the bad spells of sleep that we have. And I’m also sure that, once I start getting a bit more sleep, that things will be a lot easier.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel like this every day, just that yesterday was particularly bad. I haven’t cried once today, despite having a bad night again last night. I don’t really feel anxious today either. I’m also taking steps to battle it before it really grips me. I’m doing more exercise to up my endorphins naturally. I try and get out for a run a couple of times a week, even going at 6am before Sean goes to work, so that I’m up and dressed with endorphins pumping through me before the day has began. And I’m going to bootcamp twice a week, and doing home workouts too. I’m taking a step back from work until February, so that I don’t feel the pressure of things I haven’t had time to do, or the anxiety of having to train a group of people when I’ve had next to no sleep. I scrapped the idea of crocheting a Christmas present for everyone, as again it felt a bit too pressured, and am enjoying leisurely creating a blanket instead! And, it sounds daft, but putting a bit of makeup on every day really lifts my mood! I’m not really a makeup wearer if I’ve no where to go other than the shops or to walk the dog. But putting a bit of highlighter and concealer on to make me look less tired, and a slick of mascara, really helps! I’ve also had my long hair chopped to a more manageable long bob, and I make sure it looks presentable every day, which is definitely something I never used to do. Even if I don’t feel great on the inside, I look amazing on the outside (haha!! Obviously just a slight exaggeration!!!).
So, that’s where we’re at. I wasn’t sure I was going to write anything about what’s going on in my head right now. I don’t want to come across all ‘woe is me’, as I really do love my life. And of course, this too shall pass. I’m sure by this time next week, everything will seem a lot easier. That’s parenthood for you. The peaks and the troughs. The rollercoaster ride. The ride that you enjoy throughout, the climbs to the top, the view up there, and the fast plummets down to the bottom.
And because I don’t really have any pictures that relate to this post, here’s one of Sienna when we went for a walk the other day to try and settle her, and another of Ella in front of our tree (Christmas trees always brighten up everything don’t they?!).