Second Guessing

Over the past week I have had the toughest time I have had to date with little Harper. She had her 4 months shots and was MISERABLE and teary and hysterical AND teary and would NOT be put down. I think it’s because she has been such a good kid until now that it completely shocked me and I didn’t seem to cope all that well. Things quickly went from “Jeepers this is a little tricky” to “OH MY FLIPPING GOD I cannot do this anymore” weepy mess. All in the space of about 24 hours. Just like *that*. Did you hear that *click*. Who know this * meant click?! Now you do.

This mothering thing NEVER fails to kick my arse. Just when I think I have things sorted out, something comes and throws me for six. I go from in control, feeling good and positive to this crazy, sleep deprived woman who not only convinces herself that she has post natal depression BUT a brain tumor as well, and that Rob should remarry shortly after to my death to ensure that the girls have a good positive, female role model in their lives. I think all I needed was more than 3 hours sleep in a row, but hey it was dramatic and if there is one thing I do well, it’s drama.
In the 3456 different ways I attempted to calm Harper I discovered in the process that the lady likes to sleep on her tummy. I know. You are not ‘supposed’ to put them on their stomachs due to SIDS risks and all that but I did it and what do you know – 2 seconds later the kid was FAST ASLEEP. And not just fast asleep, but snoring and dribbling and looking remarkably like her father post drinking session in bed, head buried. I was amazed, and of course terrified, so any relief from the crying was replaced with pure fear and guilt, checking on her breathing every say 1.5 minutes. She was fine. Slept the best she has slept for DAYS and was a happy little squealer once again. So, I thought “Awesome. Got that sorted out now” Bahaahahaha! Except, oh, now she just seems to be waking up again for whatever reason. The tummy instantly calms her and puts her to sleep, but she still seems to be waking every 3 hours for a feed or something so I just can’t work it out. If I go back to swaddling her she doesn’t seem to like it – letting her arms out seems to be better, but she still wakes. On her back she is hysterical but doesn’t seem to be SO sad when she eventually awakes, whereas the tummy instantly soothes to sleep but she seems to hate it when she wakes. Maybe it’s a growth spurt? Maybe it’s just learning to sleep without being swaddled? Maybe she is sick? It’s exhausting isn’t it? And SUCH a waste of brain space even thinking about it. Sleep deprivation will do that for you. The worst part though, through all of it, is the second guessing. Not believing in your instinct and seeing it through.
Everyone has an opinion on it, because every kid is different. I am still trying to work out my little lady and what she likes all on little uninterrupted sleep. Let’s not even mention the bloody 3 year old who STILL wakes at least once every. single. night. for. something. I can’t even go there because it just makes me want to pull my brain out throw it on the floor and stomp on it because it is SO STUPID and I cannot seem to get it fucking RIGHT. No matter what I do. As I said, let’s just leave that (Beyonce style) in a box to the left.
So these are my promises to myself while I work this all out:
  • Be calm. Remain calm. Stay ***king calm already!
  • Try different options and try them for a few days in a row to look for patterns.
  • Be positive and not doom and gloom about it. She is a baby that is waking up from the newborn stage and this is what babies do.
  • Just because she is like this now – DOES NOT mean that she is going to be like this when she is say, 3. Yes Daisy, I am looking in your direction.
  • Expect nothing. If I have expectations about anything I will just get disappointed when these expectations (that are usually based on no real knowledge, expertise or experience or worse still on someone else’s kid) are not met.
  • Do not be complacent. If things go well, rest up and get ready for the next onslaught that is guaranteed to be just around the corner. This is a war zone.
  • Don’t be hard on myself. I am doing the best I can and on little sleep all whilst still looking fabulous – this is exhausting work!
  • Drink coffee and lots of it. If this fails there is always gin.
  • And lastly. DO NOT SECOND GUESS myself.


  1. Hi Beth,

    Thought you might find this helpful.

  2. oh.

    I’ve got nothing. But empathy.

    Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

  3. No one ever tells you bout 4 months old, but I always found this age to be really tough. Plus I always went into a panic with number 2 that she was about to turn into number 1 with bad sleep issues (she did but that was more my fault than hers).

    Chin up – it does get better. I promise. One day.
    Most importantly take care of yourself.


  4. 4 month olds sleep terribly! Social awareness, ability to unswaddle, all that jazz!

    My first one still sleeps like a nightmare, the baby went back to sleeping well after a six week stint of waking up and instantly starting to scratch the piss out of herself.

    I am a firm believer in doing what works for Y.O.U. The belly thing is scary, neither of mine liked to sleep on their tummies so it was never an issue here.

    Good luck getting some sleep. This is the hardest job I have ever had and I am not sure how sleep deprivation fits into being a good person or mother. My poor husband often gets the brunt of my pended up frustrations.

  5. Ah, coffee and gin, a mom’s best friend!!

  6. I’ll tell you a secret….. my baby slept on her tummy from birth! {and yes I know all about the SIDS guidelines} we used an Angelcare monitor to give us peace-of-mind; and as it turns out she only slept on her tummy because her top vertebrae was out of alignment and sleeping on her back caused her pain {not saying that is what is going on with Harper though}….

    I hope things improve so that you can get some sleep, it’s tough I know!! Jo x

  7. Ah Beth, I SO understand where you are coming from on this. I feel like I could have written this post. I too have talked myself into thinking I have PND, and understand the whole * thing. One minute I’m all “look at me, supermum, I can do anything!”, then next I’m “WTF, I can’t do this, OMG!”.
    I like your notes to self, and will take a few on board. Staying calm is number 1, but also SO hard to do when you’re working on little or NO sleep.
    Here’s some more advice, from a wee novice… one thing I’m trying right now is using google calendar to record what’s happening when and sometimes why I think it’s happening (feeding/sleeping/settling etc). You might find it help you to record some patterns in behaviour. Then again you might find that it drives you f**king mental.
    This is a war zone. Get thyself a heavily caffienated beverage and I’ll see you out their in the field lady!

  8. You poor thing, it sounds like you’re having a really tough time. I can’t empathise with what you’re going through, but I sure can sympathise. Hang in there!

  9. HI, Just stumbled across your blog and started reading due to the fact we both have baby Harpers. But wow, I cant beileive how much I nodded along! (I say as I rock my H to sleep!)
    We are teething at the moment and its hell.. Plus You reminded me that he needs his needles… GREAT!!

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