Sleeping Beauty’s alter ego

1 Jan

5.42am on new year’s day and I’m up – what a start to 2011. This is not so much a grumble as a fact and it seems to have been the status quo for the last 11 months. Toby is good at playing with his toys while I mong on the sofa trying desperately to get some life into me. And each morning I ask myself the perennial question ‘will I ever sleep again?’.

Having lived in a camper van for four months over the summer, we’ve had some problems with Toby’s sleep. Between the age of four and eight months our bed was Toby’s and Toby’s bed was ours. We fell into the trap and he got too used to having us close in the night. On return to normal life – living under a roof with no wheels – he refused to sleep through in his own bed.

Exhausted and desperate we went down the controlled crying route. Horrid, horrid, horrid. I felt evil and Toby hated us. It’s possibly one of the most stressful things I’ve done and it seemed to take a lifetime for him to realise that this was how it was going to be. The screams of your baby are not something you can block out. It penetrated my brain and scraped my insides out. Finally, it sunk in that he was in his cot for the duration and I started to remember what feeling normal was like. A whole night off – heaven.

However, on return to work, Toby headed for nursery where he socialised with other little rug rats and the inevitable sickness kicked in. We are now three weeks into a nasty cough, which the doctor tells me we can’t do anything about. Seeing the little monkey cough so much he vomits is unpleasant in itself, but it has also undone all the hard work to get him sleeping alone. And now i am not used to having him in bed I sleep even less. I guess once he’s better we need to start again with getting him back into his own room, but will I have the strength? I may need to resort to cocktails of red bull and coffee to get me through the working day. How do other mums manage?! Any tips?

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