Category: sleep

Good Riddance 2016

2016 – Definitely Not an Odyssey

Well, 2 days into the new year and it feels largely the same as 2016!

I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that by some kind of divine intervention, the coming of a new calendar year is somehow going change them (new year, new me). Or that it may  bring them some kind of different life. As though there is some kind of divine being in control of their fate, a ‘Sky Wizard‘ if you will!

I’m not about to start waxing lyrically about how I’m a pessimist, or a realist (of which I am neither) or any other kind of ‘ist’ really. If I was forced to choose one like my very existence relied upon it, I would be somewhere between optimist and opportunist.

For me, I strongly believe that we are in full control of our own destiny. We are our own Sky Wizard, and as such, it’s up to us to get about fixing the things we don’t like. And let me tell you, there was a lot about 2016 that was not to like. I’m sure everyone has their own list of reasons that 2016 could fuck right of and your probably damn well happy that it has!

However, on the other hand, there was a lot about 2016 that was to like, a lot!

2016 was a year of change for us in the Edge household. The first half was pretty mundane. Work was pretty straightforward, Mel was plowing through her pregnancy (and bags of chips) with flying colours. Lucas was getting in trouble looking under the toilet doors as school (to see people wee), and we were fostering rescued Greyhounds. By all accounts, most likely an average 6 months in an average Australian family of 3.

The second half of the year was where things got interesting.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of my (our?) year was finally getting to meet Flynn. You can read the story of his Birth here. He is an incredibly sweet, calm and easy going little boy. He has brought a sense of calm to us both that we didn’t know before, both Mel and I love him dearly. As we do both of our sons.

Mel had made the decision to take a full 12 months maternity leave after Flynn was born. A decision that had (and still has) my full support. When Lucas was 6 months old, Mel made the tough decision of returning to work. Even though things have worked out fine, has always felt that this was the wrong thing to do.

And you know what, even though money is tight, we shop at Aldi, and no longer eat meat, things have been great! Both boys are thriving, Mel is a lot more relaxed (most days) and she has an incredible bond with the boys that is completely different to mine.

I reckon anyone that claims to be a perfect father is fooling themselves, but not fooling anyone else. Parenting is hard work! It’s the hardest bloody thing I’ve ever done. And it’s a heck of a lot of responsibility. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way? It’s our job, to care for, nurture and mold this person into the kind of adult that will be able to function in an ever changing society. That’s some heavy shit right there! I’m flat out most days just getting myself to do the things that I need to to get through my day. Brush my teeth, shower before work, no sugar in my 4th cup of coffee for the day. And that’s before 8am.

For my brother and I, we grew up in a pretty typical household. Dad worked (a lot), Mum did the household stuff, and we went to school. Both my parents are fantastic. They sacrificed everything to bring us from the UK to Australia in 1989, so I’m not about to get on my soapbox about how my childhood was hard, and that it’s not my fault that I am the way I am. But it is you see. Yes, Dad was quite authoritative and at times dictatorial, but we were kids. Pushing the boundaries, testing the limits and creating chaos wherever we went.

Do I want to be that kind of parent to my boys? No. Am I? Sometimes, yes. And it’s not until it’s too late, that I realise that I am slipping back into learned habits.

I’m sure by now you’re thinking ‘Why the bloody hell is he banging on about his daddy and 1989 when this is supposed to be about 2016?”. Well, I do have a point, and I’m getting to that (Shush Mel, my stories are important, however meandering.)

Back in October, we had Lucas assessed by a pediatrician. A pediatrician that charged us $400 to have us and his teacher do all the work for her. (I’m definitely in the wrong line of work.) Long story short, she came to the conclusion that Lucas has symptoms that suggest he has ADHD. I say suggest because I’m still not convinced, or i could just be reluctant to label the boy. Nonetheless, he does behave different to other boys his age and has issues recognising boundaries and when Mum and Dad are feeling the pressure of a constant barrage of begging for the tiniest morsel of our own dinner. Coincidentally exactly the same as his.

He can be an incredibly sweet boy, and has an amazing zest for life that i think all adults forget. Life has a nasty habit of making us get way too serious about things, and we can sometimes forget to have a sense of humor.

And here it is, the point of the last few paragraphs is that coming out of 2016 and in to 2017, we’ve had a lot of changes in our household. Quite significant ones at that. Most notable is the obvious additional mouth to feed (good on you love, you’re boobs are doing a great job!), we’ve had a significant drop in income while an increase in expenses and lastly. We’re having to completely redesign the way we parent. And it is unquestionably more of a lesson for Mel and I than it is for Lucas.

So here I am, jumping on the bandwagon that is full of people that proudly chime “Fuck off 2016!”, as we launch into what I’m going to call “Fuck yes, 2017!”

That’s all for now. I’d love to hear what you have said goodbye to in 2016! I’m sure you’ve got your own stories to tell.

If I’m not back in 5 minutes. Just wait longer!

Sleep! What’s that.. ?

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So I don’t do sleep deprivation well, I really can’t. Even the younger version of myself struggled to make it through the night when I first entered the party scene. I would get to midnight, and would be looking for the exit sign to go home so I could go to bed. I have always been an early riser as well, so I need at least 8 hours of solid sleep.  Fast forward to today, I have been waking up two to three times a night since I was 32 weeks pregnant. It’s seriously taking it’s toll on me. I can’t even pin point why Flynn is waking up so much. I’m like oh he’s teething, or is it a growth spurt, maybe a wonder week, oh wait it’s his four month developmental milestones. Knowing our luck it’s probably all of the above.

I have read that parents of newborns can lose at least 44 days of sleep during the first year of a child’s life, and will average about 5 hours a night. So as a result of this, my grumpy scale is set at an all time high. I’m indulging on coffee and I’m developing a sweet tooth so that means chocolate bars and muffins, and lets face it…that’s not going help lose any of the baby weight I’ve gained. I’m probably going to turn into a muffin the way I’m fitting into my jeans lately. Cue sad face.

Lucas was and still is a brilliant sleeper, and I’m pretty certain he started to sleep through the night when he was around 8 weeks old. We did start to be bottle feed him on formula so that could be the reason why. Flynn on the other hand will be breast fed before I go to bed, which is anywhere between 8:30pm and 9:00pm, and then again anywhere between midnight and 3:00am. Then one more feed when it is time for Chris to get up and get ready for work. Yeah it probably doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s been 6 months of interrupted sleep and I am exhausted. I’d do anything for 8 hours of solid rest!

I have also discovered that I have developed a condition called Bruxism, which essentially means that I am a jaw clencher. There are some mornings where I have woken up with pain in the joint of my jaw, and I have a terrible ache in my teeth. Thankfully though, I have not ground my teeth too badly, but I have developed a slight hairline crack in one of my canines. My dentist was informing me that it is a common condition of mothers with newborns. So to prevent my teeth actually cracking, they took a mold of my mouth and created a clear mouth guard. I will need to wear it when I go to bed at night, when I am stressed or when I read/type as when I concentrate I clench. So I guess that will be most of the time haha!

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I have also been told to try and have a sleep during the day when it is nap time, but the logistics are impossible. I need to prepare a four year old for school/play dates/day care, and let me tell you that he is a demanding little bugger. Anywhere from breakfast time which will consist of at least 4 different food groups to wiping his butt after taking a dump in the toilet. Trying to do that one handed because you have a clingy baby who needs to be held is challenging. And when I finally have time to myself, it is impossible to try and get him to sleep. Apparently anytime after 1pm is wakey wakey time, so by the time Chris comes home from work I am handing him the baby.

Lucas was also sleep trained, which back then was incredibly difficult for me as a first time mum. Realistically looking back I just didn’t cope being a mum at all, I was always second guessing my mothering skills and developed an anxiety disorder. I would cry when I would hear him cry, and it didn’t help that he was not much of a self soother. Chris was adamant that it was in his best interests, and at the time I agreed. But it’s strange how the second time we have become much more relaxed with our parenting style. Maybe it’s because they are such a baby for a short period of time, plus caring for a baby is much easier than a child with an attitude of pubescent teenager.

So keep your fingers crossed for me that it won’t be long until he sleeps through. When he does I will be clicking my heels together in a happy dance.

Anyway that’s it, my mouth is starting to hurt with my new mouth guard.

Much love

Melanie xx

 

 

 

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