You will know if your a member of the no sleep club, because, you will have searched every corner of the internet trying to find the ‘one answer', or the ‘one thing’ that is going to make your baby go to sleep.
You will know your in the club, because before you ask a potential mum friend what their name is, you’ll ask the question “Do yours sleep?” because you know damn well that if the answer is yes then this just isn’t going to work.
You will know if this club is for you, because you will have actually considered, on many occasions whether it is physically possible to die from exhaustion.
You will know if you're a member, because you will actually have dreamt about how if you broke a bone and had to stay in hospital overnight, you would actually get more sleep that at home in your own bed.
You will know if you're a member, because you will sometimes be so irritable that even if someone simply chews their food too loud in your presence, it drives you insane.
You will know if you're a member, because you will now be on first named terms with your GP receptionist and she will say “Hi Aimee, just take a seat” whenever you arrive.
You will know if if you're a member, because you will have had hundreds of people tell you exactly what you are doing ‘wrong’ and what you need to do to get your child to sleep, which you try on the very same night only to find out, it doesn’t work for your baby.
You will know if you're a member, because you will have broken the safe sleep guidance at times out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, to just get even the smallest amount of sleep to carry you through the night.
You will know if if you're a member, because you will any moved any form of time telling device out of your bedroom, because knowing the time in the depths of the night on the 100th return to their cot, just does not help.
You will know if you're a member, because you will have questioned whether your baby needs more milk, less milk, specialist milk, breastmilk, even unicorn milk to get them sleep more than they do.
You will know if you're a member, because you will have swung from super strict "I’m not having this another night" mum, to "I’m so sorry", gentle, conscious, earth co sleeping mother within the space of four hours, on more than one occasion.
You will know if if you're a member, you will have contemplated who would get the children in divorce proceedings, because you actually hate your partner / husband that much in the night sometimes, that you just can’t imagine a future together.
You will know if this if you're in this club, because when people ask you how you are, you will reply “I’m fine”.
You will know if you're a member, because when people stop you in the street to tell you how beautiful your child is, before telling you to “make the most of this time”, you feel a pain in your chest so tight that you think you could be having a heart attack caused by guilt alone.
You’ll know if you're a member, because you will still be reading each of these statements thinking has this woman been stalking me and tapping my phone? I haven’t, the truth is that the reason why I know all of these things is because I AM ALSO IN THE CLUB, this letter is for me as much as it is for you.
I’ve written this letter to share with you three VERY important things. I want you to read them and hear them and soak them all in and do your very very best to start believing them. Okay are you ready??????
1. You are not alone just because people don’t talk about these thoughts, feelings and experiences does not mean that they don’t exist. It just means that the people who are experiencing them are so fed up with the judgement, the advice and the stories of how “mine always slept” that they now reply “I’m fine” when you ask how things are going.
2. You are enough. You are doing enough, you know enough, you are giving enough, you are capable enough, you are caring enough, you are appreciating this enough, you are enjoying this ‘precious time’ enough, you are reading enough.
3. You will survive, and not only that but you will come out of this experience as a more loving, compassionate, empathetic, patient, non-judgemental, supportive person than you ever could have been before. Your relationship with your child will be SO incredibly strong and deep and unbreakably beautiful. Your child will not remember what you did or didn’t do, they won’t remember what you said or didn’t say, but they will 100% remember how it made them feel to see YOU show up night after night exhaustedly trying, fighting and then surrendering to their every need in the night, like nobody else could.
love Aimee xxx
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