Yesterday I discovered that our usual morning nap time had changed all of a sudden. It was a bit of a shock after months of Emma napping like clockwork; she seemed happy to know what was coming each morning…and of course I loved it too. But then, the rug was pulled from underneath us and now she can stay up for over 3 hours before getting tired. It changed, and like everything no-one tells you it’s changing, you just have to work it out for yourself and adapt.
I felt completely robbed of my ‘me’ time all day and then I suddenly realised that the last 15 months of having Emma in our lives have been just that. Adapting. Changing. Tweaking the routine so she gets just the right amount of sleep, eats at the right time, whilst also getting enough time outdoors too. It’s been 15 months of trying and inevitably only getting it right on some of those days. I’ve been winging it and feeling guilty that I’m not quite cracking it, that there are days when I put her down for a nap when she’s not tired enough and she has a complete meltdown.
On those days, it takes me back to when she was a newborn and I felt like I was trying to climb Everest and someone was callously throwing a massive boulder to push me back down. Those days were hard and it’s sometimes good to look back on it as I know now that it will be okay. I wished then that someone had told me that, and that actually, things will all work out in the end.
As I looked back on these tough times – I realise now that we’re all winging it. We’re all trying so hard to make it work. Sure, some days are easier than others but I really just need to be kind to myself. I need to sometimes say to myself that I did my best and winging it is more than OK. I don’t need to put that pressure on myself to be the perfect mother, with everything sorted. If Emma’s the girl who has a tantrum every few hours, that’s who she is and it doesn’t make me a bad mum that I can’t pull her out of it.
So here I am adapting and changing again and perhaps moving into a new phase of toddlerdom…who knows what I can define this as because as we all know there isn’t a manual that comes with it! For now, I shall keep winging it, keep grabbing the time to have a hot cuppa where I can and keep on trucking. And for once, I won’t feel bad about just about staying afloat, because it seems to be working quite well for the moment.