It. Gets. Better.
Robbie is now almost six months, and as I write this he is asleep. He went down at 9am and I know he won’t wake up until 11am. (In fact, if the past week is anything to go by, I am going to have to open the curtain at 11.15 to encourage him to wake up – he’s such a sleepyhead now!).
This morning, we woke him up at 7.30 and spent a beautiful hour and a half playing on the sunny bed in our front room (yes, we now have our own bedroom separate from Robbie – so great), reading books (both of us) and practicing rolling (him, not me). Last night, he only woke twice to feed (at 11.30 and 4am), after going down at 6.30pm. So when I woke up this morning, I felt human. Just like I have for the past week.
I can’t believe how different my life is now that Robbie is sleeping. I can focus on enjoying him, rather than on how exhausted I am. I actually look forward to when he wakes up from daytime naps so we can play together. Previously, I dreaded his day wake ups because I’d have to muster the energy to keep him entertained until the next nap. I know it sounds awful, but that’s the truth.
Robbie is happier – I assume because he’s getting more deep sleep. He squealed and laughed with delight watching his grandma clean out the birdbath in the back garden yesterday (who knew birdbath cleaning was so hilarious?). He smiles at everything – the trees, people, his hands, his mobiles.* When we go in to pick him up from his cot he gives us the biggest grins.
I am happier. I’ve started helping some organisations with communications, strategy and writing work, and I am getting back to being more heavily involved with the non-profit and philanthropic boards I sit on. I even have some very exciting work-related news that I’ll be able to share in a few weeks.
Robbie, Simon and I are going to America on Sunday for a week to participate in this week-long Climate Strategy Accelerator workshop – and I’m actually looking forward to it (I know, I might be crazy to be looking forward to something that involves over 20 hours of flying each way with a baby, but it’s best to be hopeful).
It’s like a fog has been lifted.
How did we do it? We had help. In the form of a wonderful sleep/feeding consultant called Debbie MacRae from Toowoomba who came down and stayed with us for three nights. If you’re reading this and sleep deprived, I can’t recommend her enough. It was the best investment we ever made.
So, what else is it like being a Mum now that I’m not so bone-tired all the time? It’s fun. Making him laugh is the absolute best sound in the whole world. And it’s not that hard – I just kiss him on the tummy, let him pull my hair, or whoosh a soft cloth over his head. Much easier than making up funny jokes to make people laugh at dinner parties**
He’s starting to eat solids – so far just rice cereal and pumpkin. But he likes them! He also likes being outside, and he absolutes LOVES being outside without any clothes on. He thumps his legs so vigorously and smiles so wide when he’s lying naked on a towel in the front garden in the late afternoon that he’s earned himself a new nickname – Thumper Rose.
And the final thing to report is that progress on my ‘theme’ for 2016 of building community (I decided to have a theme rather than a new years’ resolution) is going well. We had our wonderful parents’ group here on Sunday afternoon. These women and their partners are amongst the best people I’ve ever met. Our neighbours are also great. And my other non-parent friends. And it’s getting much easier to take Robbie places now – to baby swimming, to the shops, the library, and other peoples’ houses. He doesn’t even vomit on everything all the time anymore.
*Everything except cameras. He still stops smiling the minute you point one at him, as our photographer friend Jarra found out last week.
**Unless I’ve had a few wines. In which case making funny jokes at dinner parties comes very naturally to me. Or at least I think it does at the time.