“Sleeping through”, that ever elusive holy grail and maybe the foremost reason people are so vehemently in favour of “routines” whether baby-lead or “parent enforced”. We’ve achieved it in our house – but at what cost?
1. Mummies are not allowed to be poorly. If you tell anyone that you and/or your baby are ill, the stock response is “oh poor Hannah” (don’t get me wrong, I would do anything to take it away from her). Your feeding/cleaning/changing duties do not stop. You do not get a lie in. You do not have time to have a hot bath.
2. Mummies are supposed to know the answer. “What does she want”? is the question my husband asks most. “Where is the xxxx”? Is the next one.
3. Parenting books are rubbish. I flicked through one the other day which I had devoured when I was pregnant, thinking it was the Bible of Babies. I laughed out loud at the advice. One bit said “by now your baby will be sleeping through”. The author obviously hadn’t met Hannah. And in fact has never been a mother.
4. You might not be able to establish the routine you wanted. Before I had her, I was ambivalent about whether or not I would breastfeed, and when she came out I decided I definitely did want to. I was helped with oodles of breastmilk (lucky me) which for whatever reason is no longer there. So I’m topping up with formula and frankly it’s really nice to be able to drink from time to time, and to go out without having to get your boobs out to placate a hungry baby.
5. I’m fascinated by poo. Sometimes she goes twice a day, sometimes once every 5 days. I have names for the different sorts. I have names for the different colours. I’d better not carry on with this bit.
6. Having a routine is great when you can stick to it. Pros – I know when she will go to bed and when she is likely to get up, when she is likely to feed etc etc and can work my life around it. She seems happier and is easier to manage. Cons – you are tied to the routine. If she leaves it, I know about it all day for the next 48 hours. So I can’t go out after 8pm….