How much power do you give the past?
When my first child was born, I tried everything in the book to make her sleep but although she wasn’t the worst I have come across, she was pretty hard work. It was not uncommon for me to take her for a drive 2-3 times a day just to make sure she had a good nap. Sleep kind of ruled my life for a good year or so - it dictated every hour of my day.
Other people seemed to have babies who loved their sleep, but mine was slow to this theory. Whilst she eventually slept through the night, she still made day times hard work.
Pregnant for the second time, I spent quite a lot of time worrying about how I was going to manage organising sleep for another baby with a toddler in tow. I worried about how I’d cope with sleepless nights and the two of them, and how long I would struggle with her sleep for. I was really not looking forward to sleep ruling my life again.
When number 2 came, she was like a revelation. She slept well from almost day one and was sleeping through the night 90% of the time from only 7 weeks old. At nap time she literally goes to bed awake and falls asleep when she wants to - no crying, nothing! It’s truly amazing. I do nothing particularly different to how I’d raised my first, except I’m naturally more relaxed and capable (it is far easier second time around).
So, my fears had been unfounded.
When I look back, all I see is a waste of energy and concern. I had truly looked to my future through a veil of past experience. I had assumed it would be the same again. But of course just because that’s how it has been, doesn’t mean that’s how it will be again.
A great lesson learned for me there. Now, whenever I find myself donning the ‘veil of the past’ and allowing my imagination (for that is all fear is, after all) to take over, I stop and put the veil away. Instead I think this time, it will be different. Better. Why not?
M.M. September 2014