10 June 2011

things I know :: this too shall pass


This is my gentle, happy little soul. When we were waiting for her, people would ask me if I knew what she was. A boy or a girl? I'd reply that I only knew who she was. And here she is. Still the same. But in my arms... most of the time.


Her sleep patterns are the same as when she was in the womb. She fits in with my sleep patterns very well, thankfully. But only if I'm beside her, as before.


She rarely sleeps during the day. Only power naps. Unless she is on my back and feels safe, content.


I know that this doesn't make her difficult. It isn't a problem. It is how she needs to be mothered. She is different to her sisters, who I have mothered in different ways. I know now that there is no sleep technique, no method or quick fix that is right for all babies. Just one for each and one which is found with an open heart and an open mind. It can't be taught.


I know that if I relied on someone else for everything I'd probably like to be pretty close to them too.


I know that when she is going through something, a developmental stage, or a new tooth, we have a harder week than usual. What makes it hard for me though, is not the crying or wakefulness. It is the frustration at the thought of all the things I should be doing. The pile of washing, the sewing or the knitting I so desperately need to do. The cup of tea I wanted. My attachment to that thing I so wanted for myself in that moment and the fact that she demands that I sweep it aside. For her.


I know that after every difficult week, an easier week usually follows. After that milestone has been reached. I also know that this means she is constantly changing, growing. Just as the difficult week will pass, so will the easy one...


And so will these days of snuggling, longing, pacing, giggling and gazing. In the blink of an eye. I may never have this kind of intimate relationship with another person in my life. With that realisation brings a bittersweet tear and a sigh as I remember to hold her close and not wish these moments away. To listen to her and delight in her and savour these moments for ever. For they too shall pass.


Some reading I've found helpful this week.

Connected Mom: Four Lies Sleep Trainers Tell You (And One Truth They Won't!)
Dr Sears: 8 Infant Sleep Facts Every Parent Should Know
Reflecting on this post: sweet dreams...
And this one: sleep (un)school

And one that had me sobbing with recognition and relishing in its beauty...

soulful mothering ~ with tara thayer

This week I'm linking up with Shae's Things I Know at Yay for Home. Go visit and see what others know this week too! xx


  1. My bubba sleeps on my back during the day, or in the pram if we walk, and only beside me at night. This is the way it has always been for him. I like it. Some days, it's harder...like having to run out in the rain to get the nappies from the line with him attached, well they just get wet. I can relate to your post completely. Aren't we so lucky:)

  2. The realisation that these things do pass (rather quickly in hindsight) really did come to me more in mothering my 3rd child than the others. It didn't mean that sometimes I didn't go crazy at the inability to sometimes do the things I wanted to do but it certainly helped.

    Mothering more than one really did open my eyes to how different children can be and how I need to keep adjusting my parenting, my expectations, my routines, my plans and our lives as they and we grow as a family.

    Thanks for the links as well.

  3. Beautiful, and every word of it true. It took me until my third child to fully understand this and just let the moments be as they were. Sometimes I still need to be reminded - so thank you ;-)

  4. I loved this post. Beautiful and so true. Love hearing these things about mothers and babies, I can't get enough of it!
    Found you through Shae's Things I Know and will be following :)

  5. I so remember those days leading up to a milestone xoxo

  6. Beautiful words Lauren. It's so true that they are all so different - my two are chalk and cheese and needed very different things as babies. Even now, one craves autonomy, the other craves connection.

    I love that photo of tiny owlet asleep. How precious she is.

  7. what a beautifully written post :)

    Mine are chalk and cheese too, it's not until highly sensitive #2 (a nice way of saying incredibly clingy and crying a lot) comes along that you realise how easy you had it with tough and independent #1

  8. Lovely post. :)

    I loved "I know that if I relied on someone else for everything I'd probably like to be pretty close to them too."

    And interested in your reading list as well. I haven't read soul mothering, but think it's calling me. :)

  9. Wonderful! I agree with everything you said. My mom was just telling me that she had a conversation with a friend about how I feel about my little guy's sleep habits. She was trying to explain that I don't mind rocking and nursing him to sleep, that I don't mind him sleeping with us, and that I don't care how many times a night he needs to nurse. It brings me joy to care for him in these ways. Her friend was expressing doubt regarding how long I'll love it and that I'll regret having started off my parenting in this way. She kept reassuring her friend that that would not be the case. I am going to send her this post as it explains my own thoughts so well! Thanks for writing it. :)

  10. That soulful mothering post resonated with me also.

    Thanks to you also, for a lovely reminder. I've been feeling altogether too frustrated with mothering lately, many sleepless nights with long & frequent breastfeeds, this post coupled with Babyman's sudden desire to show huge amounts of affection have come just in time to save my sanity :)

  11. Beautiful!
    I needed this reminder too. My last baby(number four) has just started to wean at almost 2 and I am struggling through the whole process. I wanted her to wean, and now I don't. She wants to feed and then she doesn't. I must take your reminder to slow down and savour each moment just for what is - even if it a bittersweet time for us.
    Thanks for such a lovely post.

  12. Lauren, it's like you reached into my own self and wrote the words I've been thinking and feeling and searching for. We are having our own challenges, and I'm finding the more I let go, and truly embrace giving, the sweeter my time as a mother is. It's such a journey—and it's true, there aren't and can't be any hard rules on how to be with each child. You just have to feel it out, don't you? Be close and connected, to your children, and to your true Self.

    Beautiful, as always. I'm so grateful and lucky to come here and have these words. Thank you, Lauren.

  13. Beautiful beautiful post...
    My smallest also likes to have me close to sleep, and at times it frustrates me, but I try to remember that he is teaching me an important lesson... to slow down, to live now, in this moment and to love him unconditionally.

  14. Thanks for writing this Mama Owl. We're having one of those weeks at our nest, Matilda is growing teeth AND getting the hang of mobility - double, tiring, whammy. It's a great reminder, this too shall pass.
    Happy Spring x
    Megan (aka Sheela na Gig)


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