My tiniest creature - newly-dubbed Little Girl - is three months as of yesterday. It's hard to believe that three whole months have ticked by since she arrived. And they've been three good months, wonderful months, but they've also been hard.
Yes, I'm admitting this. This has been both an amazing and tough time in my life.
When Big Girl (formerly Toddler) was an infant, I met several neighborhood moms. We hung out often - meeting in the park, attending baby classes, drinking afternoon sangria while our bitty ones slumbered. These moms have become some of my best friends. Anyway, I remember one night when we all went out to a swanky eatery/bar. We left the babies at home with our husbands, got dressed up, and stayed out late talking about life and parenthood. One of the biggest topics of discussion? Sleep. More specifically, sleeping through the night. Amazingly, all of us had babies that were sleeping through the night. And our babes were only months old!
It occurred to me after the fact that some of us were probably lying. There is no way all ten of us had perfect little sleepers. And yet. For some reason, we all told that story.
I was not fudging. Big Girl had indeed started sleeping through the night around three months. And I was proud, renewed, and smug about this fact. When Middle Girl (formerly Baby) arrived on the scene, she was even more of a rock star sleeper and started sleeping through at seven weeks! Unbelievable, I know.
But. Here I am. At that three-month-mark for the third time. And I'm not going to lie or even candy-coat things.
Little Girl is not sleeping through the night.
She is doing well. Often sleeping 6-9 hour stretches, but then popping up somewhere between 2am and 4am bright-eyed and ravenous. And so. I am tired. Very tired. And guess what? That rock star sleeper Middle Girl? She has started waking up several times in the night calling for her Daddy. We're not sure what's going on. Surely, she is reacting to the arrival of her little sister. Maybe she is having nightmares. Maybe she just wants to be the baby again. I don't know. But it's been hard.
Hard, yes. But exquisite also. Isn't it truly remarkable that life can be so tricky but also so gorgeous? Even in my continued haze, I am consistently grateful for the chaos that is my Now. I would not trade this for anything.
Truth be told, I've had a hard time deciding how much to reveal recently here on the blog. A few have expressed concern that my blog posts have had some detectable darker edges, that my words suggest a struggle.
You know what? Life, in all its incarnations, has some dark edges. And the good life? There is struggle at its very core. A sweet struggle. A tempest of blustery effort and affection. Of wild wonder, and deep reverence for creatures, and all we can't control.
My baby is three months. And I love her endlessly. But I am also still there, here, in the murky beginnings of a new stage. I stand squarely "in the weeds" as my lovely friend Kathryn Beaumont so aptly puts it. And I wouldn't choose to stand anywhere else. These weeds are mine and they are as inspiring as they are exhausting. It's a good, difficult, glorious place to be.
(But if Little Girl decides to start sleeping through - and her big sister decides to stop beckoning Daddy in the middle of the night - making things a wee bit less weedy, I wouldn't complain :))
Thank you all for supporting me through the last three months. I know that I have been a bit scattered and cryptic at times on this blog. I know that I have been remiss in commenting on your wonderful words. Please know that I am doing the best I can and that once we all start sleeping a bit better around here, I will be back to that old school Aidan you all know (and hopefully love!).
Do you think we parents sometimes feel pressure to lie about how "perfect" things are at home with our kids? Why is it so hard for so many of us to admit that we are struggling appropriately with things? When did your kiddos start sleeping through the night?