Two weeks today with my little lion man earthside. Two weeks of 24 hours a day external contact. On the rare occasion he’s not touching me, he’s in Dad’s arms instead.
With Ashton I had a sleeper. He slept almost non stop for his first 6 weeks. Waking him with cold flannels to make him feed was our reality. He slept in his bassinet or the pram and barely made a peep.
Leo sleeps too, as all newborns do, but if you break human contact with him he’ll be awake and crying within 5 minutes and I’ll have to start the whole boob cycle again. At this stage my nipples can’t take any more feeding than is absolutely necessary so it’s better just to let him sleep in my arms and not bother even trying to put him down🤣
If Ashton were to contact sleep with me non stop I would have felt like I was doing it all wrong. I would have believed the people who said I was setting myself up for future battles. I would have felt an insane guilt at failing to help my child be “an independent sleeper”. Because here in the West we consider a child who will sleep on their own as the golden standard of motherhood.
But these last 2 weeks have been illuminating for me. While since Ashton’s birth I have already hugely changed the way I see and approach motherhood I had no real first hand experience with the most common expression of the fourth trimester and gently meeting the needs of a newborn. And now here we are and I’m learning so much about being a Mama and even about myself.
I’m learning to go more slowly, more gently. When something isn’t meeting my expectations instead of getting frustrated, I’m practicing removing my expectations.
I’m practicing taking every day as it comes and each moment as it exactly is. If I’m cooking, cleaning, going to the toilet, sleeping, eating and everything else in a day with my child in my arms then so be it. I’m working on being the Mum my boys need and not the one I think the world expects me to be. And it’s liberating. Exhausting, a little suffocating at times, but liberating. Things will change, Leo will need me less as he gets older, but for now everything is imperfectly perfect just the way it is. #thisispostpartum