You ever have a child and wonder what you did before they came along? I’m at that moment now. Having spent the last year in and out of lockdown, I struggle to remember how I actually filled my time. Now I can’t remember having time, free time, to do with as I please. Life now dances to a different routine, not my routine of choice, but one that suits Baby T. He now runs this household and I jump to his every winge.
That’s probably a little unfair. We’ve been “Sleep shaping” baby T until he’s at an age where we can sleep train him. It’s going ok. Some days he’s better than others and he’s managed to sleep though the night twice. Not bad for a 3 month old. Both times have been wonderful though. The little man normally goes 3.5 to 4 hours now between bottles in the night. We’re still feeding him bang on every 3 hours during the day, waking him for it if he’s asleep.
Where are you getting this?, I hear you cry. We’ve been reading The Baby Sleep Solution by Lucy Wolfe. Well, when I say we’ve been reading, it’s the royal we. I’ve skimmed it and Sal has taken a Masters in it. It really hammers home the importance of routine, routine and more routine. Bed at the same time, minimal stimulation prior and facilitating regular napping during the day. Awake no longer than 60-90 minutes between naps. Wake baby by 7am with all lights on to stimulate the day / night cycle. Max 40 minute bottle feeds, get all / majority of his calories in during the day, etc. Lucy is the one who calls it sleep shaping, as you can’t teach a child of this age to sleep. I call it miracle working. I swear I’d be committed for my mental health if this child didn’t sleep. I function badly on little sleep. I’m just massively acopic without a good 7-8 hours, which is odd given I used to do a mixture of day and night shifts and functioned well on the deranged sleep pattern of NHS work.
I gave up doing nights about 7 years ago as they started to make me feel rotten and grumpy. It was like having a hangover without the good time prelude. I then read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker and it cemented why my time doing night shifts is over. If you haven’t read it, do. It interestingly covers developmental phases in children and why routine and sleep are important. I came across something similar in Jordan Peterson’s Twelve Rules for Life. I’m now a complete creature of routine and habit, which is why I’m clinging to this sleep shaping. My wellbeing depends on it.
As Baby T is getting better and I’m sleeping more, I’ve started exercising again. Made some obligatory lock-down purchases: Kettle bell, Pull up bar, weighted vest, etc. I also bought a training plan… 180 Day Bodywork BEAST!! Now this doesn’t mean that in 180 days I’ll be ripped, massive and green like the Incredible Hulk, it just means that I’ve got something to follow. So hopefully, when I get though it, I’ll resemble someone who’s vaguely in shape. Now I say that, but I’ve had this plan for a month now and I’m only on day 10. I don’t train on days I’m at work, which is 3 long days out of the 7, making the standard full time 37.5 hours. My body has also refused to train when I’ve had a shitty nights sleep. At this rate I’ll be finished the program in July 2023. That said, Baby T slept well last night so I cracked on with it this morning before I ran out to get my second Covid vaccine, (Immune as fuck now… hopefully). It was a pretty easy day day 10. That’s it up there in the photo. I’ll no doubt update you with another day later in the program. Either that or I’ll just upload a photo of me crying after completing one of the more difficult days. I’m so out of shape. They’re asthmatic, bilateral amputee grandparents who could outrun me at present. It’s a sorry state I find myself in.
As for writing, I’ve stalled. Like a classic car, full of good looks and intentions but badly designed. I really want to crack on with writing a novel, but I’m not allowing myself too until I post two more things on here, which I’m still working on. I’ve a vague idea of trying not to take on too much at once. I’ve been doing this my whole life and gotten overwhelmed and nowhere. One thing at a time. Just need to sit down and do it, which for some unknown reason is rather difficult to do. Any tips or Ideas via postal pigeon.