I had my first mumma chat with Alana mum of two and whilst we were down to be talking all things body image it soon occurred that these size issues were being affected by other very uncontrollable aspects in her mothering life.
Before the birth of her youngest Alana had gone down to a size 8 and 11 months after the pregnancy she is still much heavier than she was. It soon became apparent that lack of sleep had lead to more than just tiredness but also weight fluctuation, poor dietary habits, and sadly a very grumpy baby. Her son wakes up up-to 4 times a night and only has 2 power naps ranging between 10-15 minutes twice a day, I know what the fuck right? Sleep is not the same for everyone and I think a moment of quiet reflection and little prayer is required from the lucky ones!
At times I must admit I really felt for Alana as the sleep deprivation had taken its toll and she was very open to say that this is not just upon her. And whilst she opened up about suffering with postnatal depression I asked if she had received much support for sleep training only to be shocked in hearing that she’d been told her sleep arrangements of room sharing and co-sleeping has caused the problems in the first place. Hell no.
I felt that Alana also spent time defending her mothering as she included details of attachment mothering and being there for both her children during all of their times of need and I felt as though she was trying to tell me that she was doing all she possibly could for her baby. I think that was the bit that really hit me hard, we as mothers defend our ways when our babies are difficult, as though it’s our fault and fuck knows it’s not but when our health visitors criticise our choices what else can we do?
As parents the strains of children can leave very hard marks on relationships and as we discussed this it was confirmed that Alana and her husband had only been out together away from the children a handful of times and even if there was a possibility of more the worry of a sleepless unsettled baby that would be looking for his mum was in the forefront of her thoughts. This fear and consideration only backed up my initial confidence in Alana as an extremely caring parent that is struggling at the tiny hands of a sleep thief
I want to try and end this on a positive note being that I asked for the kind words Alana wanted to hear from those she sort to help her and that was simply ‘this doesn’t last forever’. Anyone in the same or similar situation should cling on to this notion because actually it will pass, Alana who also has a five year old daughter knows it and there is comfort in this. Well done sleepless mum, we may not be there with you but we have your back!
Here is to the no sleep mum club! Hip hip pass out!