If you were pregnant with your first baby and asked me for advice about babies, I would tell you this: “Everything is a phase.” Everything changes. Both the quirky cute things your little baby does and the terrible pull-out-your-hair things.
This is good. Change is good. It is especially good to remember the first few weeks of parenthood, when your newborn wakes up every two hours and/or cries for several hours straight and/or cluster feeds for hours in the middle of the night, every night (I’m looking at you, Lucy). You can endure, because it will change. It may take a while, but it will change.
Moving, for us, was a catalyst for transforming our sleep-like-clockwork toddler into a raging sleepless monster. For many reasons. One was introducing the toddler bed at the same time that we moved across the country. There was a solid month (a month!) where every time sleep happened it would be a full-out battle with much screaming, lots of coercing and bribing and eventually too many stroller naps to count. I thought things would never get better.
But here we are a month later and the situation has become much more livable for all parties. That’s not to say that there still isn’t screaming involved sometimes, but we’ve settled into a routine and we are armed with strategies and I, for one, am much less anxious about the situation. And right now, Arthur is napping. For the second time in three days. This, my friends, is a miracle.
The moral of the story is change. Circumstances change, our needs change, routines change (whether we want them to or not). Motherhood requires us to adapt to change and adaptation requires to learn patience and optimism. As cliché as it sounds, your child won’t be wearing diapers in college. They won’t be throwing tantrums in high school. And somehow, someway, sometime, that baby will sleep through the night. I promise.