Saturday, January 31, 2009

The fog lifts

A sort of amazing thing has happened the last couple of weeks. The negative, cranky, glass half full fog that usually fills my brain and seems to make me see the world and my life through gloomy coloured glasses has lifted. Suddenly, life seems so much brighter and easier and little things like the girls fighting bedtime or the dirty dishes in the sink no longer seem like the end of the world. The only thing that is different that I can think of is that I finally stopped breastfeeding G back to sleep if she woke up during the night. I was putting it off as we were all needing whatever sleep we could get and the thought of a crying toddler waking the household at 2am was not attractive. But, around Christmas, I bit the bullet and now....most nights.....G sleeps until 5 or 6am without waking. If she does wake, the Daddy can usually cuddle her back to sleep while I stay in another room, waiting to see if I am needed or not. Sometimes, she does want her Mummy and her "bee bee" and has a cry when I say "No bee bee until the sun comes up". I try and be strong and the quickest way to get her back to sleep is to take her out onto the front patio in the cool air where she immediately puts her head on my shoulder and goes to sleep. A bit hard on my dodgy back though.

It could also be the cognitive therapy stuff my gorgeous psychologist taught me about recognising my negative thinking patterns and changing my thoughts to more positive ,realistic ones. For example, instead of thinking "Oh god...I am SO tired. How am I going to get throught the next few hours". I manage to think "Yep...I'm pretty tired but I'm tired and happy and nothing is actually WRONG". This is not rocket science I know and the rest of you probably do it without thinking about it or having to pay someone lots of money to remind you but that's the way my brain is.

Whatever the reason...fewer breastfeeding hormones......the end of postnatal depression.....more sleep.....smarter thinking sure seems more sunshiny and my husband seems sweeter. I even think I love the dog!
PS I've been reading Elizabeth Berg novels this week on my two days of train travel to work. She's a great writer - very perceptive - and her novels are very sort of cosy and escapist. Lots of baking pies and curling up with quilts while it snows outside. Anyway, she mentions a story told by a Navaho grandfather to his grandson which goes something like this...."There are two wolves that live inside me. One is full of anger and selfishness and laziness and the other one is full of love and compassion and joy for everything in the world. The two wolves are always fighting". The grandson asks "Which one wins?" and the grandfather replies "The one that I feed". That is so perfect for me and makes so much sense. I'm hoping I can remember it every day.
PS The above photo is G with my sister's new puppy.


Tammie said...

so glad the fog has lifted.

i may have to try the positive thinking techniques. every day around 4, when its not quite dinner time and im out of ideas for entertaining the kids, it takes all my energy to not scream at everyone. I always half jokingly think Is 4:30 too early for bedtime?
i really need to redirect my thoughts to something more positive.

CT said...

I wish! I usually have to force myself to get out of the frump, or someone else forces me, and I don't have breastfeeding hormones to work against me! lol! I'm glad Greta is settling into a better routine, I know how blissful it is to be able to sleep through the night! :) congrats, girl!

LOL@Tammie! yes, 4:30 is the perfect bedtime! that is the time when my energy seems to take a walk out the door and my girls crankyness kicks in, as a result of mommy turning into an amorphous mass slumped in the nearest soft spot... or hard spot... or ANY spot! LOL! Overwhelmed mothers of the world, unite!

hester said...

Oh it's lovely to be part of the worldwide mothers' club. One of my smart friends (with three children under 5) has a special "sanity box" with things that amuse her children (eg bandaids!) and she gives it to them when she is feeling desperate.

Dee from Downunder said...

Its a relief when that final night feed goes. Not that I have really got any more sleep...

I am happy your fog is lifting, and I love that quote about the wolves, very true.

le @ thirdontheright said...

love love love love this post - so you - so honest and sharing .... huging you le

Fe said...

Being one who is very familiar with "the fog" I'm so glad it's lifted for you.

And I thank you for the wonderful story of the two wolves. It's a great analogy.

When I struggle with the kids' fighting or the dishes in the sink or the difficult stuff, I try to remember to be kind to the world and myself.... to not continue the cycle of cruelty that seems to be all around us. Doesn't always work, but it stops me taking out my frustration on my kids, or myself.

(came here from Le's blog...)

hester said...

Hey know me so well. Thanks for all your wonderful support since we started this adventure of having our babes.

Fe...thanks so much for stopping by. It's exciting for me to have a new visitor so I hope you come again. I really liked your philosophy of being kind to ourselves and our world.