Since those days I have been very lucky, Aria slept through the night from two months and napped a lot during the day, I actually found myself googling 'does my baby sleep too much' at one point. I was a very, very lucky mummy. I was spoilt. I was clean and tidy, my house was clean and tidy, my baby was clean and tidy.
Fast forward five months and things aren't going so smoothly. She cries because she is tried, she cries because I put her to sleep, she cries because she doesn't want to be on my lap, she cries because she doesn't want to be alone, she cries for no obvious reason.
She wakes up in the night screaming, she is inconsolable. She doesn't want anything, other than to be held. Sometimes it is a simple case of holding her for five minutes and putting her back down. Other times I think I've settled her but as soon as I put her back in her cot all hell breaks lose. Some nights she sleeps through. Some nights this happens once. Other nights it happens every couple of hours.
Before having a baby I always assumed that the newborn days were the hardest, waking up to feed a baby several times in the night is hard, but you just walk around in a daze and don't do much else. I can't walk around in a daze not doing much else anymore. People no longer bring me pre-prepared meals, people expect my house to be clean, they expect me to be washed and dressed in actual clothes, not sick stained pyjamas.
When can I have a break? In the evening when Aria goes to bed maybe? No, because I have to make tea, do the dishes, clean and sterilise bottles ready for the morning. In the day if and when Aria eventually has a nap? No, if I haven't had to go out for a walk in order for her to fall asleep I have to put the washing in the machine, hang the clothes out to dry, put the washing away, put the hoover around, and find time to prepare and eat my lunch.
These jobs that you used to leave for the weekend, that doesn't work, you don't get days off with a baby. Maybe daddy could look after baby all day while I do my chores? No, he is working overtime to make up for the fact that I am on maternity pay, or maybe we actually want to go out and enjoy time together as a family.
A day in work would be so much easier than a day with Aria. I could go to the toilet when I wanted, have a drink when I wanted, I wouldn't have anyone constantly screaming at me (well, maybe), I could actually get something done. But, do you know what? Despite it being easier, it wouldn't be anywhere near as rewarding as spending the day with my baby, even if she has got her grumpy head on.
Parenting is difficult, but it is also the best, most rewarding job ever.
*I wrote this post several months ago while I was feeling quite down, it has been sitting in my drafts ever since. Today I decided to share it.*