At the beginning of this year, I wrote here about the dangers of Googling parental queries. It’s a pretty obvious one. Googling is like a red rag to a hypochondriac, if you’re anywhere near as hysterical as I am, a google too far and you could end up diagnosing bubonic plague when it’s just a runny nose. Guaranteed if you admit to others that you are a PPG (parenting problem Googler) it will be met with shrieks of “DON’T Google stuff!”
Though as I said, it’s too late for me.
In my last bout of PPG, I was searching for answers to the eternal question… when the eff is he going to start sleeping? As I was Googling the words ‘8 month sleep regression’ I noticed that as I was typing, the search engine was offering several prompts below the text bar; sleep regression 10 months, sleep regression 14 months, sleep regression 18 months, sleep regression 3 years and so on. At the time, this caused me even deeper levels of despair as according to the search engine no end was in sight. I vowed to stay the eff away from Google from then on.
That is until last night. The no-sleeping thing has continued with little signs of improvement but lately the nights have been even worse than usual. Until last week or so I had been giving in to his every nocturnal whim, doing whatever presented itself as the quickest path to everyone getting back to sleep. This strategy even included some pretty questionable parenting decisions. Decisions that I am loath to admit to but here goes… after all attempts to sooth him, cuddle and hum to him failed I would invariably give the child what he wanted: His *whisper it* bottle. I’m not proud of this. I’ve heard about sleep crutches and I frequently went into deep anxiety spirals about whether he would be 16 and still waking me in the night for his sleep crutch bottle.
However, this week things have deteriorated even beyond the secret middle-of-the-night shame-bottle because now he’s refusing even that and is instead screaming and crying completely inconsolably for hours at a time. I honestly don’t know who I feel more pity for myself and Tom, our long-suffering and infinitely patient neighbours (we live in a terraced cottage) or the child. Actually I do know who I’m feeling the most pity for; it’s me, natch.
In the throes of last night’s chaos I actually cried. Mainly from exhaustion but also because in my sleep-deprived state I fully believed that my son hated me. Now don’t get me wrong the morning didn’t exactly dawn calm, clear and full of hope, I still have a strong hunch that he hates me, but something else happened in the night. At around 3 am, red-eyed and weepy I returned to Google. I could hear the voices in my head (the crazy really takes hold at that hour) admonishing me and urging me not to Google it. But you know what? The Googling really helped. As I started to type the words: ‘I think my son hates me’ I got no further that ‘I think my son…’ before Google helpfully offered prompts such as ‘I think my son hates me’ and ‘I think my toddler son hates me’. When I saw that I realised that I didn’t even need to click into those articles, it was enough that my query is so widely searched. I’m not the only one. Huzzah.
Of course knowing that other mothers also worry that their children hate them doesn’t exactly help with the whole excruciating exhaustion thing which is why I have these tasty energy balls to see me through the long day after the night before.
Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Cookie Dough Balls
1 cup (80g) oats
½ cup (40g) desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup (50g) of PB2 powder (mixed with 4 tablespoons of water) or ¼ cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup (30g) raw cacao nibs
Pinch sea salt flakes
Combine the oats, desiccated coconut and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the PB2 powder mixed with water (or peanut butter, whichever you’re using) along with the maple syrup and combine thoroughly. Mix the cacao nibs through the dough and then chill for about 20 minutes before rolling into approximately 12 balls, store in the fridge.