Little feet. Gigantic Shoes.


I have a habit of setting unreasonable goals for myself and becoming distressed disappointed when I fail to live up to my unbelievably high standards. It’s like I have created these gigantic shoes to fill, which seems insane. I have complete control over the “size” of the shoes I expect myself to get into and I am quite aware of how ridiculously small my feet are. I guess this is something to do with being human and everything to do with the cultural expectations that we grow up believing a mother is. I know many mothers who set unfair standards for themselves, setting themselves up for failure, knowing that there is no way that they could possibly live up to these standards and they would never in a million years expect another woman to do all of those things at once. Yet we do it. Time and time again.

It was a few nights ago that I realised just what I had done. I found myself in tears, sitting on the floor of my kitchen, scaring the crap out of the rats that live there. It was 3am and somewhere beneath the tears and the sweat and the spew covered pajamas I realised I had no idea why I was really crying. Why was I crying? I don’t know. Hormones, maybe. Sleep deprivation, definitely. Self deprecation, most likely.

Bo and I have been having a bit of a battle of the wills, a battle that has ended in her sleeping (much to her distaste and making her already awful catnapping, worse) in her porta-cot 75% of the time. We have always been a co-sleeping family, it was a cultural decision we made right from the very beginning. She slept with me in the little single hospital bed on our very first night together. But in the past week her already terrible sleeping has become worse, if that’s possible. And for the very first time in her four and half months of life did I find myself getting cross in the middle of the night. Cross at both of us for not being sound asleep. Cross with myself mostly, for feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. With her ability to roll from back to front, and just this week having mastered the ability to also roll from front to back, she is unstoppable. So in the middle of the night I had a baby who was rolling all over the place, headbutting me, grabbing me, moaning and groaning and turning herself upside down… all in a semi-sleeping state. I sleep extraordinarily lightly these days, so I’ve never worried about not hearing her or rolling on her or any such thing. I’ve always had one ear on her but this was becoming a bit much. So instead of going completely mental I picked her up, put her in her travel cot, walked away and had a mini breakdown on the tiles of our kitchen floor. What am I doing? I kept saying to myself. I have no idea how to handle this… And then the guilt comes, because I want her in the bed, I know she likes to be close to me, I know she wants it… I want it too. We are still technically co-sleeping, with her at the foot of the bed, but currently not bed-sharing and I honestly don’t know quite how I feel about it right now. But for now, I sleep better with her in the cot, and that’s better for both of us right now. Where we will go from here, I don’t know yet.

There are those gigantic shoes again, my little feet just keep getting lost in. And I know the advice I would give to other mama’s… take it easy, relax, you’re both just learning, you’re doing the right thing, trust yourself… don’t worry that you are doing it differently to other mama’s, have a little faith… but it’s always harder to listen to your own advice. I’m just happy that we don’t have a bookshop for me to go and stick my head in some parenting book and come up for air even more lost and self-deprecating than when I started! I am currently self-banned from Google as we work through this little bump our way. I want so badly to trust myself, to trust my ability to parent my child, to trust that together we will find the right way for her and for us. And most of the time I do, today as I write this post I do… but there are moments…

But I can’t help coming back to many interactions I’ve had with other women, mothers, grandmothers, mothers-to-be all with their own advice and “lessons” I must learn. The many who seem surprised my four and a half month child is not sleeping through the night, all regaling stories of their children, grandchildren, brothers neighbours darling one who was certainly without-a-doubt sleeping through the night by now.

Motherhood for me invokes an incredible combination of love, self awareness and a new trust in myself that sometimes (mainly at 3am in the morning) wanes. It is my social conditioning that draws me back to books, to lessons, to the “right” way, to my cultural expectations… to doubting myself. To putting new pressures on myself to become the super mama, the one who can do it all… to creating those super big shoes that my tiny feet struggle to fill.

At times like this I can’t do much more than hold this precious little person and breathe… knowing that even though I miss the person I was before, I wouldn’t go back and the only way from here on in is forward – sleep or no sleep. In the wise words of a good friend of mine, it’s these 3am moments that I have to remind myself, this too will pass.


One a lighter note, the winner of the awesome bra give-away is…Kirsty Phillipson-Lowe. Congratulations Kristy!!! We will send you an email to link you up with Emma-Jane Maternity so that you can pass on your details and get that package shipped right out to you!


As always you can vote for us here – should you be so inclined 😉


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  • July 4, 2012 - 7:10 am

    Meegs - Welcome to the 4-month wakeful period… it is so very very normal, and so endlessly exhausting and frustrating and exasperating! It passes, I promise! You are doing amazing mama. Keep listening to yourself (take it easy, relax, you’re both just learning, you’re doing the right thing, trust yourself… don’t worry that you are doing it differently to other mama’s, have a little faith…), and this too shall pass. Hugs.ReplyCancel

  • July 4, 2012 - 8:24 am

    RuZaid - You really are doing wonderfully Sash. I will say it again, even though I know you know it. What you are going through is normal. Every Mother has those ‘on the kitchen floor’ moments. And when you have had little to no sleep, everything seems worse than it is. But saying that I am not trying to downplay or minimise it. It really is hard at times. Both Bo and you will be fine if she sleeps in the portacot some of the time. DO NOT feel guilty about it. She is a very loved, very happy baby. And she knows that, even in the portacot 😉 xxxReplyCancel

  • July 4, 2012 - 8:47 am

    Rochelle - Oh Sash – I had tears in my eyes reading this. These Super mummies you speak of? they don’t exist darling heart. If they do, then they are just like you and me. They have moments, hours, days, weeks like these. We do.
    We survive by doing whatever it takes to get through the next minute or day. We survive by the love and help of our loved ones and friends. Unbelievably, it does get so much easier.
    Hang in there, every tough day/night that passes, brings you closer closer closer to that magical night when she will sleep the whole night through.

    I’m incredibly proud of you miss. To have known you for a short time, to be reading your blog, supporting you from my little seaside town in Norwest WA.

    Sending loads of love, light and laughter, and sea containers full of sleeeeep to you and H and Bo 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 5, 2012 - 9:00 am

    Sabrina - Hi Sash,

    Firstly – awesome blog. love your writing, honest and simple, a no frills kinda way.

    secondly – you are doing a great job with Bo. being a mama aint easy. there is no parenting book that can tick all our boxes. i’ve read some parenting books and thought to myself i can write better advice! but thats just it. what you’re doing, if its right for you and bo, is the best kind of parenting because it works for the both of you. and thats all that matters. that it works for you and bo. I still co sleep with my 10 month old and he’s still breastfeeding so i can count on 1 hand the nights i’ve had uninterrupted sleep. I try to be super mama, thinking that the definition of super mama is something that other people impose on me. but its not. being a super mama is something that I define. so if at the end of the day, i know my son is happy, fed and clean, then I’m happy.

    bo is a beautiful baby, and you’re a great mama! jangan susah hati Sash 🙂ReplyCancel

  • July 6, 2012 - 3:46 am

    Rebecca - please don’t be so hard on yourself. One thing my 6 month old teaches me everyday is to listen to what she needs and not i think she/i need. Bo might need to sleep alone now even though it’s not what you had in mind. And that’s ok. Also my baby only sleeps for 4 hours at a time and is a gymnast in her sleep.ReplyCancel

  • July 10, 2012 - 11:39 pm

    Seun AJan - Please take a look at this article I wrote about this new app that really works and helps you go to bed with ease and peace of mind.

    Sleep Bug, the Sleeping App that Rocks everyone including Babies to Sleep

    There are a lot of apps out there that claim to wake you up in the morning, and there are some apps out there that claim to help you go to bed at night. Sleep Bug is the only app out there that is available on four different platforms (iPhone, iPad, iPod, and windows phone 7 smartphones) that not only claim to help you fall asleep but ensures you will in a peaceful manner. This app is for grownups, teenagers, kids and most important of all, babies.
    If you an adult, chances are that you have a job that starts early in the morning. As a result, getting enough rest the night before is essential to prevent you from taking short naps at work, which could result in an overall decrease in your work output. Having this app will help you go to bed in a peaceful manner, and will have you up and refreshed the next morning. If you are a parent, you can recommend Sleep Bug to your children or love ones.
    We all love babies, and having one brings about the greatest feeling in the world, but their non stop crying can be a little irritating and can also make it harder to go to bed. Fortunately, Sleep Bug can also be used for babies. Mom and Dad can share a phone which has Sleep Bug installed, and their baby can use the other phone which also has Sleep Bug installed. Sleep Bug has a variety of sound options; each having its own list of variation. This creates an opening for trial and error to see which sound combination works best for the baby. If you want to peacefully go to sleep every night and wake up refreshed every single morning, then Sleep Bug is the App to have. You can learn more about the app and also download it from their official website-

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