One of the most challenging things about managing small bundles of fun is the fact their neural circuitry is brand new and developing very quickly. A key part of development at this stage is bonding with their parents. The last few weeks have been quite hard when Ursula has spent large chunks of time in my sole presence being very un-happy and wanting Mum (who I've been trying to let have some sleep). Understandably at this point she is most familiar with Fliss as well as having a fairly base urge for the milky goodness only she can provide. It hasn't helped that I've been working hard so not always been able to get home in time for the evening bath and bed ritual.
This combined with lack of sleep has seen me reach a fairly low ebb of late. In fact it's possible I've had a glimpse of the lack of emotional state that someone with depression has to deal with on a more regular basis. I was certainly hard pressed to remember the last feeling of emotion I'd had for some time.
It was fortunate then the jubilee weekend celebrations saw us visiting Leominster for M&T's wedding anniversary. Being able to spend time with both Ursula and so many of my old friends from Manchester was an excellent tonic for my depressed mood. What was even more useful was being able to chat to fellow parents who had already been down this particular road and were more than reassuring. I didn't realise quite how much I'd been bottling up worries about my parental abilities and it was good talk about it.
Of course now with those worries put aside for now we are tackling the next emotional roller coaster of trying to instill a regular sleep pattern in our dear daughter. Much as it is satisfying to successfully rock a previously fractious baby to sleep it's not a long term viable solution. Ursula will have to learn to "self-sooth" and get herself to sleep without her parents. The process however is fraught and there is a lot of conflicting theories on the best way to achieve this. Suffice it to say it's not been overly popular with Ursula herself and the resulting wobbly lipped tantrums have been taking their toll on us. We are trying to maintain perspective and keep our eyes on the long term goals. Wish us luck!