My Sisters and their Brother in August 2016

As I type this is it is half past nine on Sunday night and I have left writing this post till the last minute as usual. I am so tired that I can feel my eyes closing as I write it. I’m that kind of tired where it almost makes you feel a bit poorly, just that general run down kind of exhaustion where you have no energy whatsoever.  Mr E is upstairs comforting a crying sad baby and I am downstairs feeling all kinds of drained. For the first time since he was born I have admitted defeat and after him basically making me so sore from constantly feeding and pulling away crying as he is so overtired for the best part of the evening, I have left it to Mr E to rock him and I have come downstairs and had a little cry, pulled myself together and carried on.

We’ve been struggling with our baby boy’s sleep for a while now. Of course when all my babies were newborns, their sleep was a bit hit and miss, but they slowly started to go longer and longer stretches and by nearly four months which our baby boy is now, both the girls were almost sleeping through. It wasn’t a definite sleeping well every single night at that stage, but it certainly was a lot better than it is for us currently. Our baby boy got a little better at sleeping, only for the last couple of weeks suddenly to just revert back to worse than when he was a newborn. He is waking every couple of hours at the start of the evening, before become really unsettled around 2am where he will just come in our bed and feed/sleep/feed/sleep till morning. He just cannot settle himself back to sleep without being fed and he’s also a really light sleeper.

I’m at that point of desperation to be perfectly honest. I am rocking him to sleep, feeding him to sleep, feeding him constantly in the early hours of the morning even though he’s not hungry and just wants the comfort, I am doing all I can to even get a little sleep. But I am still so very tired and in turn I know that I am making him develop these stronger sleep attachments. I don’t really agree with the ‘rod for your own back’ statement, as babies sleep changes so much over the course of a year, but I also know that what I am doing now to this extent isn’t particularly good for either of us.  

I actually relish the sleepy cuddles and him coming in our bed, I have hindsight on my side to know it won’t last forever, it’s not that bit that bothers me, but I just want him to sleep a bit of a longer stretch. His longest sleep usually comes at about 8pm until around 11 or 12am, but this is when I need to work, so it is a bit of a vicious circle. I know it will get better, all these things are just ‘stages’ but at the moment I am just so very tired. I think it’s more the fact I need to work and the unpredictability means I never know if I’m going to be able to get anything done, and if he does go to bed at a reasonable time, I end up having to stay up so late trying to get things done.

Anyway this isn’t meant to be a post about sleep or lack of, but more the fact that I am really realising how different babies can be. Our girls are so different now, like chalk and cheese, but as babies they were actually quite similar. They both were pretty chilled out, smiley, slept pretty well and followed similar patterns. This little boy of ours is a completely different kettle of fish. Luckily he is the most smiley and chilled out of the lot during the day, it is just night it is a different story. But I do find it really fascinating that they can be bought up in exactly the same way, yet be so very different too.

For all the temporary (I hope!) tiredness, I am absolutely loving this time with our baby boy. I feel like for the most part (bar this evening) I am more chilled out and relaxed about everything this time round. I am absolutely loving having a baby in the house again, and this baby boy is doted on by everyone in our house. His sister’s couldn’t be better with him and I am so incredibly proud of them. He is the missing piece of our jigsaw and we all adore having him in our lives.

It’s the summer holidays of course and therefore the three of them are getting to spend lots of time together. Mads is still the most affectionate big sister, constantly wanting to hold him and love him, but LL is creeping up the rear. If he ever cries she will shout me and say ‘Mummy! Baby wants booby!’ which never fails to make me smile. If he is on his mat I will come down and find one or both of them there lying on it next to him, and LL often gives him her toys to play with as well. It’s just those little things that make up our day to day, but they really are so sweet to watch. They love him so very much and in turn he rewards them with lots of smiles and inquisitive looks.

It goes without saying that my girls are still so close. In fact their relationship is incredibly intense. They are either the very best of friends, which happens luckily 70% of the time, or they are arguing. Their arguments can stem over anything but are quite amusing to watch as they are such typical sibling squabbles. Their usual Friday sleepover has been upgraded over the summer holidays and they sleep in a bed together most nights. It takes them ages to go to sleep but it is the summer and this is how memories are made.

I do think any more children than two is often quite fascinating to others. I must admit know I was the same before we had three. When we are out and about we do get the whole ‘You’ve got your hands full’ or ‘How do you cope with three?’ or even ‘You’re brave’, especially if we are travelling or on an airplane or something like that. But in all honesty three doesn’t seem like any extra work than two. Yes having a baby can bring it’s challenges, as can having a five year old or three year old. But collectively together it doesn’t seem to be harder work having three. There are times where it all feels a bit hectic and crazy, but I think it would feel like that if we only had two.

These photos were taken in Portugal, where we went for a long weekend (which was a little crazy of us!) at the start of the month. I have lots of photos and a video to edit when I get out of my fog of tiredness, but in the meantime I had these on my camera and just had to share them. The resort we were staying was up in the mountains and as a result the sun disappeared really quickly behind them, so in the evening once we had dinner I often didn’t have time to take any photos. Luckily on the last night we had dinner later, so we took advantage of the sun being low to take some of my favourite golden hour shots. The only place that still had sun was a random pathway in the hotel, not that you could tell from these.

I love these photos and the tenderness the girls are showing their little brother. I feel so very thankful and lucky that we travel with our children and we get to share these moments together. It isn’t always easy travelling with children and I do get anxious sometimes, but we will always continue to do it if we can as already the girls, especially Mads have picked up such a fascination for the world around us. On our return flight home, we arrived home at 11pm and the lady who was sat next to me on the plane, turned to me and said ‘Your children are incredibly well behaved, you should be so proud,’ which in turn made the family in front say the same as our baby boy was grinning away at them.

And that’s the thing. Parenting is never easy. Children are never good as gold. They all have their moments. We have our bad days. But we also have far more many good ones. These babies of mine make me tired. They make me frustrated. They make me feel drained at times. Sometimes they even make me cry. But I look at these photos and my heart bursts with pride. It’s not always plain sailing, but it’s the biggest joy raising these three.

It will always, always be worth it. And I will always feel like the luckiest Mama in the world.

weekend_in_monchique_portugal_33 weekend_in_monchique_portugal_34 weekend_in_monchique_portugal_35 weekend_in_monchique_portugal_36 weekend_in_monchique_portugal_37 weekend_in_monchique_portugal_38

Head over to check out what Lucy, Amber, Carie and Keri-Anne and their lovely siblings have been up to.


32 Comments

  • Stunning photos Katie. Mads holds her brother with such ease, she looks older than her years. Having your trio in the pictures looks so natural now, like it was always meant to be. And with the sleep, my heart goes out to you. Alice was a great sleeper from 4 months too, but Holly took until 16 months to go through the night. Don’t worry about what you have to do to get some sleep for you and your boy, it won’t matter in the long run. I rocked Holly, brought her in with me and did everything I could for a few more minutes sleep and I didn’t ‘make a rod for my back’!! xx

  • Rosie says:

    This is a really lovely post, you have such a beautiful family, how proud you are of them shines through.

    It is true though, parenting isn’t plain sailing all the time. It’s actually one of the most testing things I think we ever do.

  • Ali says:

    Sleep deprivation is just horrible. Have you tried reversing your day by going to bed early and having a good block of sleep, but then getting up at 5am to do some work before the girls wake. Also, have you tried putting little man in his bed in your spare room with an intercom to see if he sleeps longer. Maybe it’s your restlessness that wakes him if he is a light sleeper. I did co-sleep with my first born, but didn’t do that with my 2nd and she did have a much better sleeping pattern. Beautiful pics Katir I can’t get over how grown up LL is looking.

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Katie,
    I feel for you, I really do. I can still remember that almost overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and I only had two! I’m sure you don’t need any advice as you are obviously doing a brilliant job but we had a book called ‘Why they cry’ – which is a fascinating insight into the stages of development in the first year and how this influences crying patterns. If nothing else it’s a brilliant read and very reassuring – it definitely fitted with what happened with our two. Sadly, I lent our copy to someone years ago or I would gladly have sent you mine but you can still pick up a second hand copy on amazon. It’s not a manual more of an explanation but we found it invaluable. Keep a smile on your dial – you’re doing such a great job!

  • Lucy says:

    Oh these photos are just beautiful Katie. And I agree, three definitely isn’t any more work than two was, it’s just different.
    And with regards to the sleep thing, have you looked at “core night method” as a means of trying weaning off the feeding to sleep thing? It’s a gentle sleep training method that can be done from quite a young age and I did it when Dylan hit the four month sleep regression with great success. I also think the thing with baby sleep, is you can’t really win. Everly was like your little man and did her longest stretch when she first went to bed so we always had an evening but then a broken night; and I would complain that I’d rather have it the other way with an unsettled evening and then a proper sleep. But then Ashlyn fitted that way round and I still stressed out about it, because as nice as it was to not have a broken nights sleep, we never had an evening or any time for me to work.
    I’d say be gentle with yourself, rest when and where you can. Look at some gentle sleep training. Getting naps consistent really helped with Quinny. Remember he is in the middle of a MASSIVE development leap right now and it will NOT last forever. And believe me when I say, he will sleep…!

  • Ellie says:

    I saw your post on Instagram this morning, and popped straight over to your blog for a read. Everything that you say about your little boy’s sleep, and in fact your girls’ sleep (I only have 1!), describes our little poppets almost exactly. My little boy, now 6 months, at best wakes 2 hourly and is actually getting worse. I think he’s slept for 3 hours twice, and 4 hours once, since he was born! He is in a sleepyhead in our room for the first part of the night and then in with me from 4am as he won’t settle. He nearly always wants to be fed to sleep, yet I know he isn’t hungry and he is often sick and distressed from drinking too much. I’m a week or so into weaning onto solids, not that I expect this to change anything. I also had a lame attempt at trying a dummy a couple of nights ago but when he looked at me with those “what are you doing to me wumman” eyes, I promptly gave up. Not very encouraging for you I know, but I share your pain and I will be keeping my eye on your posts in hope that you find the miracle cure. My gut feel is that I just need to sit it out, but 6 months in and I’m struggling to afford the daily Costa bill… x

  • Well I think you’re amazing! You wrote this late at night when you were tired and yet you wrote a long and articulate blog post. I’m so impressed. You come across as both determined and thankful. Sleep deprivation is your one big rotten problem, your lovely kids are clearly thriving. Best wishes to you for some more sleep soon.

  • Olivia Hinge says:

    Great to read your sleeping woes. I have a 3 month old, my first child and I co-sleep and feed her to sleep. So many people give opinions, especially the rod for your own back and you’ll never do any of that with your second….. Bah keep your opinions to yourself!! X

  • Laura says:

    These are gorgeous photos. Mads is such a little Mummy which is so cute! Hopefully your little boy will settle soon enough into a sleep filled night. It’s doesn’t last forever as you know but it is hard going when you are feeling sleep deprived. x

  • Your photos are so gorgeous, they always have the best light in them and the kids are so at ease and natural! Our first two didn’t sleep through until about a year, and we tried harder to get them into routine. Our third we just put straight into our bed and didn’t even look at the clock, and she slept through a lot earlier. I don’t think there’s any magic formula (literally or otherwise lol), it’s just pushing through the hard times. And you’re still managing to take great photos and write awesome stuff so you are doing amazingly.

  • Gem says:

    Great post!!! Just had my second and doing things a lot differently – listening to my instinct mainly and not listening to others who tell me about the rod for my own back rubbish! I listened to people the first time around and persevered with trying to put him down on his own and not let him feed to sleep and we had an awful time- nearly went round the bend with sleep deprivation! This time I’m co sleeping, rocking and feeding to sleep and find we’re getting on a lot better. I guess you find what works for you and go with that and don’t listen to anybody else – every baby is unique and their mama knows them best!

  • Such stunning shots to accompany a very beautiful post. I’m sorry your struggling with sleep, I don’t envy you that at all as I remember well how tough it can be. You’re right though, being a parent is worth it. Still, I hope it gets a teeny bit easier soon! Xx

  • Janine Dolan says:

    Love the outfits on your little ones. She’s so good at holding her baby brother.

  • OK, the sleep thing – my eldest two were both very wakeful in their own different ways (jury’s still out for the youngest but I’m sure he’ll be the same!) and a lot of how you described your littlest sounds very familiar. Over the years, I’ve learnt that it’s not really how THEY are sleeping that is the problem, but how happy I am about the impact it has on me. I’m always most frustrated with the sleep situation when life is stressful or I’m very busy with work, or at the point of exhaustion. Then it all calms down again and our little sleep routine doesn’t seem so bad. Four months or thereabouts is a notoriously bad time for sleep, perhaps ride it out for a few more weeks without worrying about rods and backs, and then if it looks like nothing is changing, work out what you ARE happy with and what you would like to change, and there is always a way to work towards it : )

  • Lovely photos as usual of your little threesome. Hope things get better soon on the sleep front! #siblingsproject

  • Caroline says:

    These are beautiful photos Katie, I hope you get a little more sleep soon. Arthur, my youngest was my worst sleeper at that age too. It does get easier but I know that isn’t much help whilst you are in the midst of sleepless nights. x

  • Alex Gladwin says:

    Oh Katie, I hope the sleep thing gets better soon. I can’t imagine how hard it is. Logan’s been waking up a lot during the night the past couple of months and it is absolutely draining, it’s starting to get a little better. It’s just not something I’m used to, Ethan has always loved his sleep.

    I love the way you write, even when you’re tired (you can’t even tell!) and I adore your photos as you know. You little three are just the cutest! No wonder you’re so proud! xx

  • These are such wonderful photos as always Katie – your break in Portugal looked amazing…and made me very envious because with moving house this month there aren’t going to be any holidays in the sun for us this year. I really hope the sleep thing improves for you soon. Gabe is one this week and still doesn’t sleep through – since we’ve moved he mostly only wakes up once though and I can cope with that. Toby was waking almost every night until he was about two and a half but he sleeps great now so I think I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ve probably still got at least another year of sleepless nights to come!

  • Jenny says:

    These are adorable and you can see the love and bond between them all. So sorry you aren’t getting the zzz’s babes it’s so hard when you are in the sleep deprived stage of baby life. You still are getting so much done and the kids are happy and thriving you are doing so much so I hope you are giving yourself A LOT of credit as you are so so amazing. I hope the sleep thing turns around. Won’t insult you by asking have you tried this and that but hopefully this phase won’t last long babes and you try to catch a nap with him if possible. Huge hugs I would so come and give you a night off if I lived closer so you can sleep restfully. I love that you can write such a beautifully written amazing blog post without sleep. I am impressed. You truly rock!

  • Kara says:

    As always dear Katie beautifully lit photos. Your 3 babies look more alike everyday.
    The last photo made me giggle a little as I think it looks like LL is showing Mads a booger she may have just picked xxx

  • Notmyyearoff says:

    I wish I could give you a big hug. We have rubbish sleep here right now and I’m not sure whether it’s teething or whether I need to do some kind of sleep training (which I will be totally rubbish at!). Hopefully your little man will start sleeping a lot more v v soon and the tired sleepy eyes will go away. The photos are just gorgeous and they all look like the perfect little group xx

  • Gorgeous photos, I love how the light is shining on them. Also loving the matching cactus outfits! x #siblingsproject

  • Gorgeous photos and I really feel for you with feeling so tired you feel sick. I need to sleep for about a week solid to feel any semblance of normal but sadly I just can’t! my 1 month old sounds like your 4 month old, maybe its a boy thing as Athena was and still is a perfect sleeper! Fingers crossed he learns to sleep for some longer stretches pronto! L

  • Katie you are the queen of the golden hour shots, these are sensational, I love them all. Your boy is so good at looking at the camera bless him. And your two big girls sound so similar to mine. We really should get them all together one day and the babies can meet up too. Great post xx

  • kerry norris says:

    This was lovely to read. The photos are all beautiful. The lighting is stunning. Just perfect x #siblingsproject

  • Mads says:

    What a lovely post! Your children are beautiful!

  • Natalie says:

    Sending love lovely sleep deprivation is so tough. Keep remembering that it won’t last forever. Gorgeous pictures you have such a beautiful family xxx

  • Lovely post Katie. I can totally relate when I was a Mama of three littles, all under 3 at that point but I get what you mean it can be tough but it just makes those sweeter moments even better. Love these photos. that light is stunning. x

  • Oh I really feel for you lovely- I shudder at the memories of 4 month sleep regression, but by 6 months it HAD passed, and even though we weren’t getting a full night’s sleep with F, it was much better. I think it’s harder when you have lots of other stuff to do as well in the evenings and adds to the frustration. You’re right to walk away and have a little breather when you need it, and let Mr E settle him. I remember feeling quite claustrophobic at times even when I loved the baby cuddles, and half an hour away did me the world of good. Hang on in there, you’re doing a great job! x

  • I am totally sleep deprived now and can’t even bear that it won’t be improving any time soon. But it is what it is I guess. I can’t believe how much he has changed already, he has a little face now – not a baby face but his face. Image of his sisters isn’t he? Glad they are still super close, I am so pleased that I am having the same mix- I would have worried about 3 girls I think xx #TheSiblingsProject

  • Louise says:

    It must be a boy thing because my son is such a light sleeper and even now he’s 6 months and is waking every 2-3 hours overnight. Hopefully it gets better for you! Beautiful photos as always, I really do love looking at the photos you put on your blog, they’re all so perfect and really capture the moment!

  • Carie says:

    Oh they are just so lovely together! The sleep thing is really hard but as Chloe says it’s always about what else you’re trying to do in the same time. Our littlest is still my snuggle bug and there are moments when I really wish he didn’t need me so much because I can see all the xyz that need doing, and yet it doesn’t bother me when there are less crazy urgent things to get done. You’re still in the early days though and I know you’ll find a way 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge