Over the next few weeks, the Rock of Feather blog will be covering the "ten most annoying things" relating to a whole variety of issues we have to experience as parents. From sleeping to teething, from potty training to weaning, we will be reminding you why it's such bloody hard work bringing up a child.
So, here is part 1, our 10 most annoying things to do with sleep:
1) When someone tells you to "sleep when they sleep". Because yes, it's really easy to turn off your brain and render yourself unconscious at the flick of a switch, especially when you know full well either that your child will wake up in 20 minutes or that if you sleep now you will lose your only opportunity of the day to eat.
2) When you seek help for your sleep fighting baby or toddler from a sleep expert or sleep site, only for them to tell you that your child is either getting too little or too much sleep. And oh, by the way, there's no way of telling which one it is.
3) When someone without a child tells you they didn't sleep very well last night. Really?! REALLY?! Try breastfeeding every 45 minutes during a 12 hour period, changing bedding eight times a night when your child has a stomach bug or being woken up by a night wandering toddler on the hour, every hour every night for two months. Then you'll know what not sleeping very well actually means, you clueless, childless numskull.
4) A late night does not equal a lie in. Surely it is logical that if you put your baby to bed later, they wake up later? Right? Isn't that one of the rules of physics?! Oh nooooo. For some inexplicable reason, it's the other way around. So even if your knackered toddler lasts until 10pm at your cousin's wedding after dancing solidly for 3 hours, it doesn't matter. They will still be wide awake at 6.30am. Even better though, they'll be bloody miserable to boot.
5) When someone tells you gleefully that the clocks are going back and that this will result in an extra hour in bed. Well not for you it won't, my friend. Whatever military operation you put together to try to prevent that mere 60 minute time difference from having an impact on your already chaotic life, you can guarantee that the simple act of changing the clocks (a concept clearly invented by a man without children) will wreck havoc on your life for at least a week. And whichever way the clocks go, it makes no difference: you WILL lose sleep.
6) Discovering that you have to teach a newborn how to sleep. How f-ing ridiculous. Surely it would make much more sense (and save our sanity) if we were genetically pre-programmed to WANT to sleep. And that we had to teach our babies how to wake up. How delightful that would be.
7) When someone offers you a lie-in to enable you to "catch up" on sleep. Do they not realise that you need to sleep for at least A WHOLE YEAR to become a normal human being again?
8) When someone recommends an Angelcare movement monitor as a wonderful way of reassuring you that your baby is breathing. What they don't tell you is that they were actually designed by sadists hoping to send you to an early grave by giving you a heart attack every time your baby rolls off the sensor and the alarm goes off at 2am.
9) Realising that all the things that send babies off to sleep actually make no sense whatsoever. If you were put in a strait jacket, forced to listen to white noise and bounced up and down by a clingy and neurotic woman who smelt of off milk, would you go to sleep? No, you would think you were in a horror movie sicker than the Human Centipede.
10) Being told that unless your baby sleeps on their back, in their own bed, with the right amount of clothing and in a room that maintains a constant temperature of 18 degrees, you'll be lucky if your baby makes it through its first six months. In fact, judging by current recommendations, it's amazing the human race has lasted as long as it has. Who would have thought we lived in a cave for a million years?