I am all done with taking care of kids late into the night. All done. Finished. Kaput. Throwing in the towel. Calling in the big dogs. Done.
Megan is up. It is 10:58 pm. This is her third night in a row to be up. Monday she went down at 7:30 pm, woke at 10 pm, and was up until 1:30 am. Tuesday, she went down at 7:30 pm, woke at 11 pm and was up until 3 am! Granted, she is sick. She has a runny nose and a slight fever. Most likely teething from the swollen gum lines that I can clearly see from Mars. Poor baby.
BUT THAT IS NO EXCUSE!!
Because I am onto her. And my other children. Every time I manage to get more than three hours of sleep at night, they punish me relentlessly by teething, getting sick, having an upset stomach, or other ailments that can be proven by thermometer and prescriptions, but is obviously a ploy.
I am tired of it.
I honestly can not remember the last time I slept eight hours. Maybe I have crawled into bed, exhausted from taking kids back to bed, feeling foreheads, changing icky diapers, and just holding and calming, at 2 am or 3 am and gotten to sleep until 7 am – and if I am lucky, 8 am. That is a good night, and very, very rare. But if I do have one of those nights, I still have my husband getting up at 5 am or 6am and almost always waking me up. Not because he means to. It is just how I am programmed now. Movement in the house? I am on it!
I could just cry.
You know? That frustrated, I have tried everything, am at a complete loss, just make it stop, frustration that leads to tears, cry? The cry that starts in my belly, tracks to my lungs, and comes spewing out of my tensed shoulders, taking my breath away, along with any control over emotion that may have been hanging by a thread.
The lack of sleep is ruining my personality. Seriously. I can’t focus, am detached from my daily routine – probably sleep deprived depression, have no energy to do what I want to do, and am really hard to live with. Ask my husband. He sees the correlation and tries to help. He gives me nights to sleep. And I appreciate it. But he is a hard sleeper and almost never hears the kids when they get up. And even if he did, they seek me out. Banging on locked doors at 1 am, begging for my attention.
I have a weight problem because of my lack of sleep. I do. I can’t lose it because I binge late night as an, “I feel sorry for myself snack.” and I crave unhealthy things that I am too tired to fight. Every diet in the world says get eight hours of sleep a night. I am here to tell you… without sleep, dieting is useless! USELESS!
And then there is the guilt. The guilt of knowing that my kids are not sleeping well either. Guilt fueled by people telling me that they followed a plan, or a book, or a better, more superior schedule than I do. Their kids sleep through the night. Their kids slept through the night at three months and have never woken since. They are thin, happy, well rounded, and have the energy to have an amazing sex life. I respect them. I really do. They got it right. I did not.
But before the barrage of great advice comes my way, which I will appreciate and listen to – honest, I will – I want to say that I do do cry it out. I do the put them back in bed without a word thing. I do the taking toys away thing. I do the ignore them thing. I do every single little thing that I have ever heard someone even slightly mention to try, thing. I have. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they work well. On one or two kids.
And then one gets sick. Or has a nightmare. Or pees out of their Pull up. Or misses me.
And I am up. Again. For the fourth year in a row. At a loss. Feeling like a night time failure. Knowing it is damaging me. Knowing I know better. Knowing that this post alone will raise eyebrows at my parenting skills.
And knowing one day, they won’t need me at night. And I will miss it.
But, I’ll be honest…. it seriously sucks right now!