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The Question of Sleep

January 11, 2011

I’m going to leave aside the blog name for a moment because right now I don’t actually give a shit what this blog is called. Though, to be honest, “Rage Against the Baby” is seeming apt.

I haven’t told you the whole epic sleep story but for now suffice to say my kid doesn’t sleep well. This was a major fear of mine going into parenthood, and I actually had no idea how bad it would be. There are theories about what causes someone to get postpartum depression, from chemistry to genetics to a birth experience that didn’t go as you’d have wished and so on. I think genetics plays a part for me, but I honestly think the major culprit for me is sleep. I just do not cope when I’m overtired.

Today was one of those days.

I didn’t sleep at all well on Saturday night or last night when I was on monitor duty. (My husband and I alternate nights so we only have to get up every other night.) On Saturday a series of four wake-up freak-outs in a row had me waving the white flag and allowing a wiggling child to sleep with me. Just didn’t want to deal with it all night. He slept. Me? Not so much.

Last night he was up over and over again until 5:30 at which time I gave up and brought him in with me. This is usually a sanity-preserving strategy rather than one designed to get me more sleep, because I generally can’t fall asleep again at that time of the morning. But today he did his usual wiggle, settled down and I crashed.

I know. Tell me that bringing him into bed with me is just prolonging the problem. Tell me that I haven’t been strict enough, or consistent enough, or whatever enough in the middle of the night and that’s why he’s a crappy sleeper. Trust me, I know. When I’m not tired (well, relatively speaking) I am much better at this. But when I’m tired, and especially when it’s been going on for weeks and weeks despite taking a consistent approach, I just do not have the strength.

Problem is, it actually doesn’t help the big picture either. I think this progression of tweets from today sums it up quite nicely.

First thing this morning, the tired tweet:

Alone in my quiet office when I still have a sense of humour:

Home. Following disagreement with my husband about potty training and two meltdowns from the kid:

And finally, how I always seem to let this ruin my day:

I did choose to hit ‘publish’ on this, obviously, because my question is this: WHY? Why is this so hard sometimes? All of it. I have no idea really why this kid doesn’t sleep better. He’s had good stretches in the past but overall he’s been a nightmare. I also have no idea why this makes such a huge difference to how well I can, or can’t, cope. Noticing this, acknowledging it, realizing it’s temporary – all of those things sometimes help me to cope in the moment and just do the mama stuff I need to do and then go to sleep. But on days like today, it doesn’t matter. Rage wins and my white flag comes out.

Why?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 9:16 pm

    Sleep issues is a huge aspect of my life in regards to my two kids. Seriously.

    And everyone else in my life that I know either have kids who sleep perfectly or who don’t feel all that affected by the sleep issues that occur.

    Not me. In fact, because it makes me so bonkers, and started in the depth of my PPD back in the day, my husband took over complete night duties. I got a sound machine going, a closed door, and sleeping straight through. (When he can’t handle the stress or the child of the moment refuses anyone but mom, he’ll let me know and I will totally handle it).

    Sleep for me is huge. Or should I say, lack of sleep is a huge trigger.

    I can soooo relate right now. Glad to feel I’m not alone!!!

  2. Briegh permalink
    January 12, 2011 4:46 pm

    Rage Despite the Baby. Rage Amongst the Baby. Rage Amidst the Baby. Have Baby, Will Rage.

    xoxo. Love you.

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