Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Too Tired to Come Up With a Title

I can't remember the last time I got a full 8 hours of sleep. It must have been before the baby was born, but the last few months of pregnancy didn't give me a full 8 hours, either. I'm guessing it's been at least 8 months or so?

It's taking it's toll. I think I've seriously hit a wall mentally because of the lack of sleep.

Some would tell me to let my child cry it out. He's too young for that (I'm against forced crying, anyway). And besides, it's not like he stays up all night. I nurse him, he goes back to sleep. And it's not every hour --he sleeps 2-5 hours in between each feeding.

Some would tell me to make Brandon get up with him instead of me (to teach him to sleep without nursing). Brandon can't afford exhaustion like I can. I'm home all day and if I choose to be in my pajamas and doze on the couch while the kids watch TV, I can. He cannot. It's not about antiquated gender roles --it's logic.

Some would tell me to just deal with it because I chose motherhood. They are right --and I am. I'm not really complaining, just stating facts about the results from lack of sleep.

Those results are hard. It means I'm more irritable and prone to anger. It means I'm more vulnerable to my depression. It means I'm more forgetful.


Last night at #2's soccer game, as I was setting up some chairs on the grass, another family came over and set up their chairs right in front of me, scooting over and shoving me out. Instead of assuming "oh, they need more room" or "oh, they must have been here first" I was rude and said some rude things and angrily moved dramatically to a different spot. With a baby strapped to me. With my embarrassed kids with me. Seriously, so juvenile. Although, when I think about it, the rude things were muttered, and the dramatically moving might not have been as dramatic as I remember. But still! I knew I was acting like a child.

And speaking of acting like a child, the other day I flipped out and yelled at the kids for nearly 30 minutes over chores.

I cannot carry on a conversation with normal people without forgetting the meaning of words. I grasp for vocabulary and it eludes me. I'm only 33 years old --I know it's not dementia! And yet I can't seem to remember the simplest of syntax.

My exhaustion has bred apathy and guilt. I'm too tired to clean (or fold laundry?) and so I'm simply plodding along, doing the best I can, but because my best right now is so far below any of my standards, I feel guilt. The guilt then pushes me to blitz clean, but then that's when the yelling at the children occurs. Then I feel more guilt, and so I apologize, repent, and decide that nothing is better than emotional abuse, so apathy sets in. And the apathy creates more mess, and we start all over again. And it's not just with cleaning the house --it's with cooking dinner (hotdogs, anyone?), tracking my WW points (I quit WW this week because of it), and finding/doing activities with/for my kids (who wants to watch another episode?!)

I forget to do simple things like paying a bill or returning a phone call or replying to an email or message. I forget when the kids last bathed. I forget a lot of stuff. In fact, I've forgotten what else I've forgotten!

But I am grateful that I haven't completely lost my mind (although it feels close), and I'm grateful how I know my baby will grow out of this stage. In a year or two, I'll have forgotten what it was like to have no sleep (haha! Get it? "Forgotten"?!? Hahahaha... sigh). How do I know this? It happened the other 5 times. This, too, shall pass. It always does.


Amanda D said...

I bet it wont even take a year or two. It wont be long until baby is sleeping 6+ hours at a time and what a difference that will make. It gets better!

siobhan said...

oh, wow, this hits home! so often, i catch myself realizing how much better i would be acting if only i wasn't so sleep-deprived. you need to put that baby in your bed and nurse him while lying down! it's seriously a sanity saver and will get you so much more sleep. they've done copious studies that compare how a baby sleeps in another room, in the same room as mom and dad, and in close proximity to mom and dad. sleeping close to a parent nets the best sleep for baby (and thus for mom and dad!).

know that you're not alone. heavens, you're not alone!

MamaMia said...

Cheryl, I'm no mom but I don't think that it makes any logical sense for you to be exhausted either. The kids need you to be present, too. I once watched a show about how stay-at-home moms are often less present for their kids than working moms because they are less likely to take care of themselves physically and emotionally. Give yourself a break. Let Brandon take the baby for a couple nights. You're an equal partnerships. You deserve it.

flip flop mama said...

I can so relate and A is sleeping through the night! I can't think clearly most of the time. I'm looking forward to the time when I can have my mind back. Hopefully I won't be too old before that happens!

The Wright Family said...

It's nice to hear that you are human.

Cheryl said...

Brandon doesn't lactate. Until that happens, he can't take the baby for a couple of nights. ;) And equal doesn't mean same --never has, never will (never should!).

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

To everything there is a season...this is not your season to sleep. :)