Tuesday, November 16, 2010

She Sleeps!

I credit Jessica Honegger.  (www.noondaycollection.com)  She told me to take charge of my daughter's sleep and a few days ago I did.  This morning was my second day to wake up after sleeping eight plus hours straight.  Is there anything more amazing as a mom of young children than several consecutive hours of sleep?  It changes everything. I can do anything.  I can be anything....even kind to my kids.
Other than adjusting to the overall shock of life being consumed by the care of a small human being, lack of sleep is the most challenging part of life with kids.  I never realized how much I took for granted being able to feel tired, decide to go lay down, and go to sleep.  Being able to rest for consecutive hours at night is priceless.

I can not fully describe the amount of energy and time I have spent dedicated to getting my children to sleep over the past 5 years. I have spent hours and hours reading books and articles on how to most successfully get your kids to sleep at night and keep them that way.  I have created all sorts of anxiety for myself over the disruption to our routine as it relates to sleep, the idea of messing up anything that is working brings me to tears.  I immediately panic about any activity planned during nap time or after bedtime.  I am easily sleep spooked and hope that I can fully recover from it by the time Stella is 5...or 20.

There is no faster way to bring out the rage in me than to jack with my children's sleep.  Just ask my father. When Aiden was about 1 year old, my dad went into the room where Aiden was asleep to kiss him goodnight, after I had explicitly told him not to, for fear of waking him up again after I had a particularly rough time getting Aiden to sleep.  My father disregarded my wishes and Aiden woke up screaming moments after he left his room.  I proceeded to march up to my father and cuss him out, something I had never done in my life.  Unfortunately this provided my father with all sorts of amusement rather than fear and he still brings up how I spouted off all sorts of four letter words at him....he finds is hilarious.  My boys are often the brunt of this rage when they wake Stella.  Cole has a new fascination with going into her room and climbing into her crib with her, regardless of whether she is awake or not.  He is headed for serious hurt from me if this continues.

The truth is though that the lack of sleep combined with the emotional toll of parenting is more than I can handle most of the time.  There are lots of theories about sleep, but I know what I am comfortable with and what I am not. It is not OK with me to only get a few hours of sleep for months on end. I can't handle sleeping in the bed with my children rather than my husband so that they will go to sleep.  I can't get up and rock them or sing to them every 3 hours so that I don't have to hear them cry.  I need my down time and most importantly I need my sleep.  So, even though Saturday night was rough.  I am sooooo grateful to that Jessica Honegger for reminding me that sleep can happen.  Two nights of sleeping all night and I might soon conquer the world....or at least not scream as much at my kids.  Oh happy day!  Let's see how night three goes. 

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I'm Shannon, Kekoa's mom. He's in Aiden's class. My baby Ginger is 8 months old and does not sleep either. She wakes up every couple of hours and has for 8 months. She is so attached to me!!Kekoa was a great sleeper. My other daughter Oliana was born blind, so sleep has always been an issue. She stays up for hours on end!! But, that's a whole other story. I would love to hear how you got Stella to sleep. I hate hearing Ginger cry at night so I'm hoping you can give me some advice, and some "it's okay, I've been there". Thank you.

Shannon Gardner