You know how when your kid is a baby and bedtime is such a challenge and when they’re FINALLY asleep you’re like, “OH MY GOD I CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL THAT’S NOT SUCH A CHORE ANY MORE.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but it may be more than a decade before you get there.
We have lost all control of bedtime and sleeping situations at my house. And there are so many factors to blame it’s an impossible thing to fix easily. But last night it just hit me: This is officially a giant mess and I have GOT to start getting bedtime under control again.
I guess the FIRST factor that started messing things up had two parts. Part 1: Nikki was scared and wanted someone to lay down with her at night. Part 2: My mattress was terrible and Donnie and I are not very sleep compatible. Those two things together meant that I ended up just falling asleep with Nikki most nights and not caring enough to go back to my own bed. Donnie likes to watch TV to fall asleep and I like silence and darkness. I also am a light sleeper so if I fall asleep somewhere, I’m probably not going to move because my subconscious knows I’ll never make it back to sleep again in the new location, I’ll jut be awake for the day.
And that’s how I kinda accidentally started the trend of me sleeping in bed with Nikki.
Now! We did get a new mattress but Donnie and I still aren’t super sleep compatible so most nights I’ve been very slow to change the routine.
That was Problem 1.
Then there’s Problem 2: Wesley’s leg cramps which have ALWAYS been a problem but not a consistent one. Some weeks he never wakes up, other weeks it’s 2-3 times in one week. I can usually see a growth spurt surrounding the surge, but sometimes I think it’s just an increase in activity or exhaustion.
Recently we’ve added a new problem to the mix. Problem 3: Wes is now scared to sleep by himself. And the fear seems pretty intense as sometimes it’s even branched out to him not wanting to be in any room by himself. This fear is legitimately intense and as someone who had CRAZY fears as a child, I know had debilitating those can be.
And then the final problem…Problem 4: I’m trying to adjust bedtimes. The kids have been CRANKY in the mornings. REALLY cranky. BAD cranky. So we’re trying to get them to sleep by 8:30 now instead of 9pm. And they are fighting this HARD CORE. Last night Wes and I fought over bed time for a good 30 minutes which basically pushed us back into his old bedtime.
So…add all of these problems together and I’ve not made it to ACTUAL sleep before 9pm for quite a while…and I’ve been waking up 3am or earlier…AND almost EVERY night involves at least ONE kid waking up out of pain, fear, or general restlessness.
I’m now looking at the concept of 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep like the holy grail…something I desperately want but might be simply an unattainable legend. Add stupid shit – like plates falling from walls at 2am – into the mix and I have decided that the universe is simply conspiring against me. I’ve always been very open about my need for sleep – about how I can feel a complete unraveling if I don’t get at least – AT LEAST – 7 hours of sleep for more than 2 days in a row. It only takes two days of less than 7 hours for me to completely come apart and here we are at a whole week of just shitty night after shitty night and y’all? IT IS NOT PRETTY.
It doesn’t help that my husband has a ton of work chaos right now so I’m down to solo-parenting many nights so even if I was good at asking for help (I’m not) there’s no one to really ask for help because he’s running on even less sleep than I am right now. But I feel like I’m at that point where I need a warning label across my forehead: WARNING: Contents Volatile. Because when I’m this sleep deprived I’m prone to extremely emotional reactions to everything.
Basically – what I’m saying – is be kind to people you meet on the street today. You don’t know which one of them is holding her exhausted shit together by a very tiny thread.