Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let's Talk about Sleep

What good is a personal blog if you can't rant about sleep (or, the lack of) once in a while?

I am tired. Tired. Apparently, I've been selected to parent children who do not sleep well. I thought Tory's poor sleep habits were isolated and hoped (wished! prayed!) Aden would be better. He is in some ways, like how I can lay him in his crib in the evenings and he'll fall asleep on his own. That's one big mistake I made with Tory, and I vowed not to make the same mistake again. The trouble is, Aden is still waking up every two hours, if not more often, throughout the night. Couple that with Tory who's also waking up several times a night and I'm basically bouncing from bedroom to bedroom all night long. I haven't slept more than three hours in a row in four-and-a-half months. Last night was seriously brutal and I slept in 45 minute clips until 3:00am when both my children finally passed the hell out. Until 5:00am. (Thank you, Aden).

I'm so tired I have no ambition to do anything extra. I want to blog, but I don't have the mental energy to write. I literally stare at the screen for three minutes and then shut the lid. Laundry? Piled high. Most days, clothes don't even make it into the laundry room; I just chuck them down the stairs. Cleaning? Forget about it. My floors are dirty and I'm so stinking tired of picking crumbs off the bottom of my feet. My dining room table is smeared in jelly. This afternoon I sat in a sticky something stuck to the table bench and I about cried. I don't have the energy to keep up with all this.

The bright side is I feel less stabby towards Andi this time around. He helps put Tory to sleep at bedtime and I do appreciate it. But, nighttime wake-ups are all me (unless I'm in the middle of feeding Aden and then I usually jab Andi until he goes in to Tory's room to comfort her back to sleep). I accept it as my responsibility to care for the children in the middle of the night as part of my role as stay-at-home-mother, and Andi runs a successful business so I know he needs rest. It is easier to cope being a SAHM and not having to work outside of the house everyday. I am grateful for that. Still, I am running on fumes over here. I try to keep a positive attitude and say things like, "This will get better! Eventually the kids will sleep ... even if it's not until they're 15!" (insert: nervous laughter)

Seriously. Will it though? The logical part of me knows it will (the days are long, but the years are short ... and all that jazz) but I am eyeball-deep in the fog right now and it feels like that scenario will never be true.

Sadly, I'm thankful when Andi informs me he's sleeping downstairs in the spare bedroom at night. Then, I don't feel guilty about the kids keeping him up all night and our bed's free for a kid(s) to sleep with me. It definitely easier (though only enabling the problem) to let Tory sleep beside me, or Aden if she has yet to stumble her way into the master bedroom. Andi and I bit the bullet and purchased a king-size bed that's being delivered on Thursday. I think we both realized this crap isn't getting better anytime soon, so we might as well accommodate more appropriately.

I have fears Aden's not getting enough to eat, that he's not starving but not satisfied either, and that's why he's not sleeping well. I don't have much of a milk supply and had the same issue with Tory when she was his age. I'll spare the details for now, but because of this fear I have a hard time letting him cry at night. I visited a lactation consultant last month and she gave me advice to try to boost my supply, so we'll see if that helps. I started offering Aden pumped breast milk /or formula to see if he's still hungry after a nursing session, but he doesn't seem to take much by bottle. If he's truly hungry during the night, which he seems to be every two to three hours, then I will nurse him. I can't very well be upset with him for not sleeping if he's hungry. But, I also don't want to train him to eat all throughout the night if he doesn't need it. So other times he wakes up in the night, I get up and give him back his pacifier. He seems so restless when I watch him lay in his crib and I think that's how he loses it so frequently.

There's really no point to this post other than to word-vomit how brain-dead I am to someone/no one. Both kids are in bed and Andi's downstairs with a stomach ache so I really should take this time to rest myself, but I know Aden will be up in the next 45 minutes to eat. Why bother, right? Remember the days pre-kids when you could lay in bed whenever you wanted, for as long as you liked? I should have enjoyed it more back then.


  1. Oh girl I so so so feel for you. Anna was a terrible sleeper until age 3 and Ethan isn't great. He's not as bad as Anna but still. At least Anna was sleeping through the night when he was born. You are a saint to be juggling 2. I always feed Ethan if he wakes in the night. I think if you offer formula or pumped milk then you shouldn't worry about your supply. Your doing the best you can. Ethan has been sleeping a bit better now after a turn for the worse for a while. It comes and goes in phases but I hope we're in a good loop. Cry it out has helped quite a bit. It's so so hard to do but it has helped. Hang in there. You can always email me if you are at the end of your rope. So many parents get sleeper kids and I surely didn't and you didn't either. And yours are closer together. So I feel for you. Hang in there.

  2. Also who cares about the sticky shit and the laundry. Whatever. It's hard to let it go but you'll get back on top of things eventually.

  3. I think when you get that little sleep, or even a good amount but in tiny increments, the rest of your life has to be in survival mode until things get better. Don't worry about what you're not doing, just focus on some rest.

    My kids are 3.5 and 6, and while the older has always been a good sleeper, Henry has never been good at it. He is now occasionally sleeping through the night but most nights he gets up once or twice, thankfully just needing to be walked back to bed. My husband mostly does that because I'm useless during the night. I'm personally a terrible sleeper, waking up on my own many times a night. I bought a new pillow and this week has been better - I'm pretty much in awe of how I feel in the mornings right now.

    So it'll get better! And hopefully before when they're teenagers - then they'll be keeping you up for different reasons.

  4. Ugh, sleep issues are seriously the worst. There's a reason they use it as a torture device, it truly is torture not to have adequate amounts of sleep! I hope at least one of the kids gets the memo to sleep soon! You need it!

  5. Ohhh Heather, I know how you feel. I was just saying to my husband yesterday that we haven't gone to sleep and NOT seen at least one of our kids in the middle of the night in a year. For some reason, as soon as W started sleeping through the night (ish - he is still getting up to nurse around 4 am these days) one of the other two would wake up for one reason or another. It's always something.
    I did let W cry it out at around 8 months or so because he wasn't actually nursing in the middle of the night anymore, just sucking for a minute and falling back to sleep. So that stopped the every 2-3 hour business, but again, he's still not sleeping 12 hours straight (close, but not quite!). I don't think he needs the 4 am feeding now, but he is pulling himself to standing these days and can't get himself back down, so until he figures that out, we are stuck with the 4 am feeding.
    So no advice here, just commiseration :)

  6. oh and letting all of the other stuff slip due to sleep deprivation is totally acceptable! Reading this post brought back feelings of how my life was when Walker was just about Aden's age. I felt like I was just drowning in my kids needs and everything else was put on the back burner. I can say that that does get better and (someday!) your house will be clean and tidy again :)

  7. my kids are great sleepers & my house is nowhere near as clean as it should be. HA! But, I do feel really bad for you. I complain when on the occasional night one of my kids get up and I can't even imagine surviving on that little sleep for so long. I guess Aden is still young but I wish you could find something to get Tori over the hump, man that's rough! Maybe you need to pay someone to come over & sleep train her for you while you guys stay somewhere else at night for a week? HAHA, that's all I've got, so really I'm not helpful. Hang in there & don't feel too bad about making Andi help you out sometimes - you work hard & deserve a break too!

  8. The Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book is wonderful.

    Having said that, I'm still up at midnight and 3 with my 11 month old. Either I nurse her for 5 minutes or we lay in bed listening to her scream for an hour. As her 1st birthday approaches, that will be our "now you need to sleep through the night" boundary. Should've been set a few months ago, honestly.

    And my 2 year old gets up at 5 a.m. every single day, as happy and active as can be. I'm a SAHM but fortunately with my interrupted night sleep, my husband takes the 5-6 a.m. shift with the toddler before I take over for the day.

    Also, for me, I thought the first four months with two were a breeze. After that, the lack of sleep, busy husband away, and more alert/awake baby made for some harder months. Hang in there!

  9. We are in a spot right now that Lauren usually sleeps through the night and Reese gets only up 1-2 times to nurse - this is a good routine for us and so I am trying not to rock the boat. Hence, the reason Reese is still in our room at 9 months old. She is sleeping (all except to eat once or twice) - Lauren is sleeping, so why change things? It is all about survival. Reese may be 2 and still sleeping in her crib in our room (just kidding) just because she will sleep.

    I have abandoned all hopes of a clean house - I just wear socks now to avoid feeling the crumbs on the floor (kidding again, kind of - my mom would have a cow if she heard me say that). I have found when I do clean and Lauren spills her milk or Zach forgets to put his shoes away I get uptight because I am trying to hard to keep the house clean. If it is a bit of a mess to begin with - a little more mess doesn't bother me! Ha!

    I am feeling for you!! :)

  10. Oh man, I'm worried about ending up in your boat. My 2-year-old has decided to start sleeping like a newborn again (up every hour or two, only mommy will do) and baby #3 will be born any day now. Yikes.

    I hope they start sleeping for you! Or at least give you a night to catch up a little...

  11. If Tory will lay down with you in your room in the afternoon take that opportunity to take a nap. Your clothes can be washed and your floor can be swept while your nanny is there. Don't go w/o sleep, I know you very we'll and not only do you get cranky when you dont get your sleep ..you get sick ie cold/cough. And I'm sure Andi would rather you rest than have your famous cough (wink) but seriously you require a lot of sleep. Take it when you can. Wish I was there to help out.

  12. I feel your pain! I think Finleigh is just like Tory was. She will not stay asleep longer than 2 hours at a time! She just wants to be held and nurse all night long! She did so well when we used to swaddle her but now since we no longer do so it's just terrible! I slept on the couch with her in her rocker for the first 7 months of her life (which I believe created this little monster) just so Nate could get some sleep! I finally said screw that and made him help out! Now I'm not the only tired one at nights and I think he understands how hard it is! We'll be thinking of you and hoping things get better for you guys!!