Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Zombie

Whenever I hear older people tell me how much they miss "this stage," I wonder how accurately they actually remember this stage. I know my mom always says that she only remembers the good things her kids did when they were young. I would like to have that kind of selective memory.

And I honestly do think I will miss a lot of things about this stage. Like how Jill thinks I know everything and that I am the most fun person in the world. Like how Danny runs to me when he is hurt and will whisper "I love you, Mommy." Like how Alice will cling to me, curl her little body into mine so tightly, and give me the sweetest little baby hug.

And how funny they are. I will miss that. The things they say. The way they walk into things. They're just such funny little people.

BUT I will not miss sleeplessness.

I have recently awoken to the fact that I have been oblivious. I have repeatedly told myself that Alice's sleep habits will get better once we get back into a routine, but I am no longer that optimistic. I try to remind myself that Daniel was a horrible sleeper, and now he sleeps great, but as my uninterrupted periods of sleep get shorter, it becomes harder and harder to remind myself of that.

Maybe I can no longer remember 2012 accurately, but I really feel like Alice is now sleeping worse than Danny, which is surprising, because she used to be my best sleeper. But it is actually not surprising when I think about what I've done to her.

The past four weeks: Virginia
One week: Ohio
One week: Nebraska
One week: Michigan
Two weeks: Asa Norte, Brasilia
Eight weeks: Lago Sul, Brasilia
Two weeks: Virginia
Three weeks: Michigan
One week: Ohio
Three weeks: Michigan
Three weeks: Virginia
One week: Ohio
Fourteen weeks: Virginia
One week: Shenandoah
Six weeks: Virginia
One week: Ohio
Two weeks: Utah
Two weeks: Virginia
Two weeks: Nebraska
Seven weeks: Virginia
Two weeks: Ohio

As you can see, she has slept in a lot of different cribs. The above timeline doesn't include hotel stays either, or sleeping on airplanes, cars, or trains.

Honestly, looking at that, it almost makes me wonder why Jill and Daniel aren't having sleep problems. I think Alice is totally justified in hers.

But her sleeping is just getting worse. She is now waking up regularly four times a night, sometimes more. I usually just nurse her and we fall back asleep in the rocking chair, but sometimes she is just mad and won't go back to sleep or wakes up as soon as I put her back in her crib. It is getting hard to get her to sleep during the day. She used to take two naps, and now I am barely getting her to take one.

She used to be such a happy child, and now she is grumpy all the time and cries a lot.

She is exhausted, and I am exhausted, and it is affecting my ability to be a good mother. It is kind of sad to have your husband come home and have your oldest daughter describe how Mommy needed to have a few time outs that day so she could be nice. But it's true. I'm getting to the ugly stages of sleep deprivation where you wonder the dark thoughts of motherhood.

What was it ever like to have one child and actually be able to hold them through a nap and sleep while they were sleeping?

This is such a cute age, but for my children, it also seems to be a stage where their sleeping gets worse. With Daniel and Jill, I remember that they both slept through the night earlier on and then due to illness and teething, they lost that sleep schedule, and it was hard to get it back.

I'm going to have to make some changes with Alice and sleep, but I'm not sure where to start. More food? Her own bedroom? Cry it out? No light night?

What has worked with your kids? I think I need to get some books on sleep and babies. Until then, I'll just keep going through the day feeling like a zombie.

Jill, Daniel, and Alice—all at the delightful age of fifteen months

Help Me.

9 comments:

  1. I have Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, if you want to borrow it. It's a pretty good one. It helped a bit with a crisis my kids were going through a couple of months back, so I recommend it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have my complete sympathy. Lack of sleep is definitely one of the hardest things for me personally about being a mom at this stage of life. One suggestion... You might try lavender essential oil to help her sleep. Also a white noise maker has helped with my baby... I wish I'd had it with my older boys. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hear you, I hear you, I hear you. Man, oh man! Have you ever read Elizabeth Pantley's "The No Cry Sleep Solution for Babies and Toddlers?" I can send it to you, or bring it in July if you want it. I also have the one for preschoolers and toddlers that she wrote. I love everything about the book, and unlike the title suggests, she does not demand that you never let your baby cry. See if your library has it. It was my absolute sanity when I was beginning to lose my mind. Good luck! Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The book Denise suggested is amazing!!!! Life saver. We use the "Julia" version of cry it out. Full cry it out is too much for me.

    You've made it two times, you can do it again!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't have advice, but I can commiserate! I also have a non sleeping child and am turning into a mom zombie. My biggest frustration is with myself, I can't accomplish what I would like to and I am not being the mom I want to be! After reading this post I put several book on hold at the library. I hope you and Alice figure something out soon. Not sleeping for so long is so hard! Now I should probably go to bed while I can! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. hugs zombie mommy xoxox —Susan Takacs

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time! I am terrible when I don't get sleep- and I'm sure it's doubly hard to have been getting sleep and then to regress! I wish I had some advice for you, but I'm just muddling through this stage too. You will sleep again. Hang in there! You're doing better than you think. —Brooke

    ReplyDelete
  8. Since you asked, I check out "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Dr. Ferber from the library. You don't have to read every chapter, just the ones that apply to your situation (i.e., you can skip bed-wetting, night terrors, etc.).

    It's not exactly the "cry it out" idea, but kind of. It's like, wait 5 minutes, and then go in (just to let her know you haven't abandoned her) and then wait another 10 minutes before you go in, etc., making it longer each time. (That's a gross simplification; so don't rely on that explanation for anything.)

    But I still use this basic for my toddler who wakes up occasionally in the night--I often wait about 5 minutes before I go and get him, and often he simply falls back to sleep. If he doesn't, I pick him him up and sing to him, but I lay him back down while he's still awake, and then I wait about 5 minutes. He almost always falls asleep on his own after that; if not, I repeat the process.

    Also, if he wakes up but isn't crying--he's just jabbering to himself or whatever--I just stay in bed. That comes from something I read in a different baby book (Baby 411): If your baby wants to throw a slumber party, fine. But it's not your job to entertain them!

    I know this is a long answer; I just hope it's a little bit helpful. I know how you feel. Personally I am an absolute beast if I don't get my sleep! —Heather Kimball

    ReplyDelete
  9. So sorry you are going through that!! We would make sure he had a snack, drink, and clean diaper, do same routine every night and then let him cry 5 min , go back in after 10, go back after 15 and continue at 15 until he fell asleep. We wouldn't talk when we went in , just tuck him back in. Every once in a while we would sit beside him and or rub his back until he fell asleep. Every child is different but I think the main thing that helped us was to stick to a routine. Good luck!! —Chelle Belle

    ReplyDelete

What's on your mind?