It’s been a rough week. Actually, if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s been a rough two months in the sleep department. I don’t write about it often because who wants to be friends with a Debbie Downer? NOT THIS GIRL!!
The truth is that Ellie is not a good sleeper. There, I said it. My kids struggle in the sleep department. I guess the silver lining is that they haven’t slept poorly at the same time. Eli rocks the nighttime hours now. Nonetheless, that does not change the fact that I have not consistently slept through the night in five years.
As you know, with Eli my exhaustion surfaced as depression. This time around it’s much different. For starters, it comes in waves. We’ll have several great nights, a few okay nights, and one or two horrible nights. The cycle will repeat itself which gives me a few nights to get my feet back under me before the exhaustion hits again. With Eli I tried EVERYTHING and nothing worked. This time around I’ve done some trial and error sleep training. It all seems to work…until it doesn’t…then we’re back at square one.
Also different this go around, I’m not obsessed with it. With Eli it was all I could talk or think about. With Ellie, it’s more or less something that I am trying to survive. Oh, and instead of depression, I get horribly angry. I can be down right mean, ya’ll. I can’t believe that I’m going to confess this, but my normal mild temperament turns into crazy lady. I’m just mad. I’m mad that I haven’t slept through the night in five years, I’m mad that my 16 month old still wakes up, I’m mad that seemingly every other person on the planet is asleep and I’m not. I’m just mad.
So, I went to work this morning MAD!!! It was a rough night….again. I was angry and bitter and having a pretty good pitty-party, until I got a grip. I remember by Daddy always saying, “Ya’ll better get a grip, “ which basically meant that he didn’t care what kind of lemons we’d been dealt, we were going to get ourselves over it or he’d help us…and trust me, our tushies did not want his help. Ha!
Anyway, today I had the opportunity to learn about our community’s refugee populations. Literally thousands of people have been forced from their homes in other countries only to arrive in our country to start all over. They couln’t bring their treasures, their homes, their businesses. These people brought their families, and that is enough.
Rather than worrying about getting enough sleep, they worry about where they will sleep. That’s a humbling thought. Who am I to become bitter and angry over sleep? Clearly my kids have some genetic mutation that prohibits them from sleeping through the night at a reasonable age. Instead of tasting the bitterness of my lemons why not make lemonade and savor the sweetness of cuddles in the middle of the night?
I have been blessed beyond measure with so many things. After seeing what some in my community have overcome, I am reminded that I have a feasible solution….sleep with my kid!
I am committing here and now to stop being hard headed, and bring Ellie to bed with me IF she wakes up in the middle of the night. It took me until Eli was 20 months old to grasp this concept, so I’m a little ahead of the game this time. Ha!
It’s such a small, small thing, and the child I once thought would never sleep (Eli) is all grown up and going to bed on his own. He’s brushing his own teeth, dressing himself, and starting kindergarten. Ellie will get there. And until she does, I am going to choose my battles. I am going to choose kindness and joy. I am going to choose rest because it makes me a better wife, mother, friend and employee.
I am going to get a grip, and stop letting the tender moments of this season be tarnished by the exhaustion of it.
Shew, glad to have that off of my chest!