Night-time Nasties: Sleep Deprivation!!

Sleep deprivation – how is it that I could have forgotten this part of parenting, when we were contemplating a third child? Two months of being jerked out of sleep five to six times a night has left me loopy. I’ve been dropping things, breaking things, forgetting things, confusing things, assuming things and losing things – including my sense of reason and logical thinking.

My little darling baby, now 14 months old, has generally been a pretty good sleeper. She has woken every night except one since she was born, usually twice a night. This has been fine. Babies wake. I’m perfectly happy to wake up and tend to a baby when she and I get at least three or four hours of sleep in between. Feeding her back to sleep was never a problem for me, but I do wonder what it is about turning one that has had each of my babies turn into night-time milk monsters? It has been crazy.

I’ve barely been able to string two thoughts together over the last month and productivity for my home business Lavendilly House has been very low at a time when I have lots of interest in my dolls and felts. Housework would have reached an all-time low if I was not sharing a home with another family – and thank goodness I am. The support and understanding we have been able to give to each other as two mothers experiencing the same thing at the same time is priceless. For this reason alone I recommend co-housing with another family when you have young children.

My blogs, too, have been neglected – and not for lack of ideas to post about … but lack of ability to write about them. Every day I have sat in front of this computer and warmed up my fingers, thinking to myself “Ok, today I will write that post. Today. Starting NOW. Right now. Here we go…. and I’m writing ….now”, and nothing coherent comes flowing from my fingers.

There have been some days when I have felt so wiped that I was not even able to walk in a straight line, but mostly the days have been ok, even I have felt a little whacked out of rhythm. I’ve been slow and less talkative, but functional. By 3pm, however, my body really starts to wind down, and by 5:30 I am doing my best to streamline the going-to-bed rhythm so that I can get to bed sooner … but then when I lay down, I begin getting anxious about the night coming, and I am not tired any more, or I am too anxious to sleep.

Night time is definitely the worst. I’ve been lying awake at night, knowing it is pointless even trying to get a bit of sleep because the baby will wake again soon, and then I will feed her back to sleep because I am too tired to contemplate any other ideas, then after feeding her back to sleep I’ll be lying awake again thinking bitter poisonous thoughts about everyone and everything because they are asleep while I am awake, and nobody could possibly understand what I am experiencing. The angst and ANGER I have experienced during these nights has really taken me by surprise. Every negative emotion I have ever felt has been amplified during these night-time torture sessions.

It has to stop!! In two months I have experienced how easy it is to lose your mind and I’ve been walking around with my nice person locked inside the mind of someone really nasty! I’m not sure anyone else has really noticed, but that is how it has felt to me, and thank goodness I am essentially an optimistic, happy person and I still have that little part of me watching all of this happening, and saying “it will come to an end”, because I see now, how easy it can be to slip from being tired, to being non-functional – to being depressed and anxious. When that peaceful voice of my consciousness stops talking … would I even notice? It is scary!

Well, thank goodness I AM a happy person, and I have been able to remind myself that nasty night-time thoughts aren’t the ones that are going to make me feel better. I’ve been through these sleep shenanigans twice before with my other children, and I know it DOES improve. Each time previously, however, I have had to hit absolute rock bottom before I was able to make a decision about how to move forward.

I’ve made the decision. We are moving forward. We’ve had some sleep. I’ll write more about that next J


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