When I was in high school I recall going into deep panic as I heard Late Night TV starting or looked at the clock and calculated I would only be getting 7 or so hours of sleep. I loved my sleep and often would beg my mom to let me sleep in and drop me off at school late. I needed it to function.
Fast forward to 2016 and I am writing this while in midst of a long term sleep torture brought to you by none other than my two loving children. While neither one of my children has actually ever slept through the night, there were moments with Flynn, Pre-Nola, where he could be in my bed and sleep decent enough that sleep wasn’t too interrupted. He still struggled to fall asleep at night and woke up really early, but I did have a few nights in there were I strung together a few consistent hours of sleep. He also was a regular napper who took two naps a day up until shortly after Nola was born. Then came Nola and seriously I have never slept since. Flynn got booted to his own bed right before she arrived and he continued to require multiple check-ins throughout the night. Flynn was a morning bird while Nola loved late night parties. I functioned on 2 hour stretches if I was lucky and lots and lots of coffee.
Here we are now with a 3.5 year old who requires you to lay with him to fall asleep and wakes a few times each night (oh and no longer really naps), a 2 year old who currently demands I not leave her side as she sleeps and a new baby on the way who we all know will not be any better. After one bad sleeper, the little sympathy you might have had goes away and people are tired of hearing how tired you are. And you know what is funny – your body is tired of hearing how tired you are. As a matter of fact, I no longer feel tired. Impatient sure. Barely able to get things done. Absolutely. Tired. Nope. My body refuses to enter the sleep cycle. It refuses to be tortured.
I basically fear sleep. Tonight was no different than the rest. Nola easily went down around 7:30, but Flynn took until 9:30. In that time, I had to go tend to Nola two times. I finally head downstairs to have a moment to figure out what to do with my Day 7 sick kiddo and another one who is tired of being stuck in the house, but it is too cold to go outside, before Nola starts calling for me again. I usually lay there on my phone passing the time until the next wake-up call, but tonight I tried to fall asleep. It was pointless. I was woken up multiple times and I woke up angry. Frustratedly telling Nola to lay the hell down and stop kicking me with her legs. She climbs all over me and passes out momentarily only for Flynn to stir again in the other room. And after a period of time of this back and forth – I give up. I do not want to close my eyes. It is 1:30 AM and I have been disturbed enough times to know better. I know what will happen when I do and I would prefer to sit here and wait to be called upon to come rub a back or gently push a half asleep, crying Flynn from a seated sleep position to lying down on the bed. So I sit and wait and wonder if maybe I should go get a cup of coffee or maybe some tea. I wonder if I will ever sleep again. I google what will happen if this continues. I search through solutions that I have read a hundred times before and have never successfully have been able to implement either because my kids didn’t respond the way they were suppose to or because I run a one man show most nights and Ferber is no match for my two, mobile, no longer in crib kids and my small house. According to my phone app that I check every now and then to see how pregnant I am, I have 17 weeks before my spaghetti squash of a baby arrives. 17 weeks and a few days to figure out how the hell I am going to do this without ending up in a mental institution. But in reality, I really just need to figure out what the hell I am going to do tomorrow to properly care for and entertain my children alone all day until the next bedtime torture routine begins. Better yet I need to figure out how to make the coffee walk itself up to me right now because we all know if I leave Nola’s side she will stand up and scream for me.