I don’t have a ton of inspiration today…my brain is foggy, my body is dragging and my eyes are drooping…
If you haven’t already guessed it, the Bean decided last night was the night for a 1:00AM party!
As much as we like to complain sometimes, I will fully admit that sleep has not really been a nightmare for us as I know it has been with many parents. Bean did not take long to figure out the difference between night and day. We co-sleep, so I never have to drag my butt out of bed to tend to her needs.
We even had a handful of nights around 3-5 months that she slept through the entire night!
For awhile I thought I had that wonderful, unattainable dream baby that made all my other parent friends hate me. But then she settled into a routine of waking 2-3 times/night to eat, and I started to realize that I actually wanted her to be doing that - after reading more and coming to a better understanding that at this young age, most babies still need to get some food in their bellies through the nightime hours!
Over the past few months she’s been on a fairly regular schedule (with occasional exceptions) – waking between 10 and 11, and again between 3-4. She will eat and then go right back to sleep. She’s then up with daddy between 6-7; I get up to make breakfast not long after that, but I usually get at least a half hour of having the bed to myself. I like to call it my best sleep of the night!
But the past few nights…ooh boy!
Monday night she was up 4 times. And last night…from 1:00AM to 3:30 she was awake – actually sitting up, crawling around, trying to get us to play… She even managed (somehow) to crawl completely out of her sleep sack.
We were dying!
She finally went back down around 3:30 and woke up at 6:30. Almost every day without exception, she goes back down for a nap around 8:00AM – it usually takes me about 10-20 minutes to get her down.
Today, of course, she refused. We were up there for close to an hour, with me getting more and more frustrated.
Why won’t she go to sleep???
Let me tell you – I hate being frustrated with my daughter. She’s so little and she doesn’t deserve it – she doesn’t know she’s depriving mommy of a much needed break! She doesn’t know that she’s making herself more and more tired to the point that she won’t feel great the rest of the day. She’s just doin’ what she’s doin’.
It’s funny – I don’t often get frustrated with her – and I am an impatient person – I’ll admit it. But with Bean, I generally have endless patience – except when she won’t go to sleep – when I know that she’s tired (I never try to get her down when she’s not – I follow her cues). It just drives me up the wall!
In saner moments, I can recognize and understand – she’s teething. She’s learning new skills. She’s developing at a rapid pace. She doesn’t want to miss any of the fun. She’s a baby.
But it still pisses me off to no end.
And then, this very day, I got a revelation from a wonderful mama blogger – Luschka of Diary of a First Child.
She posted an article on her Facebook page about co-sleeping; I commented on my family’s recent surprise that Bean still wakes up during the night (‘maybe she wouldn’t do that if she was in a crib’). And she responded with something so beautifully true:
“I’ve given up sleep for many years for lesser things.”
I thought, “OH MY GOODNESS. I can’t believe I have never thought of it this way!”
Let me tell you – throughout my life, I have been the queen of no sleep.
I refused to nap as a small child – I distinctly remember being angry whenever people made me go lay in a bed to nap – I would stay awake the entire time and think rebellious, anti-sleep thoughts.
As a teenager, I began my staying up late phase – to the tune of 1 or 2 AM – coupled with sleeping in until at least 12 on weekends, and starting school tired and groggy.
In college, I was famed for my all-nighters – I went to a small Christian college that actually had a curfew, so to avoid it, my friends and I would just hang out at Denny’s or the University of Minnesota campus coffee shops all night long. I can’t count how many times I did this.
In my early 20′s, I started working waitressing shifts that went until 2 in the morning. I would get up the next morning at 5 to go to work in my second job at a coffee shop.
After I married at 25 and moved to Canada, I maintained my night owl habits, in spite of having a husband who could not stay up all night if his life depended on it! I still worked in a coffee shop and got up before 5 to get there, and I still stayed up late the night before – reading, playing video games, doing whatever…
I don’t think it was until I was pregnant (at 29) that I started going to bed at anything that could be called a decent hour. Now that that Bean has settled into (usually) normal sleeping patterns, I still almost always go to bed after the husband – though I’ve been making an effort of late not to go past 11.
And thinking of all that – all those years I intentionally deprived myself of sleep for whatever reason - makes baby keeping me awake every once in awhile seem pretty insignificant!
Don’t get me wrong – I know it’s hard when you can’t get a full night’s sleep. I’m sure most people out there are probably more responsible than I ever was when it comes to sleep. I definitely feel for mamas who’s babies are wakeful (especially those who have more than one!). I honestly don’t remember at this point what it’s like to get an entire night’s sleep, and I do look forward to the days of getting that again – though I doubt it’s going to happen for a long time!
But Luschka gave me a pretty good wake-up call. I’m going to make a serious effort from here on out not to get frustrated with my daughter over sleeping (or not sleeping). Not just because it’s not fair to her, but because I realize now how willing I have been to give up sleep for many, many things over the years – and I know she is more important than all of them.
Though I will still say…being a parent has made me more tired than I’ve ever been!!
Am I the only mama who gets inordinately frustrated when baby won’t sleep?