(At the moment) both my kids are sleeping fairly well through the night. Are we still friends? Leni sometimes gets up and crawls into our bed, but she’ll often sleep in after a disrupted sleep (barring the occasional accident since nixing her night time pull up). Finn is back to sleeping a solid 11 hours too. And his nap is getting closer to 1-2 hours a day again.
He had a pretty intense regression/transition to the new home that threw his sleep (and ours) upsidedown. Suddenly the crib was his nemesis and he would scream, jump, and bite the sides if we dared place him in it awake. After 2 weeks, I called a sleep consultant for advice (to avoid continuing too many new bad habits) and sleep-trained him all over again. It was much faster than the first time and, thankfully, went better than I had envisioned.
And then you’re on the other side and the drama of those interrupted sleeps seem vague and distant again.
So that’s the kids anyway. If they are sleeping, the world is a good and fair place.
My sleep, on the other hand, is a whole other bag of chips. It recently hit home that I haven’t really slept well since becoming a parent. With rare exception. Even those “good nights” are based on an extremely lowered bar.
After throwing some loose numbers together amongst my mama friends, I’d say this is a fairly common affliction in our cohort. I mean lying in bed awake is definitely my preferred form of sleep deprivation over also tending to a child in the depths of the night. So don’t think I am comparing my sleep shit with yours, new mamas and mamas of terrible sleepers. Many of you will read about my kids consistent sleep and curse my name. And I am actually so much more annoying because I am the whiniest, most tragic character about lost sleep.
The past few weeks I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I may in fact have some form of insomnia. Are there categories? Parenthood-induced-insomnia? Momsomnia?
I’m finding myself playing sleep meditations on my phone multiple times a night. I’m so tired and yet there I am lying awake in my bed at 2am. Ear bud in one ear being coached to “breath deeply into sleep” for the 3rd time that night. Either I successfully fall asleep only to start awake with some illogical worry about the kids (common) or to empty my bladder (for the fourth time) or I have some kind of hot flash and can’t get comfortable again.
When I was pregnant with Leni, it was getting up to pee multiple times at night that would get my heart racing. I know now this was nothing compared to my future sleep-deprivation, but you only know what you know, right? Then the face punch of your first child. Ooh boy. We were able to help the little lass move to her crib around 4.5-5 months after we fumbled our way through sleep training, thankfully. She went from waking every 2-3 hours to sleeping through the night and napping twice a day. I basically chose sleep over world interaction for a long while there.
Thing is, we were on a different floor from her room so I also acquired this new night time issue: monitor-obsession. I would constantly check it throughout the night if I heard the slightest rustle or whimper. This went on well after she turned 2, when I became pregnant with her brother Finn. That was 9 months of zero sleep between the peeing, the carpal tunnel and probably even some more monitor checking. And then a new baby means no sleep and well, by the time both kids were sleeping through consistently (in their own beds)–last year sometime–I think I had done irreparable damage to my circadian rhythm.
Come back to me circadian rhythm! I miss you so.
When I do sleep, it’s deepest right as my youngest wakes at 6:30am each morning. But of course.
Tell me parents of older kids, is this one of those things that I will just have to get better at handling or can I reverse the damage? I’ve heard stories of kids who let their parents sleep in on weekends. But what use is that if I’m not sleeping?
So for now, I am trying to lean into my reality. A restful night sans REM. I intend to continue to try all the things that are meant to help and rejoice on the rare nights I catch a few mediocre z’s.
And, hey, maybe one of these sleep hacks will pan out. I suppose it’s still possible, yes? If so, I do so look forward to meeting the me on the other side of that.
Until then, wishing all you other sleep deprived parents some solid shut eye (whenever you can score some).