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In case of emergency

Please consume 1 bottle of V. *

But what happens when every day is an emergency? When every day, severe exhaustion threatens your progress?

I really need some sleep. I refuse to let that stop me getting things done, but if I’m honest, I am verging on losing the willpower to do anything other than look after the kids. If only my toddler would sleep, I could sleep too.

Don’t even start in on me about child rearing, and sleep training, or letting them cry it out. The girl will scream until morning. We did six weeks of sleep training (gentle, mind you, not shutting her in the room and leaving her for the night) before letting it slide. What did it net me? Stress, anxiety, a clingy daughter, bags under everyones eyes, more frustration and irritation, grumpy bums everywhere. At one point, she seemed to be making progress, but the massive reversion that happened is mountain-sized and I have my limits.

Bottom line: it wasn’t worth it. Better it just be me tired than everyone in the house. I am able to cope a little better with sleep deprivation than a 6yr old, a 9month old, or my husband (love him to bits, Β but he really does need his sleep!). And yes sometimes this means she wakes up every hour in the goddamned night, and I can barely string a sentence together the next day. And yes it means I am not functioning at peak potential – but one day I will be.

What I have learned is that the human mind, and body, are far more resilient than we might give it credit for. If you’d asked me if I could handle this level of sleep deprivation before having kids, I would have said ‘no way!’ but I have to find a way to handle it. There is no other option.

And yes I could let her scream, and maybe, eventually, she’d break and realize that in actual fact she doesn’t need me during the night. But I’d feel like shit about it, and dude, there are already enough people in the world laying on guilt about parenting choices without me adding some self loathing in there as well.

Sometimes choosing to nurture, and respect your children is a bitch. But it’s my choice, one I made with love, in keeping with my beliefs about human interaction. She’s two; this phase will not last forever. Her happiness, her smiles, her continued blossoming make up for the lack of sleep; though I retain the right to complain about it from time to time, I won’t use it as an excuse.

Life goes on, and while my progress might at times be slower than I’d like, I am still moving forward. Always.

Rant over. Now excuse me while I get back to some work.

*No, I don’t actually drink one of these a day – they are seriously bad for you. But over the last few months I have been resorting to having one, once a week Β or so. To my credit I am also cutting down on my coffee intake, and trying not to prop myself up on sugar and junk.

And yes, in case you were wondering, this has come up because I really do get sick of people telling me what to do in regards to my children. Yes, I know sleep is vital, and I know that this can affect mental health, and that some women are driven to do terrible things to their babies – I promise you that if I ever feel myself getting to that point (and trust me, I’m incredibly self aware about my mental state, through necessity, so I will know), I will get help. In the meantime, just don’t judge me. You can support me by just being my friend. And sure, helping out by washing my dishes is always appreciated πŸ˜‰

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13 thoughts on “In case of emergency”

  1. -snugs- I really do hope you can get some sleep soon. I can’t imagine how hard it is, but I totally see your point of view. I know very little of kids really, but sometimes you *do* have to do what YOU feel is right. And you know what, sure she might eventually ‘break’ with sleep training… but at what cost? All that extra stress, not only on you but on her, by trying to force her to do something she apparently isn’t ready for? I don’t blame you at all for making the choice based on *your* daughter.

    People are so fast to forget that every person, and therefore every child, is an individual. Not everyone learns or matures at the same rate. I think you’re showing her far more respect by accepting her needs as is, and not trying to force her to do something she’s not ready for yet. -hugs- Though I do wish I could send a little extra sleep your way.

    1. Thanks, Sadie. Sounds like you really get where I am coming from – it’s always refreshing when people without kids can understand and cut me a little slack πŸ™‚ For the record, I did get a better nights sleep last night.

  2. Oh darlin’…

    I totally made that same decision regarding sleep deprivation–that I’d rather be the one to take one for the team than let the whole team suffer. By the time we got to toddlerhood, most of the kids slept pretty well, but then there was always a baby to feed at night since my kids were so close together. I don’t think I slept a full night for about eight years.

    I’m here to tell you, it gets better… Hang in there, and in the meantime, do what you have to do to survive.

    Amy

    1. Thanks, Amy! It is nice to know that others have made the same choice – I don’t get why some people (other mothers, including) feel the need to judge and tell you how wrong you are! We all have to make the best choices for our families.

      Nice to know it does get better too πŸ™‚

  3. Bottom line is you have to do what’s right for YOU and YOUR CHILD! I don’t care what other people say. That’s all that matters. Parents can be so judgmental and why?! The way I raise my kid has nothing to do with someone else. I’m going through something similar now with my 3-year-old daughter. She used to sleep through the night in her bed, no problem. But the last few months, she ends up coming into our bedroom in the middle of the night and wants to sleep with me. I know that I should probably drag myself out of bed and take her back to her room. But truth be told, I just need to sleep and I’d rather she feel secure because that’s obviously what she needs right now. So be it! This too shall pass. … Oh, and I’d rather go without sleep than my husband. THAT would be bad!

    1. Hehe, Leah, thanks! Some men just don’t do well with broken sleep! When it comes down to it, getting sleep is the main thing, and if in order to do that, little one is in your bed, then to hell with what anyone else thinks! I have both my little ones in with me, and Hubby has taken to sleeping in Lauren’s bed if she has woken before he goes to bed for the night. Short term solutions, this will pass.

  4. So much love, sleep vibes and hugs are sent for you all!! Hang in there and know sooner than you think she’ll be eighteen and crashed on your sofa, like mine is at this very moment! πŸ™‚

    1. Haha, thanks, Anna! I can just imagine it. I know this is such a short span of time in reality. I don’t see the point in stressing over it and spending more energy than I have available forcing the issue. Sleep is more important.

  5. sleep is soooo overated!! πŸ™‚

    I take the same road, my babies are in my bed, and while i don’t sleep, we’re connected in a huge way. I can’t do the cry it out thing, it’s just not what I believe. I think really the only time he sleeps without me is in the car or on my mom or husband. It was the same with my other two, who now sleep through the night! SO, we get there. Just keep sane while doing it!
    Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with giving to doing nothing other than taking care of the little ones once in a while. We need to stock up on fuel.
    (what in the world is a v drink?? caffeine and sugar i’m guessing?)

    1. and guarana, lol it’s terrible!!! I used to be addicted, but sometimes I need more than a coffee and it works.

      I am much the same with Natalie (though she does sleep on the cot mattress without me – we don’t own a cot, just the mattress), though I have to be there whenever she is going to sleep, she is already teaching herself to self settle (which I feel sounds retarded, as most people expect their babies to do that much earlier). I just can’t do the cry it out thing, either. It’s not good for my mental health!

      Once this anthology is done, then I most likely will revert to just raising babies mode, take a break from it all. Until then though, there is a lot of work to be done.

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