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, 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 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 😉