11.30.2012

sweet desperation and sleep deprivation

Something has happened over the past week. Ethan has stopped sleeping. No one flinches when I say this because he has never truly slept like other people's children. Sleeping is an ordeal, a song and dance I've had to learn to perfect through sound machines and specific lullabies and the hum of an air purifier that simply can't be turned down or off. When he was six months old, Ethan willingly dropped himself down to one nap per day, no longer needing that extra sleep that other children seemed to need. These days, naps are a luxury or a rarity at best and together Ethan and I have learned to adapt, learned to stretch our days and change our routines and mend our end of the day schedules accordingly. But not this week. This week those two hours in the middle of the afternoon we've learned to designate for quiet time in lieu of sleeping on most days have turned into hours of tears and screams and an upset toddler who wishes to spend the bulk of his time in a downward dog position -- his way to demonstrate that he's mid-tantrum. Bedtime has been no better. There are nights I've lost count after sixteen in terms of times I've had to go into Ethan's room to lay him back down.

I can't blame him. I've felt the same way and despite my greatest attempts to mask the down and out way I've found myself feeling this week -- fresh, organic strawberry ice-cream for lunch after picking our own strawberries at the farm and feeding the goats and fish and donkey after a play-packed hour of fun at My Gym -- I can't help but feel burdened with mom guilt that Ethan can somehow see through my smiles.

There is a song I used to love back in the days of plaid skirts with thick leather buckles, the days of tattered jeans and walking around with my Discman on full volume. Everything to Everyone, the old Everclear song. I've had it in my head the last couple of days in particular, ashamedly finding relevance in the fact I've always tried so hard to be everything to everyone, to do what everyone wants me to do instead of what I want to do, to be seven thousand places at once without any effort. I've realized this week that this isn't possible and what I should be doing, instead of trying to please everyone else, is stopping this process of beating myself up for my flaws and imperfections and inability to be completely immortal and just try to focus on the day by day. To breathe in deeply when it's almost 9:00 at night and I seek refuge from the screams coming from the baby monitor for long enough to call my husband and he's still at work and can't understand why I seem to be mad at him despite the fact I'm just frustrated and overwhelmed and mad at the feeling of being alone and the house is a mess and my suitcases are still packed and there's cat pee in my shoes and oh, goodbye, I have to go lay Ethan back down again.

It's been a difficult few days which is strange in the sense they've been good days -- fun days, even -- days holiday shopping and gift wrapping and choo-choo train riding with Ethan. It's simply that I haven't felt completely like myself and apparently neither has Ethan, or at least not at bedtime. I have been strapped for motivation and energy, feeling overwhelmed by tasks that have never before seemed so daunting. They happen, days like these, but I'm ready for them to be over. Ready to put one foot in front of the other and trudge through this muck of my own self-doubt and self-created guilt. And maybe, just maybe, Ethan will find the desire to sleep again.

If we're being honest here.

12 comments:

  1. Hold in there! I have these weeks too. Weeks were I feel like I'm vacant from my body.
    The boys go through these non-sleeping weeks too (thankfully it is usually at the same time). It passes. Just keep putting that smile on and it will eventually be natural. You're doing great!

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    1. Thank you! <3 Vacant from my body is an excellent way to describe it! No fun at all! <3

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  2. I find that weeks or days like these happen more around the holidays because they fly by and there always seems to be so much more to do!! Just hang in there hun. It will all balance out.

    I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for linking up with the Aloha Friday Blog Hop!! I am following you in all the options you have on your blog for me to follow!!

    Please spread the word, share the blog code on your blog!! Who knows, you could end up being the featured blog next week!! Aloha Friday Blog Hop

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  3. You are such a good mommy and Ethan is such a good little boy! Times like this will happen again...and again...but you'll get through them all!

    P.S. I NEED those Elmo jammies for Gage!

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    1. Thank you, Bevin! <3 I hope so, or at least that these times get a little easier! <3

      This actually isn't the shirt pictured that went with them. They came with a bright red Elmo face shirt. We found them at Wal-Mart for $4 on accident!

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  4. Sleep just makes all the difference, it really does. "This too shall pass" as they say! It won't stay like this forever!

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    1. You're so right! I feel like I can at least cope with things and be productive if I've actually had SLEEP (and Ethan, too!). Thank you <3

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  5. Awwwww hang in there. Lk is an awful sleeper too. Sometimes I feel like I'm sleepwalking through the day. Then I feel guilty when I'm not able to play or stimulate him enough during the day. We mommies need to give ourselves a pass on the hard days :)

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    1. I agree -- totally need to give ourselves a pass. It's just so hard! Mom guilt is a force to be reckoned with!

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  6. You can do this! Allow yourself a break (or breakdown if necessary) so you can pick up all the pieces and feel refreshed again.

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    1. Thank you! <3 Sometimes all it takes is just one big breakdown, huh? And a latte. That helped! ;)

      <3

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