… says me, all parents ever and over 1/3 of Americans.
FACT: If you’re a parent of young children you’re not getting enough sleep.
The good news is, you’re not alone. Over one third of America is right there with you on the struggle bus that is exhaustion. According to the CDC in an article on NBC News we’re not getting enough sleep as a nation. Cold comfort, I know.
We’ve not been getting much sleep in our house, and by ‘we’ I really mean ‘me’. My husband has learned better than to tell me he’s tired (or ‘exhausted’… he sometimes has a flair for the dramatic). Because no matter how tired he is… I am always more tired. This may or may not be true on any given day but for the most part it’s always true all the time. Especially with a toddler that is having night waking issues and a new-ish baby at home. No full night of sleep has been had in a very, very, very long time.
I cannot tell you how genuinely devastated we were to learn that President’s Day, our shared day off, that daycare was closed. We were looking so forward to dropping our kids off and then returning home to SLEEP!
Thankfully there’s a Starbucks on the first floor of my office building, which means I don’t even have to brave the harsh winter elements to get an extra jolt of caffeine to get me through the day.
Thank God for Coffee.
[Channeling Oprah] You get to sleep. And YOU get to sleep. EVERYONE gets to sleep!
Parenting is a curious thing. As quickly as something goes of the rails, it’s back on track again. Our little dude was not sleeping. Like for real. No. Sleeping. Ever. It was terrible and frustrating. We couldn’t stop asking ourselves why this was suddenly happening. Is he teething? Does he have a cold? Is it a combination of the two? Does he have gas? What are we feeding him? Did we change what we’re feeding him? The list goes on.
What we learned…
- The ‘Hail Mary‘ talking through the monitor trick works. It’s amazing. We’ve tried it since during the night and even once for a nap. Definitely a go-to trick if V happens to get up in the night. Saves us (well, saves Daddy) a good hour of time.
- Just as quickly as he fell of the sleep wagon, he got back on. No rhyme or reason but it worked itself out. Unfortunately we can take no solace in having a specific reason to point to for the sleeplessness.
As suddenly as he stopped sleeping he started again. In reality it was a blip but it seemed like an eternity at the time because of both lack of sleep and the unknown (when will he sleep again? will he EVER sleep again?). Thankfully we had caffeine to help us through the workdays – of which there were many!
For now we will have to settle for accepting the unknown and be thankful this coin toss went our way. This parenting thing is a trip.
I can literally not remember what this looks like. A perfectly snoozing little babe. Because Baby Dan V is no longer one. We had the typical holiday schedule buster, but now he’s teething, and getting a cold, and NOT SLEEPING.
For working parents not sleeping feels like not an option but unfortunately we’re not the ones calling the shots. Add the fact that my husband, Dan IV, does not do well when he
can’t is not allowed to sleep. And it just so happens that Baby V is OBSESSED with his Dad right now. Like ‘shakes his head ‘no’ when I try to get him from his crib through tears in the middle of the night’ obsessed. Dad is the hero and Mom is the zero which, to be honest, aside from dealing with two very cranky Dan’s is kind of fantastic.
So V is sleepless thus we are all sleepless. At first we tried pulling him into bed with us, something we know is a no-no because it’s such a bad habit to start but when you’re exhausted you kind of stop giving a shit. That, however, doesn’t work well for us because V is a bear to sleep with. Thus little dude is zonked and we’re wide awake, no bueno.
Now we’ve started talking to him through the monitor. It was kind of a Hail Mary out of desperation at 5:30AM but for some reason it worked. Even though V was standing and crying once I spoke to him he lied down and went to sleep. A super odd but welcomed new development. Waking is not awesome, but this process is much less involved than the alternative. IV almost refuses to acknowledge it because he’s superstitious that if we talk about it, it won’t work anymore.
At this point we’re afraid that Baby V will never sleep through the night again. Afraid that we had a good run but now it’s over… FOREVER. We’re hoping this spiraling decent into eternal sleeplessness will end, but for now we’re going to have to buck-up and rely on a little extra caffeine to keep us running.
I have a lingering Netflix addiction from when Dan V was little-little. It all started when he was first born. I found, like probably any normal human staring down unpredictable sleepless nights, that getting up in the middle of the night to breastfeed nearly blind with exhaustion was something that I dreaded. Something I dreaded, that is, until I downloaded the Netflix app on my iPhone. It literally made a world of difference. It made getting up, and staying up, so much easier. As I fed him I was able to watch Orange is the New Black (OITNB), for instance, which not only kept me awake but entertained. I actually found myself looking forward to the next time I’d be able to watch and, trust me, there was always a next time.
Now that V’s over getting up during the night (most nights anyway) I find myself without that extra time to binge watch. Not that I’m complaining! I LOVE actually sleeping enough to be a productive member of the human race let alone wife, mother and worker-bee. I’ve also cruised through everything semi-meaningful to me and am now left with choices I’m less than enthusiastic about yet I hesitate to lose it.
Excuses include but are not limited to… My husband (Dan IV) and I still need to finish watching House of Cards (the only reason I’m not done with it yet is we watch it together and I’ve honored that… so far). Who really wants to cancel and then resubscribe? A new season of OITNB is coming out… eventually. I haven’t watched, like, EVERYTHING yet.
Anyone else share my quandary?