Yawn. Parenthood is a joy. Yawn. Parenthood is unpredictable and fun. Yawn. Parenthood is exhausting, but totally worth it. Yawn. Parenthood is...what was I saying? I'm sorry, I haven't slept in like 7 months and I have the nagging notion that I'm not going to sleep for the next 30 years. Hm.
I am careful to write this blog and not have it sound like I'm just complaining. Genuinely. I love motherhood enough to embrace the fact that I willingly, lovingly chose to give up sleep for the next however many years...but, whew, it doesn't mean I'm not tired! :)
Ok, seriously, this child does not sleep. It doesn't matter if she takes naps, doesn't take naps, eats more, eats less, teething or not, crying or not...the child is just AWAKE. Last night was the doozy of all nights. She literally woke up about every 30 minutes. Sometimes she was happy, just fidgety and awake. Other times she was fussy and would scoot around in her crib until she sleepily bonked her head and was crying out of frustration not being able to crawl around more (because this bed is for sleeping! not crawling! you silly child!) Finally I caved at 5am and brought her back to bed with us where I could nurse her and snuggle her and at least try to catch a wink till the alarm when off about 6:45.
I know it is possible for her to stay asleep - she has had miracle moments of 3, 4, and even 5 hour long spells of sleep...but it never sticks. Now that she is fully in teething mode - I'm not too hopeful for things to change any time soon. The worst of it is - it is most likely my fault. That is, I was and am a terrible sleeper.
My mother tells me that I didn't sleep through the night till about 9 months to a year, and even after that - it was always a challenge to either get me to go to sleep or to keep me asleep. Even today, I'm a terribly light sleeper.
I wish I could utilize this little pockets of awake time. Don't you wish you could bottle up all those little times of trying to fall asleep and string them together into a productive timeline? I bet they would add up to a whole month or two that I am just laying wide awake...either trying to get a song unstuck in my head or a useless thought about work to filter out. Sometimes it seems that is the time of day you feel most brilliant too...I wonder how many starts of stories or poems or books or songs are out there just floating around in lala land - never having been written because the author eventually fell asleep and forgot it. Or how many "comeback speeches" have been written in our heads right before we drift off to sleep? You know what I mean - somebody said something to you, ticked you off or rubbed you the wrong way, and it has been on "repeat" in your brain for the last hour, nagging you and not letting you sleep. Finally you give in, and then you come up with the most brilliant response "I should have said...!!!" Sigh. I guess sometimes we need that kind of thoughtful closure to our day before we can "let go" and rest.
Well, whatever it is that is keeping us up at night - I wish I could read my baby's mind. I don't think she's writing any speeches...
"Mama, I hate peas! Stop giving them to me! Stop tricking me with a bite of sweet potatoes and then switching it up to peas before I look at the spoon, it is not funny!"
got a song stuck in her head...
"If mommy makes up one more song about my chunky thighs I'm going to scream!"
or anything - but I wish I knew what was going on inside of that little brain...
"Play! I want to play, mommy! Play! Let's play!"
Well, who knows.
I just remind myself to be grateful. I'm determined to not take this time for granted. I tell myself that, over the years, I've lost sleep over much much worse things than a beautiful baby. This is a wonderful thing to be awake for! Even at three in the morning.
And then, through my blurry eyes, I look down at that sweet little face (screaming or not) and thank God for her, truly. And then I stumble over to the glider in her room and try to not sit on the cat who is most likely sleeping there, and attempt to focus on how to soothe this child. And you know what...I do. (Granted, I may soothe her 5, 6, 7 times a night) But, I get to be the one she loves and trusts and completely feels comfort in. The one she falls asleep on.
And with all the dreaming I'm missing out on, I simply can't complain.
Parenthood is...a dream come true.
(Not that I'm not open to hearing your tricks for getting your baby to sleep...)