27 September 2012


I am at my wit's end. I'm going to be totally raw and honest here, because I need help, advice, and encouragement. I feel like it's going to sound petty. Like I should just deal with it. Please don't tell me to just deal with it. Please don't tell me that that's parenthood and I need to get used to it. If that is your opinion, I don't need to hear it right now. Even if it's true. I don't think I could handle that right now.

I am beyond exhausted. I know, I know. I'm a mother. Babies are tiring. And goodness, Emily, you're not even working, think about how hard all those mothers have it who don't get to stay home with their kids! See? I tell myself it. I know it.

But this goes beyond tired. I can't sleep. John sleeps better at night than I do. Sometimes it's just waking up multiple times and I can get back to sleep. Sometimes it's insomnia. Sometimes it's somewhere in the middle.

For the last four months, I've been putting off total exhaustion by napping during the day, whenever Johnny napped, usually for about an hour or hour and a half. It worked pretty well. For some reason, I've always been able to sleep better during the day than at night. And it has kept me going.

Johnny has stopped napping.

I don't know what to do.

If we're in the car mid-day, he'll sleep. If we're at home, he will go to sleep. I will thank God and lie down myself. And fifteen to twenty minutes later, he will start screaming. Just as I'm dozing off, usually.

He's fine, he just wants attention. He wants to watch me and interact with me. Which is great! I have a happy, loving baby. But I am so emotionally exhausted that I'm getting angry at him. How stupid is that? I shouldn't be angry at him for not napping - God knows he's not maliciously taking away my sleep time.

I don't know what to do. I don't know what I'm asking, even, really. I guess...is this a normal phase? Is there a way I could get him to sleep longer? Is there a way I could sleep better at night? (I've tried so many things. This is not a new problem.)

I am sorry if I come across as complaining about a normal mom-thing. I don't mean to. I just...I need help.

Blessings on your travels,


Ticklish Nymph said...

Oh hun! I feel your exhaustion! I had the same problem with Molly. She would sleep only brief amounts during the day, and then only for 2 hour spurts at night, waking up starving and screaming.

Does he sleep in the Moby? (Do you use the Moby? Or any carrier?) I discovered Molly would sleep in a ringsling/Moby, and then I would just lay down with her in it and nap at the same time (or even at night!); because she would stay asleep longer.

I also started supplementing (initially) with a bottle of formula at night to help her sleep a bit longer (it bumped her from 1 1/2 hours to 3 1/2 hours. You might try that?

Also, have you talked to your doctor? It sounds like you might have Post Partum Depression, which if you do, you really need to get help. It won't just go away over time (and it's been four months already). Usually you only need to be on antidepressants or any medication for a few months, just to give your body a chance to regulate your hormones.

If you need to vent or have any questions or anything at all, let me know!

Andrea said...

Hey Emily,

I have no idea if you even remember me. We met when you worked at Barns and Nobel last summer and became facebook friends. We were gonna get together and somehow that never happened. Sorry about that.

Anyways, my little boy is only a few weeks younger than yours I believe, and I'm getting pretty sick of this no-sleep thing also. The past few days I feel like I have been at my emotional wits end. I'm also starting to feel like I'm losing myself to mommy-hood (good in someways, bad in others) and I want to start socializing again with people who don't cry as their primary mode of communication.

I was wondering if you'd still like to get together sometime. I know neither of us have extensive personal time, but I have multiple swings and bouncers at my home or we could meet up for some mall walking (yay for exercise!) I don't want to cause any additional stress in your life, but perhaps we can help each other through our struggles. Facebook me if that's something you'd be interested in. I'd even be happy to watch him while you take a nap :)

A.E.B. said...

Oh, Emily. I wish you guys were here! Virtual hugs are not the same...

I have no experience with parenting, and this is probably more of a temporary fix than anything else, but here's my idea:

I don't know if this would be a viable option for you guys, and it might seem a little silly, but you might consider hiring a babysitter for an hour or two so that you can take a nap in the afternoon. Any neighborhood teens around looking to make a few bucks? (or if your parents are available, use them! free babysitting!) Have someone come over and watch Johnny in your living room while you go get some shut-eye in the bedroom. If they need you, you're just on the other side of the door.

My sister-in-law (for a birthday/Christmas present) asked for an hour or two of babysitting each week so that she could go somewhere quiet and write. It's been really wonderful for her. A college student comes over and watches the twins, she gets introvert recovery time and makes progress on her writing projects. It's worked out really well. Balance has been restored to her life.

You are a good parent. You have a unique situation. You need sleep. Please do not feel guilty about any viable solution that helps you to achieve this goal.

I also second the suggestion of seeing your doctor about it. Sleep deprivation itself is dangerous, and if it's even slightly possible that you might have PPD, you especially need to talk to a doctor to rule out the possibility or to begin monitoring and treatment.

Sending our love and prayers!