Nights are depressing. The feeling of being so overwhelmingly exhausted through every bone in my body, my mind a jello-mush pile, too tired to think straight. At a time of day when I should be relieved that this will all go away after a few hours of sleep, I’m just depressed. Completely resigned to the fact that the exhaustion won’t go away in a few hours. Won’t go away at all because I won’t be getting a few hours sleep. I’ll get an hour or so, be woken up, an hour more, up again. For now, while the kids are still so young, I will feel this way. It will be a long time before I can consistently sleep in on the weekends or have a nap in the middle of the day to recover, let alone get enough sleep at night.
I watched my wedding video with Eirinn on the weekend. She thinks brides are princesses and she wanted to watch mommy be a princess and daddy her prince. Watching it was uncomfortable. In four and a half years, I’ve aged about ten. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in three years and it shows. The makeup was excessive, the hair too frou-frou, the dress uncomfortable. But, oh, how young I looked. And I looked like I felt young.
That is what I miss. Feeling young. I turn 30 this year. At the end of the year, mind you, but I’ll be the big 3-0 within the year. Ten months and ten days, to be exact. Even now, at 29, 30 sounds ancient. I never thought I’d be the type to care about growing older, but I’m predicting an increase in emotional breakdowns as my birthday looms. I think my mindset has changed because back when I didn’t think I was going to care, I still felt young. Now I feel old and my age reads young. In ten months and ten days, I will feel old and be old. There’s no going back now.
If you couldn’t tell, I had a particularily rough night with the girls last night. Each of them was up three times, on separate occasions. AH took two of Eirinn’s, but I was awake for them anyway. Everytime I heard a cry or “mommy…” from one of the monitors, I thought “God must hate me.” I shook off that thought, knowing, even in the dead of night, how blessed I really am. Instead, I thought “God must think I’m so much stronger than I am.” Avery wanted to be nursed to sleep, Eirinn wanted to go pee, then poo, then to watch her shows. When the sun started rising, and I knew all hope of a decent night’s sleep was gone, I resigned. I woke up, had my shower with Avery fussing in her crib and Eirinn in the room next to me.
Avery is a poor sleeper because of my laziness. I nurse her to sleep because it’s the calmest, the easiest, and the most natural way for her. So now, six and a half months later, that’s almost the only way she’ll fall asleep (aside from in the car on long rides), even at night. And now, three hours after waking up from a very disrupted night, Avery is ready for a nap. As is our usual, I nursed her to sleep (such a bad habit I can’t break either of us from). But as soon as I set her down she woke up. And so I repeated the process. And again she woke up. So now she’s crying in her crib. I’ll go up after 15 minutes, but for now I need her to stay there and me here.
We were going to go to play group today, one of Eirinn’s favourite things to do. But after a performance from her last night which included several temper tantrums at 5 in the morning, we are staying home. I can’t reward that kind of house-disrupting behaviour.
So now I must try to rectify some habits that have now returned to bite me in the very exhausted butt, likely the cause of my lack of sleep. If I teach Avery to fall asleep on her own, perhaps she’ll fall back to sleep on her own when she wakes in the middle of the night. And if I teach Eirinn that waking up and throwing a fit in the wee hours of the morning will not get her what she wants, perhaps she will stay quiet until it’s time to get up.
I don’t know. All I know is I’ve got to fix this, and soon. I’m tired beyond repair and I don’t know how long I can go on getting only a few hours of sleep a night before I fall asleep doing something important. If only I were younger, stronger…