Younger, stronger

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…

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One thought on “Younger, stronger

  1. Oh Jen, I was exactly where you are at that stage with my kids and I am much weaker than you as this is the exact thing that made me quit nursing Owen. He would only be nursed to sleep and he was boob addicted. It was killing me so I just weaned him. I needed him to not depend on me anymore for sleep and I could only do that if I completely cut him off. So kudos to you for what you are doing! You are strong! Be proud of yourself and remember, this too will pass. The CIO never worked with Owen but it worked wonders with Aleah. Keep trying that and maybe she will catch on that she can’t always have the boob to fall asleep. It works for many babies. Nursing for me was the most rewarding yet the hardest thing I ever did. Oh and easy on the 30 is old thing!! I will be 30 in a week and a half!!! LOL!

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