The ugliness of sleep deprivation

It’s been a rough few weeks in our household.  Somehow bedtime got later and later, and we ended up with extremely overtired children.  Skeeter has been resisting bedtime and is requiring a lot of our attention to help her get settled.  I am still nursing her, but she is no longer nursing to sleep as she used.  Skeeter has always been a light sleeper.  She cannot be transitioned from the boppy to her crib until she is in a deep sleep.  Skeeter’s sleep has been terrible lately.  She is waking up more often at night, usually once a night again. 

Munch, our oldest, has always been a fantastic sleeper.  She was that baby who would sleep 6 – 9 hours at night by the time she was eight weeks old.  Munch is also a deep sleeper.  As she transitions from one nap to no nap, this has been a struggle.  She sees all the attention that is given to Skeeter, and she has been increasingly demanding of my time.  She needs to have me sleep with her in her twin bed before she will settle down.  This resulted in me falling asleep in her room.  When I would wake up, I would be groggy and irritated.  I was getting sleep, but it wasn’t quality sleep. 

This lack of sleep and ensuing bedtime battles have been really rough on both my husband and I.  We have become increasingly more sleep deprived.  I have been really short with everyone.  I also had an emotional meltdown – the first in months.  I was upset that Skeeter only wanted to nurse to sleep.  I just wanted to sleep.  I resented the fact that I could not get anything done at night.  Dishes did not get done for days at a time.  Crumbs piled up on our dining room floor.  I started experiencing my middle of the night insomnia which was one of the triggers for my postpartum anxiety.  I realized that I needed to change this before I start my new job.  I will be learning a lot, and I need to be fully present. 

So this past week we attempted to get back on track.  Our whole family needs to sleep well.   I realized how important sleep is to my mental health.  I realized how important sleep is to my girls and my husband.  It is amazing how much easier it is to navigate the day when we are all well rested.  Tonight was a win for me.  Skeeter was down by 8 p.m., and Munch fell asleep by 8:30 p.m.  I got to spend time with both girls getting them down for bed.  My husband and I need to spend time together at night, and tonight I got to watch some TV with him.  We got mostly caught up on our laundry.  I was able to get a little work done as well.  I am moving to a new department in two weeks, and I am in the mode of must tie up all the loose ends.  It’s the little things that make our household run a little smoother and start the week off on a positive note.

About tranquilamama

Juggling parenthood, housework and working outside the home in the corporate world with my wonderful husband. Mom to 2 beautiful girls. PPD and PPA survivor. The title of my blog is after a phrase that was repeated to me in Spain during my semester abroad in college. It roughly translates to relax and calm down. Trying to tame my inner perfectionist and just be a good enough mom.
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4 Responses to The ugliness of sleep deprivation

  1. Smldada says:

    I hear you and empathize. The 4 year old, who usually sleeps well, is back to wanting help/company in the middle of the night if she wakes to pee. The 11 month old is 11 months. Sigh. She is trying to pull up on everything. But not there yet. She usually sleeps well, like yours, was sleeping 6-9 hrs by a month old. Lately she is up 2-4 times per night. Several nights a week they both have bad nights so I am up 4-6 times between 11 and 7. Mama is suffering.

    I have hit the wall where I am counting down till the baby turns 1 so I can nightwean. I don’t want o do it at he bare minimum age, but something has to give. I nightweaned the 4 year old at 15 months and it went well. So I really would like to wait. But the thought of going 4 more months like this is overwhelming.

  2. Sending you huge hugs. I think one of the issues is that my youngest needs extra snuggles and cuddling as we start to wean. The oldest also needs some extra attention. I am just taking it one day at a time.

  3. katery says:

    have you tried a white noise machine? we have one for my daughter and i think it really helps to block out background noise. you can find them at a fairly reasonable price, i think ours was $20-$25.

    • I think that I found something similar that will work. I used one of those teddy bears that makes noises. The youngest seemed to respond best to the whale sounds. I just need to convince my DH to turn this on. It helps to comfort her to hear other noises.

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