Sleep regression. Leaps. New routines. Teething. Sickness. Fears. Anxiety. Nightmares. FOMO.
Whatever the reason, whatever the name, babies and toddlers have incredibly fickle sleep habits. Just when you think you’ve mastered the whole sleep thing, it all changes and your kid is up at 2 am and ready to PAR-TAY.
As a working mother, this is my nightmare. It always seems these moments strike on the nights, er, mornings, before I have important meetings or projects due. While I live and die by my lattes, there is little they can do when I am living on four hours a sleep three nights in a row.
My son, 3.5, and daughter, 11 months, appear to be on the same sleep regression schedule. It’s almost comical how predictable it is. He wakes up at midnight and she’s up at 12:01 am. Worse is his cries or yelling will wake her up more than hers do him. His propensity to slam the toilet seat has resulted in her waking more than once. We’ve not mastered our use of inside voices or gentle toilet lid closing. One day.
Aside from the obvious, the biggest thing impacted by this is my health. Building a fitness routine has been damn near impossible since #2 was born. I am a morning fitness person (just don’t talk to me). My ideal workout time is right around 4 or 4:30 am. (Yes, I understand this may seem insane, but if it doesn’t happen then, it ain’t happening). My daughter loves waking up raring to go around 3:45; this after waking around midnight. I can handle a 4 am wake up if she rocks or nurses back to sleep, but that fifteen minutes seems to be catastrophic to my workout mojo.
The lack of sleep also results in more caffeine (LOTS of coffee and lattes) and really, really shitty food decisions as I seek out desperate (and fleeting) attempts to fuel some sort of energy.
Before you lecture me on the energy provided by working out, I know this. It’s one of those Catch 22 things… I need energy to workout, working out provides that energy, but I need to have it to do the working out part. Aye.
My poor husband is right there with me. Except, he gets the added bonus of my downright tyrannical bitchiness from not sleeping (bless his heart). Honestly, that’s a kind under-exaggeration. It’s more like an unleashed wild rage. At times, the exhaustion is enough to bring tears at just the thought of sleep.
I know these days are numbered and one day I may look back on them fondly (should I do so, please point me back to this post), but right now in the moment, they suck. They suck so much I am at a loss for words to adequately describe how sucky they are.
Saying this does not make me a horrible mother, nor does it mean I don’t love my children in the stage we are currently in. All it means is that this shit is hard, so hard, and sleep is a fundamental need for human beings. I miss it. I miss it more than I miss the feeling of my pants fitting without digging a canyon into my gut.
One day, I’ll sleep a full eight hours. Until then, bottoms up my fellow coffee-loving mamas.