A disjointed post about sleep (and its absence)

January 20th, 2014

Sleeping with Willow

I don’t blog very much right now.  I miss it, and I know some of my readers do, too.  (Thanks, by the way!  That makes me feel good to know my pieces are enjoyed.)

The reason I don’t blog is simple.  My third-born doesn’t sleep well.  At all.

To put our situation in perspective, the other night she slept for almost two hours straight after I put her down and I was nearly giddy with excitement.  Really.

Blogging is a time-consuming process.  I think and write quickly, but there’s editing to do.  Formatting.  Proofreading.  Photo-editing and uploading.  And…wait, what’s that?  The baby is awake?  Hold, please.  I’ll be back…

Birdie has a bed that she starts out in, but she spends most of the night in my bed with me and that is where she STRONGLY prefers to be.  When she wakes in her bed and realizes I’m not there, she fusses.  And I go up and snuggle her back to sleep, then tip-toe out.  We repeat that dance anywhere from one to five times between when I put her to bed around 8:15 and when I give up and come to bed between 10:30 and 11:00.

It is emotionally exhausting because I don’t get the “kids are in bed downtime” that I would really enjoy having.

I’ve put off writing this post in part because I don’t know where I’m going with it.  I don’t have an answer.  We’re not at the end of this season yet, where I can look back and offer wisdom, advice, or at least humorous commentary.  We’re in the middle of it and, to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about the status quo.

On the one hand, when I’m sitting downstairs, trying to talk to Josh or pay bills or clean the kitchen or – dare I dream? – write a blog, and I hear the baby crying, I am frustrated.  I scowl and curse and mutter threateningly under my breath about “sleep training.”

But the second I am upstairs with her, it vanishes.  I lie down next to this perfect, beautiful creature and she wiggles herself next to me – on to me, really – with her head propped on my arm.  She goes limp and warm with sleep and I am undone with love.  What on this earth could possibly more important than spending those precious moments with her?

So you see, Birdie’s sleep habits are simultaneously the greatest source of disorder in my life and the single greatest source of peace and joy.  And I haven’t figured out if I can get rid of one (by having her sleep more) while keeping the other (the bliss of sleeping with her).

3 responses to “A disjointed post about sleep (and its absence)”

  1. Emily says:

    Oh Kate. You always have such a good perspective even when in the thick of things. I completely understand how frustrating this is because I went through it with Madeline. We didn’t cosleep but I spent hours sitting in her room rocking in the glider. We did eventually sleep train but there was always backsliding related to traveling, teething, etc. I wouldn’t have minded the hours in the glider but there was a husband downstairs who wanted to spend time with me after he had been at work all day, or after he had come home from a trip who was increasingly getting frustrated at the situation. But, like all things, this too shall pass and I’m sure you will remember the moments the wee one was curled up in your arm. I am so thankful I do get the alone time after the kiddo is in bed, but I do remember the coziness of being curled up with the wee one and thinking how cozy it was.

  2. Emily says:

    And, for the record, I do miss your blog posts!

  3. Cindi Frye says:

    There can hardly be a Mom among us that doesn’t know what you’re going through. Is that any comfort? I can tell you I have crawled out of a room so the would-be sleeper couldn’t tell I was leaving. Oh, the memories. But lacking sleep? Oh, yeah. And the babies that slept all night the first night and kept on sleeping like that: One. Out of seven. I know when you’re not getting much sleep, it really is difficult. You literally can’t think straight. And it will pass. Meanwhile, cut yourself some slack on the activities.

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