I have been extremely sleep challenged lately. That's the life of a mother, right? Although, sometimes I think to myself, "how is this so hard? How do other mothers manage without falling asleep at the table while their 2 year old eats dinner?Am I just not cut out for this?" I know that sounds harsh, but when exhaustion comes into play and I can barely muster the words to say, "time for bed Elly", it makes me wonder how a mother is supposed to do this.
Two night ago Evangeline was up til 1am. Then up again at 5 and then we were up for the day at 7. I got about 5 (maybe) hours of sleep. Then it was on to our mom's group for 3 1/2 hours and then the normal daily stuff like lunch, naps, playing, cleaning, dinner, etc. I was majorly struggling. I fell asleep nursing on the couch around 6:15 and just told Craig to put Elly down for bed. Evie fell asleep and I put her down around 7pm. I made a beeline for my bed hoping to catch up on 4 months of little sleep. Within 15 minutes Evie was crying...and that was our routine for the next hour and a half. I'd get her asleep and then as soon I made it into my bed, she was up. So frustrating! Around 8:40 I decided to just see what would happen if I let her cry for a while. *Gasp* I know that sounds horrible and goes against all my 'attachment parenting' friends, but I was not about to be going in to calm her all night in 15 minute increments. I was starting to lose my mind! So, she cried. And cried. Then quieted for a while. Then cried again. On and off for about 40 minutes. It sounded like a mad cry, like "how dare you mother not come in here and talk to me!" Then after 40 minutes she magically drifted off to sleep for, get this, 9 hours. I didn't hear from her again til 6am. So now I'm thinking, "hmm, is that the ticket? Does she just need to cry for a while?"
We did CIO with Eliana at 16 weeks to the day. The first night she cried about 40 minutes and then it was less every day until after less than a week she drifted off to sleep without a tear. Somehow this time around I didn't want to do that. I've felt like Evie is still so little and since I haven't had to deal with colic with her (thank you Jesus), I'm not sick of her yet :) BUT, I am sick of being tired. I need to be me again. I hate not having energy to play with Eliana and that it's a struggle in my head just to talk nicely to her- that's how tired I am! So I guess last night was sort of an experiment. And it worked. Very interesting! I will add that Evie was not hungry, did not have a dirty diaper, and her room temperature was good. I had been snuggling and loving on her ALL day. She just wouldn't sleep. I figured if her crying sounded sad or hungry or hurt I would go get her, but it just sounded mad and mad won't hurt her. But a mom that is too tired to raise her kids, that will!
I'm not sure what I'll do tonight. That's the question of the day I suppose. Very interesting that by allowing her to cry and 'self soothe' she was able to sleep all night, huh?