My child has forgotten how to sleep. That photo was taken after a long fight yesterday when I felt victorious that he’d finally dropped off, only to have him wake up 15 minutes later and refuse to nap. He goes to bed at eight or nine, only to wake up at midnight, at four am, at six am, and then at 7:30am for good. And last night, he woke up at 2am. It’s been like this for two weeks now.
This little chubby being, who used to take gloriously long 2 hour naps twice a day, who used to sleep from eight or nine pm until five or six in the morning, has suddenly revolted against the idea of a solid few hours sleep in favor of being awake, crying, rolling himself over, screaming, and making such a huge fuss that he literally cries himself hoarse. He makes me feel like a bad mom as I stand there by his crib and stare at him, and wonder why he hates us, why he hates sleep, why God won’t make him sleep, why I can’t feel anything where I used to feel empathy. Why suddenly, I feel numb to it all. Why I just want to walk away and not deal with him.
These aren’t feelings any mom wants to admit. Mothers are supposed to be loving and understanding, selfless and patient, soothing and calm. Today, I do not feel any of those things. Today, I feel heartless, selfish, exasperated, frantic, frustrated, and on edge. Of all the things motherhood entails — dirty diapers, crying, sleepless nights, constant need for attention, burp up, slobber, messes everywhere — lack of sleep is the only thing that really gets me. If I had sleep, I could deal with everything else.
But I haven’t had a solid night of sleep for the last two weeks. And today, I just can’t. He’s exhausted, I’m exhausted, and I’m so over trying to be the “good” mom.
I can’t make him stay in his crib and cry until he falls asleep. I can’t deal with the constant fussing. I can’t be a logical mother who keeps her child on a schedule of eat-wake-nap today. I can’t be the working mother who somehow juggles work shifts and a baby. I can’t be the perfect wife who has all of the cleaning done and the laundry folded and dinner ready. I can’t stick to my guns on eating Paleo today. I just can’t.
So he’s up. We tried peas, which he loved yesterday and gagged on today, and we had some corn, which he loved today and who knows what he’ll think tomorrow. We’re going to watch cartoons until he’s tired, and we’re going to play. Maybe I will nap with him. Unless my boss says otherwise, I’m taking the day off of work. I might make some cookies, I might take outfit pictures, I might do nothing at all in my yoga pants until I have to be dressed tonight.
Today is the day to not deal. Today there are no rules, there is no schedule, and hopefully, there will be a little more sanity and a little less crying. Today, as Kristen at When At Home wrote, is survival mode. And it’s okay. It’s okay not to deal. It’s okay to leave the mess, skip the diet, forget the schedule, and just chill.
And maybe have a cookie or two.
(he made up for it, though, by producing me with these gems):
Poop face at its very best.