The Tired, Tired, Tired Mama

This morning I am so tired. Like, the kind of tired that feels like despair. Driving to work, I turned off NPR because it was needling me, those voices, and in the quiet I just stared at the waterfront and thought to myself, “unbearable.”

It’s amazing how sleep deprivation eats away at you. I know, and I forget, and then I am reminded. Starling doesn’t sleep through the night. He has once or twice, but mostly, he doesn’t. He’s a tease. Sometimes he only nurses once; often, he goes at least five hours without waking, from 1-6 or so, which is pretty decent. Yet there are still plenty of nights when he wakes up frequently enough that I feel like a zombie the next day.

Last night was one of them.

Sometimes I do let him cry. I couldn’t yesterday, because my mom is staying in his room and he was in a pack ‘n play at the foot of our bed. Which meant that he spent a lot of the night in our bed, rolling around, randomly sitting up, randomly crying out, wanting to nurse, then falling back asleep. He has a stuffy nose, and I guess it’s enough to keep him restless.

So, we have tried night-weaning of various kinds. He screams so hard, and so loud, and so long. It’s awful. I can’t take it after a while. Uno helps; she has occasionally been able to get him back to sleep without nursing, but it’s exhausting for her, because it takes so much longer.

Night nursing: it’s faster. I like the cuddliness – sometimes. I feel guilty about being gone for so much of the day, and I’m partially reluctant to night-wean because he only gets to nurse a few times otherwise. Then again, he’s 16 months, and he obviously CAN sleep through the night.

Being inconsistent is the worst. I know. We need to commit to something.

This kid! So stubborn. I finally got up with him at 6:15. We walked into the bathroom – he likes to see himself in the mirror – and he grinned at our reflection. My bed head and swollen eyes. His crusty nose. He gave me the sweetest hug then, pressing his little fuzzy head into my shoulder. That’s parenting, right? The agony and the ecstasy. Hyperbole seems warranted because I’m just so damn tired. I feel inside out.

Some part of me feels like I’m being melodramatic. “There are bigger problems in the world,” I tell myself. “This too shall pass. I’m alive, right? The sun is shining. I have coffee. He’ll grow out of this.” And so on and so forth…

Bah. I’m still tired.

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3 thoughts on “The Tired, Tired, Tired Mama

  1. It will pass eventually, but as a Mama of a kiddo who did not sleep through the night (as in NOT ONE TIME) until she was 2.5, the sleep deprivation is no joke. And there are worse things, but it sure is hard to imagine them when you’re in the trenches of sleep deprivation craziness. Hang in there. It will get better, but it’s okay to admit how exhausting it is in the meantime!

    1. Aw, thank you! It’s always good to hear from others whose kids don’t/didn’t live up to sleeping-through-the-night expectations. Our big guy also slept terribly, and now sleeps like a rock, so I have hope. When I’m not falling asleep on my feet, that is.

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