Six months without sleep equals…night weaning?

M&M is now eleven months old. And her parents are eleven months exhausted. Give or take. I’m now looking back fondly on the first five months of co-sleeping, but it clearly did not suit M as well as it did her older sister.

halloween costume zombie mom baby undead no sleep tired exhausted motherhood work stay at home

In honor of Halloween: a zombie mom and her baby.

We are the zombie-like result of getting up multiple times a night (for me it is usually three times, with just enough variance toward two and the glimmer of one to keep me marching on. Sometimes parenting freakishly resembles the intermittent [addictive] reinforcement of gambling) for six months. And the once occasional I can’t do this anymore has gotten much more frequent lately.

It is also bleeding far beyond the bedroom:

  • I’ve been way wayyy more easily overwhelmed lately.
  • I’m extra irritable…and with a quickness.
  • I’m having a hard time focusing and generally am in the midst of three different tasks (at least!) whilst wandering around trying to remember what I was doing.
  • I’ve increased my caffeine intake from a daily morning cup to a regular afternoon cup (70ish percent of the time). Le sigh.
  • There is an anxious, nervous energy in my chest that is driving me pretty much batty.
  • I’ve reached the point that even hitting eight [broken] hours doesn’t satiate me.
  • At night I feel apprehensive and sometimes resentful because I know what the wee hours hold. In the mornings I’ve been more likely to feel a bit defeated, perhaps apathetic, and so, so overwhelmed.
  • I’m overly fixated on little things (house cleanliness for example), seeing them as more important that they really are, in the big picture.
  • I’ve been having supply issues, as I try to pump for the 25-30hrs per week that I am away from home.
  • My workouts have sucked 🙁

The balance that I try so hard to achieve and maintain is all out of whack. I see the inter-relatedness among many of these “symptoms” and I also know that there are other culprits in my/our life. My stress is not unwarranted but my newly lacking ability to efficiently cope is alarming.

Maybe I expect too much of myself.

Maybe this is our new normal?

I sure hope not. I am actively searching for ways to catapult through time and space with a more even keel. And I think the sleep thing is pretty huge. So…now what?

Night weaning may just be the answer. Which is so much easier said than done. Especially easy for me to say! Tony is already working long hours and we are very much still transitioning to never seeing him working outside the home. And then there is the fact that 2-3 days each work week I am gone from 5:45am until about 7. And two days per week I pretty much say good-night to M after breakfast.

There are reasons why this situation has worked for us and why it’s been more comfortable (er, doable?) to stay the same rather than embark on the process of change. There is also the seed of hope that tonight will be the night. Tonight she will sleep and it will be the first of many full nights of sleep.

That’s how it happened with Dot. It was right at fourteen months when, coincidentally, she also began to walk. She just started sleeping through the night. And it was amazing.

The thing is, I’m just not sure I’ve got three more months in me.

I may just have to resign myself to a more scattered, stressed, struggling version of me.

Or try that night weaning thing.

Oh, parenting.

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