I am going through a lot right now. While it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be really freaking super busy (I am so NOT a bored housewife), I’m struggling to keep my head above water most days.
My oldest is visiting her grandparents for the summer. She is so blessed to have the opportunity and her extended trip is going to be such a memory-filled adventure for her. I miss her like crazy though. It blesses me to have the ability to focus so deeply this summer on the two littlest girls, especially when Penny & Alli are both so needy right now. Zo gets spoiled rotten with attention from my parents, so everyone wins- except that Mommy’s heart isn’t complete when she can’t kiss her firstborn goodnight.
There is so much more going on but I want to focus on what is seriously eating at me- sleep.
I can’t get enough sleep.
I have a little girl who is really battling with bedtime.
Alli has never been a good sleeper. Forget being put to bed- ever since we stopped nursing at 18 months, when I was 4.5 months pregnant with Penny, she won’t do bedtime. We can’t figure out how to make it happen- we can’t reason with her. Routines don’t work. New bed, new bedding, pretty room- didn’t help. She has never slept through the night except for maybe 5 times in her 2.5 years of life. I have been told by numerous people to use Benadryl or Melatonin, but I can’t bring myself to drug my kid. I’ve been told to bathe with lavender oil or spritz it on pillows.. it is part of our usual routine but it doesn’t even touch the problem at hand.
I’m writing this at 4 am.. With a cranky, crying toddler next to me. She woke up about 20 minutes ago ready to play for the day. I told her we couldn’t play. We couldn’t watch a show. We couldn’t “eat gummies”, her new favorite request for a treat sent to her from an out of state grandma. I so badly want to comfort her back to sleep… But she is mad and doesn’t want me to touch her.
She screams and whines, LOUDLY. Forget that we have a 2 month old in the same room that I just spent an hour and a half putting to sleep. Pennypie also thought it was time to play at 2 am. Now it is 4 and I have two very sleepy, very very cranky, teary-eyed munchkins. And I haven’t slept a wink.
It’s nights like these that make me want to pull my hair out. Can I be honest? I have to battle the cigarette craving that never quite disappeared even though I quit a year ago. It’s nights like these that tempt me to just lock my toddler in her bedroom with the baby gate and let the baby cry it out in her moses basket so I can just get some SLEEP.
But I chose to be a mama. That’s my calling, it’s who I am. And though I think these things and I may lock myself in the bathroom for a minute and a half to whisper frustrated swear words to myself or plug my ears and attempt to calm myself down- I figure out a way to pull myself together to be the rock, the constant in my daughters lives.
I am not a great mom. I am learning every day. But I try hard to show my children love. I’m learning that sometimes love simply looks like not screaming when that is all you want to do (or all that you can do). It looks like saying no to smoking for the sake of your family’s health, even though nothing else quite compares to the instant stress relief it gives. Sometimes love looks like giant bags under my eyes, breastfeeding one kid and rubbing the other’s back while singing the song my nana used to sing to my mom who sang it to me… with a foot in my ribs and a fist pulling my hair, and balancing on the very edge of our king size bed.
At least that’s what it looks like tonight.