TruthBooking: My daughter hasn't really slept in 8 weeks. 56 days. That's over 15% of a year. She now struggles going to sleep on her own, awakens several times in the night and says she can't go back to sleep, and eventually wakes up for good very, very early in the morning, like at a time most of us would say is not okay to be awake. Even God is not up then. Most parents I know would recognize one of the above sleep struggles alone as a whole lot to handle. Three of them at once? No, no. Just no. But apparently.... Yes. There have been a couple glimmer of hope nights, but they were sadly deceiving. She is beyond exhausted. We are too. Ironically, thankfully, mercifully, her brother is sleeping through the night. Before you comment with your kind, hive-mind, well intentioned suggestions, please know we've tried everything. It's an endless mystery puzzle that we are dying to solve.
We've tried E. V. E. R. Y. T. H. I. N. G. Co-sleeping? Yep. Toddler bed? Yep. Melatonin? Check. Snake, I mean, essential oils? Oh yes. They have the opposite desired effect on our sweet girl. Don't get your feathers ruffled ladies, I'm sure they work great on your kids. White noise? Always. Solid bedtime routine? Yes ma'am. Night lights? Yup. Let her sleep with a flashlight too? Done. Consult her Dr about it? Of course. Benadryl? Why not. Vitamin D? Affirmative. Omega 3's? Check. Books about sleep? Sure. Talk to her about what's going on? Heck yes, at length. Drop her nap against every fiber in my being? Yes, even that horrible idea.
As usual, I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this. Except that I've made a lot of "we're a happy family" posts of late and I think there has to be balance. For the love. Today after work and picking Bea up from school, I walked into our house and defeatedly looked around at the mess, the undone laundry, the unwritten thank you notes, the dishes, the puzzle pieces I had to walk on just to get in the door, Bea's birthday party decorations still hanging around. And I felt like an utter failure at life. Whether it was guilt or an unlikely burst of energy I'll never know, but I thought I might get Bea settled in watching a Daniel Tiger and tidy up. But then her behavior was off-the-charts-meltdown-land. Throwing, hitting, whining, crying. Some of that is normal behavioral development, of course. Testing all the boundaries. The "threenager" so they say. But then imagine your threenager after 56 days of missed sleep. I couldn't catch a break, wasn't sure we would both make it to dinnertime unscathed and finally took both kids on a walk to the park in some desperate attempt to redirect her after all else failed.
When she finally went to sleep tonight, I descended the stairs into the same mess that greeted me upon coming home this afternoon. And though there is ample guilt, there's no burst of energy in sight now. I double checked just in case. But I look at the mess, all the undone tasks and shoulds, and I can at least recognize why they feel so insurmountable amidst the sleepless storm of the now with our precious girl. And a five month old. And a full-time job. And a music career. There isn't a break. It's full-on. And we're hanging by a very thin thread most days and every. single. night.
So if I don't need child sleep advice, then what do I need from you generously kind friends? Goodness, I'm not sure how to put words to it. But I think it's what we all need. An "I hear you" would be welcome. An "I see you" would be kind. An encouraging word that isn't "cherish it now, you'll miss it later" because though that's so very true, it's not in the least helpful. Just knowing that some of you read this and maybe a few of you don't feel so alone in your own mess is enough for tonight. Sweet dreams, dear ones. What's your truthbooking today?