10.08.2013

some thoughts...

First, I want to acknowledge that this blog is not always positive, but I really do try. I want to look back and remember the good! I get bugged with myself when I read back at all the old negative posts I made- they annoy me- so I try and stay relatively (uncharacteristically) optimistic. That being said, this blog is much more a journal of sorts for me, and as wonderful as life is, it's incredibly overwhelming sometimes.

We're at this amazing stage- we have two little kids who absorb everything. We have great jobs. A house. Stability. Good friends and family. We're so lucky! I never want negativity to cloud how thankful we really are. That being said, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't feel insanely burdened. Burdened with inadequacy, feelings of judgement, an incredible awareness of how little I know about parenthood, feeling like a nagging wife, and knowing no matter how I try and divvy up my time, it never seems like enough is spent being a good-enough anything. I feel like I could always be doing more, and better. 
Mostly, more than anything, the hardest thing in all the world right now seems pathetically insignificant and strange..... I long more than anything for sleep
I had no idea how much no sleep could rock one's world. I have literally slept through the night one time in over 15 months. It was a couple of weeks ago when my parents took both our kids after a few completely sleepless nights. Mike and I passed them off, and I burst into tears feeling like a complete failure as a mother. That night we fell asleep at 8:30, eager to just sleep, and keep sleeping until our alarms went off at 6:30 (6:30! So late! It was like a dream!). I woke up at 4:30, covered in milk in a milk-covered bed, from not feeding that little boy of mine during the night. I meandered downstairs, pumped, and spent an hour cleaning up milk that was everywhere, all while the sun came up. I was grateful for those uninterrupted hours, and although it wasn't as long as I hoped, 4:30 felt like 10, and I had a pep in my step that day. I paused realizing what I was doing, and what our lives "are" right now, and laughed to myself.

When we moved into our new home, things kind of went haywire (as to be expected)- Elle was thrown off and seems to be having night terrors now. We've tried fans, night lights, flashlights, toys, doors open, and finally, a dream-catcher from my sweet coworkers on Elle's birthday (which seems to be helping these last few days!). 

Jude went from waking consistently every 3 hours to eat (which was tough, but predictable), to spacing them apart to 4 or so hours- light at the end of the tunnel!..... For a week until he started waking 5, 6, 7 times a night, followed by a vacation and time change (we all know what those do to routines). On top it that, it's been 3 weeks of sickness for our whole family- intense colds (plus an ear infection for Jude)- they seemed to clear, then came back all over again. Our waking 6 times a night has turned into 10+ times a night for the last 3 weeks. I can't bring myself to letting Jude cry-it-out, when he starts coughing and coughing and coughing the second he starts to cry. Did I mention his cries wake Elle a majority of the time? I think I've repeated the phrase, "Mike, I can't do this anymore!" every night for as long as I can remember...

All this being said, I know it will end. It has to. I just wonder how long I can sustain the sleeplessness. Or how long Mike will put up with his kids AND wife crying each night (once when I burst into tears at 11, he sent me to the couch to sleep for a few hours, uninterrupted- isn't he a saint?). I also wonder if i'll ever get over this cold with no sleep to heal my tired body...?

Part of a message from Elder Bednar  this past weekend hit home to me- it had nothing to do with my silly stress of sleeplessness, but it did catch my ear because I feel like all I do each day is pray and plead for rest. He said, "Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina... We petition for growth, and are blessed with the gift of grace... When we plead for relief... He may increase our resolve and resilience..."

I know this will pass. I know one day I'll look back at those nights of feeding and rocking a little baby, and long to hold my baby Jude. I'll long for the ability to comfort him so simply. I'll long to have silly conversations with a toddler who is so easily-forgiving, and quick to think I am smart and cool and fun. 

Our days are full and sometimes I wonder what boredom would feel like... I worry that our days are too full. Full of work and errands and dance class and school and cleaning and feeding people (not that anything is homemade anymore- who has time for that?!) and preparing to wake up and do it all over again...

I'm thankful at least for the reminder by Elder Bednar- his words keep coming to mind since I heard them on Saturday- sometimes I may pray for sleep, but my loving Heavenly Father is giving me stamina and a heart overflowing with love. I'm blessed with a husband who is right by my side. I'm blessed with the ability to get up and do all those things I need to do in a day. Sure, the nights are full of exhaustion and tears (as are some of the days:), but the sun rises and helpers bring aid and share love and support, and I have a family that smiles and laughs and reminds me that it's all ok... I suppose we'll just keep swimming...

5 comments:

  1. Oh, I can't tell you how much I needed this today. You are such a wonderful person! And NOT inadequate in any way, shape or form! You are incredible! Thank you for being so inspiring!

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  2. I loved Bednar's talk too. I have to agree, the sleeplessness is the hardest for me as well. I have the same story of being so excited to get a free pass on sleep night only to wake up with a rock hard chest killing me! This is a great post Amanda. You'll look back at it someday and be glad you captured it.

    **I also remember crying to Jeff saying,
    "Sleep deprivation is a form of torture at Gitmo!! I feel like I am being tortured!" :)

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  3. Geez, this had me in tears. My husband works nights now and I literally spent last night crying in my room while my baby screamed her little head off and refused to sleep. I totally understand and sympathize. Good thing they're so freaking cute! Good luck!

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  4. Coming from a mama that has made it to the other side, you are absolutely right. There WILL, without a doubt, be a day that you will miss those nights holding your baby. With my babies now 11 & 9, I wonder so often why I rushed those years by. Why I wished them away. And yes, we were always sleep deprived and I felt like there were days we barely made it, but I would go back in a second. My kids are closer to moving out than they are to the baby stage. They very rarely wake up in the middle of the night anymore, and the times they need me most are when a baseball uniform is dirty or dinner needs to be cooked. Okay... maybe more than that but I certainly miss the midnight cuddles and them looking at me as if I could do nothing wrong- even though I felt (and feel) like was I was failing miserably everyday.

    All that to say, I know it stinks right now. Being exhausted and sleepless effects EVERYTHING. But, the growing up part stinks too. And one day it be over before we know it. We are where we are for a reason and good or bad, it will be gone so fast.

    And another note, Tommie gets night terrors too (very rarely now). Not sure if Elle is the same way, but T is most likely to get them when she is very overtired (a busy day + a late bedtime). If we know she'll be up late, we make sure she naps or try not to plan too much for one day (haha, easier said than done, right?) She has never gotten them at someone else's house thank goodness, but it used to freak us out. She would cry so hard and get so scared. :( But now that we know how to prevent them a little better, they are much less frequent.

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  5. Oh Amanda! I am tired for you just reading it! Some days when I am ultra fatigued, I pull out my camera and try to find a little beauty or joy. You probably already do this :) but it mega helps me from being crazy angry mommy! Best of luck, friend!

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