Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is it too much to ask

for a few hours to myself each night? And by a few, I mean two. Maximum. I enjoy spending time with the girls. I really do. But the night time meltdowns are taking a lot out of me.

I don't want to complain.

I work full time and mornings around here have become a bit chaotic with the girls awake too early and clamoring for my attention. I'm lucky to have two minutes to dry my hair, which means that it is usually mostly wet when I leave the house and ends up in a messy bun at some point after it dries. I only wear make-up if we take the "good" train and Rich and I get a seat together.

And I can't remember the last night that Rich and I spent the entire night sleeping alone in our bed. I usually end up in the family room with Em sometime between 2:00 and 5:00 in the morning.

As a new parent, I honestly had the illusion (or disillusion) that I would tuck my little ones into bed at the usual bed time and they would go to sleep without SCREAMING. Doesn't always happen that way, folks. Sorry to say.

So last night, I had a blog post in mind and I was editing photos to go with that post after I had tucked the girls into their cribs. I was listening to the girls over the monitor and they were being really cute so I decided to change my post to describe their cuteness. For once, they weren't crying. (Oh, I should note here that I insist on using the monitor to ensure that no one jumps ship, if you know what I mean.) Em, who likes to attach herself to me like velcro, wasn't making any noise, which I took to mean that she instantaneously fell asleep. THANK GOODNESS.

The girls had seen Uncle Pat yesterday so before bed, they had been telling me how Henry Dog had hurt Uncle Pat's finger. Over the monitor, I could hear Anna and Allie having the following conversation.

"No, I hurt Uncle Pat's finger."

"No, I hurt Henry Dog's finger."

"No, I hurt Uncle Pat's finger."

And then Anna started singing. Be still my heart. I actually typed this while listening to her.

"Go to sleep little Anna.

Close your eyes and go to sleep.

Turn out the light and go to sleep.

Go to sleep, little one."

And then Allie piped in with, "Then goooooo to sleeeeeeeeep."

I haven't discussed this here yet but a few months ago, Rich began taking classes in an MBA program. As a family, we are making sacrifices now that will hopefully benefit us in the future. Rich was not home last night for the girls' bed time due to completion of school work with a team from his class.

So there I was last night, I thought I was in the clear. I thought I was going to get away with the girls falling asleep sans hysterics. Rich arrived home and then Em woke up. She started screaming and her screaming caused Allie and Anna to cry. And all hay may broke loose.

I have received several comments here on my blog regarding my positive attitude surrounding all of this chaos and molar (hopefully) sleeping issues. It's difficult for me to put into words why it is this way. Yes, I can become frustrated but a day doesn't go by without me thinking about how lucky I am to have my girls. And that these are the only babies I am ever going to have.

This is the only life that we are going to live.

When I bring Emily downstairs to sleep on the couch cushion bed in the middle of night, she usually starts whining to watch something on t.v. I've learned to distract her and she usually falls asleep fairly quickly. The other night (well, really early morning) I told her that I was cold and I needed someone to snuggle with. I even threw in a couple of fake cries. She rolled over to me and threw an arm around me in a half hug while giving me a little kiss on the face.

So really, how can I complain?


freckletree. said...

beautiful-- and so true.

sometimes it's easy to lose yourself in the hysteria if it all-- but you said it perfectly-- "these are the only babies that i am going to have".

and they won't be babies for long.

Drew and Emily said...

We go through cycles of sleep issues and great sleep with our ONE two year old. I can't imagine fighting the battle with THREE two year olds. With one we have resorted to letting him CIO most of the time so it doesn't spiral downhill but it breaks my heart to hear him calling for me.

Good luck and remember that this stage will pass.

JEN said...

Glad you are keeping it all in perspective. One day you'll look back at this and be astonished how you did it.

Anonymous said...

There is a good book I used called "THE NO CRY SLEEP SOLUTION" its a good one that helps you get your little ones to sleep gently without so-called-crying-it-out, after all that is painful to do, and like you said they are only little once. Check it out, it may really help you with ideas. I will be thinking of you...take of you, too...

Anonymous said...

Sarah Jane, I'm new to reading your blog but it seems to me that if you do have family help (how can you work full time and not!)this would be an important place to acknowledge it. I raised two children while going to school and working full time. We can't do these things alone. Tell us about how you manage.

Sarah said...

Anon #1 - thank you for the book recommendation.

Anon #2 - Daily readers of my blog know all about Grammy and how much we depend upon and appreciate her. As this is a public blog, I try not to discuss the specifics of our daycare arrangements.

PS - I know who you are!!

Jen said...

You are awesome and I loved this post and the comments section.

Lee Anne said...

Oh girl I don't know how you do it with 3 (and I really hope you aren't sick of hearing that). I have twin almost 3 year old boys and the sleep issues have come and gone. But they have become horribly needy at bedtime the last several months. It is just crazy. So my heart goes out to you dealing with 3 at the same time. My hubby travels a lot so I have them on my own a my heart goes out to you on that one too. :) But also like you I am so very thankful to have these little guys and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. That doesn't mean that I am not going to complain at makes me feel better and also knowing others have gone through the same kinds of things makes me feel better too. Hang in there...this too shall pass and we will be on to other problems that bringing up kiddos throws at us. ;)

sunfrog said...

Aw! This is a totally belated, but I just read this and had to comment. So sweet, and so true. Your attitude towards the sleep challenges is wonderful.

I hope by now you are getting a bit more sleep AND "me time", but if not, it will come!