Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa,

I hate to do this, especially with Christmas less than a week away, but I need to ask you for a few items. Before you start rolling your eyes, I promise that it is not one of those letters. Yes, it would be nice to find this lens or this lens under the tree on Christmas morning but my plea has nothing to do with expensive gifts.

You see, Santa, I have run out of patience. I just spent the weekend scraping the bottom of the barrel and I fear what will happen when that barrel turns up empty. Which is bound to happen any day now. I am exhausted, burnt out, frustrated, tired of everything being a mess, tired of everything really. I need a break and a real break is not possible.

I need sleep. On a consistent basis. And I suppose that we can blame the girls' sleep issues on me. Alright, let's just blame it on me so we can all stop analyzing the crap out of it. I had a baby die inside of me. I was given the responsibility of caring for an unborn baby and I messed up. Do you think I wanted to chance that again?

When we brought Allie and Em home from the hospital, I was terrified that they were going to die in their sleep. They were born at 35 weeks and 6 days and released from the hospital 4 days later. These two tiny babies were my responsibility and I didn't want to screw up again. At night, they slept in a Pack-n-Play at the foot of my bed. I would sleep with the lights on and jump awake to check on them with every sound. Some nights I slept curled up at the foot of my bed to be as close as possible to them.

What if they get caught up in their swaddled blankets? What if they spit up and choke? What if they roll into something and can't breathe? What if their body temperature drops?

That fear stays with me today. I still sneak into their rooms long after they have fallen asleep and adjust blankets, lovies and pillows. I can't control myself. Most nights, I don't get restful sleep because I'm on guard.

I've been snappy with everyone and I don't want to be snappy with everyone. My kids think that I am being mean to them, Santa. And I'm not just imagining that. Allie actually said that to me this weekend. She told me that I was being mean. Saturday morning, she was taking forever to pick out a pair of pajama bottoms, which she should have been wearing in the first place. After taking forever to pick out a pair, she then proceeded to take forever to put them on. I kept saying, "Hurry up, Allie. Come on, Allie, let's go. Let's get moving, Allie." Do you know what she said to me? She said, "Okay, you don't have to be mean to me."

I want some of my spirit back. What happened to my spirit? I want to be the same person I was after "the incident" with my brother. I want to be the person who didn't care that someone smashed her car windows and stole clothes and a camera because no one was hurt. Material items can be replaced. People cannot. Time cannot.

How did I turn into someone I don't want to be? How to do change back?

So please, Santa, if you have any patience, sleep dust for three year olds, breaks for full time working mothers of triplets or carefree spirits left, can you please deliver some to my house for Christmas. You don't even need to wrap anything.

Thank you.


April said...

Just wanted to give you a big virtual hug and while I'm not right there with you becuase I've never lost a baby I do get the lack of patience and wanting the old you back. I'm so sorry things are so tuff right now. Big Hugs!

from the multiple mamas board

Anonymous said...

I have never lost a baby but I can tell you my little boy sleeps the same as your girls and I dont have the heart to let him cry it out. The way you described how you are with the girls is exactly the way I am with my little boy terrified that something will happen and he will die in his sleep still. I stare at the video monitor constantly, sneak into his room to make sure he is breathing . . . and he wakes all the time crying to be held and I just cant not go in because what if he really needs me, is hurt or scared I am his mama and I am supposed to never let him be scared or hurt. I am one tired mama and running out of patience too. Hang in there I keep telling myself when he is 16 I still wont be rocking him to sleep right?

BreezieGirl said...

::bighugs:: I hope Santa is listening with the rest of us - I know he must be admiring the kind of mother you are. I am.

Anonymous said...

Big hugs to you! You are a great mom! I sure hope Santa is listening

Meg said...

Just a really, really big hug! And prayers for restful sleep.

Ami said...

I have no doubt you're doing a great job...despite what you may feel. :)

hsw said...

I have nothing I can say to help but hopefully things improve. It is hard not to take what our kids say to heart but you can be patient 99.9% of the time and they'll be upset with the .1% and call you on it. Hang in there.

Hope's Mama said...

Thank you for this post, Sarah. You have made me feel a whole lot more normal. Angus has terrible sleep issues (but my god there is only one of him so woman my hat goes off to you!!) and I know I probably caused some of it. Most of it. I guess that's how we'll always feel.
There is nothing I can really say to make this better or ease your burden, but I want you to know I am thinking of you, and if there was anyway at all I could actually HELP you, I would. In a heartbeat.

JEN said...

Oh Sarah,

You didn't mess up!

Exhaustion affects every part of your daily life. I'm exhausted and I only have one child. Being a working mom (and it sounds like you have a long commute) is tough!!

THoughts and prayers your way.

Cindy said...

Here's a big hug for you and this Christmas I wish you patience, peace, a bit of the old you back, and a wave of a magic wand that will let you cut yourself some slack.

I believe most mom's feel the way you are describing. I know I do (I've been told I am being mean, I've made my little ones cry when I've yelled and scared them) and it sounds like others do too. Kudos to you for saying it out loud. Now give yourself a hug and take a deep breath. It is going to be ok!

Kristin V said...

You are a great mom to four beautiful girls!


I hope that you find that gift from Santa and that he leaves one at my house too!! You should have a nice long conversation with that elf!

Anonymous said...

Hugs to you!! My son was born very early and spent a good deal of time in the NICU and then came home on monitors. I know what you mean about still checking on them and not really sleeping, he's almost 9 and I STILL do it!!

I hope Santa can find a break for you!! Your children look happy and healthy, your doing a great job!!

bearie1 said...

Sarah, reading this post made my heart hurt. Like others I am sending you a big virtual hug and a wish for a good night's sleep.

Is it possible for you to get a night away? Spend the night in a hotel, and get some downtime? Everyone needs time away to rest and recharge. Even mommies. No matter how badly they wanted their children, no matter what they went through to have them, no matter how much you love them. Sometimes you just need to be away from them (and work doesn't count).

And, for what it's worth, I don't think it's uncommon for children to call their parents a meanie from time to time. But you were tired and discouraged so the comment made (sorry I don't remember which daughter made it right now) hurt more than it might if you were not so down.

I hope you can take the few days coming up this weekend to just relax and take some "me" time. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, but also a very stressful time of the year.

Take care Sarah! Elaine

Anonymous said...

I hope you get some sleep soon! I know how hard it can be. I also contributed to my girls sleep issues. When they escalated and made me a crazy person from lack of sleep, it definitely was a wake up call. I picked one thing to work on - sleep in their own beds, all night. Just doing that for a few nights was huge! We're not perfect by any means, but everyone is getting a lot more sleep around here. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Here's another virtual hug for you! You are a great Mom...just exhausted.

I have successfully raised three girls close in age and I can promise you that you will be called a meanie many more times during adolescence and the teenage years. My standard response was, "you'll never understand why I am saying no to you, until you're a Mom yourself."

Believe me you will be very unpopular in the years to come when you have to say no to parties, makeup, clothes, boys....the list is endless! But you know what? Now in their 20's they get it, and have apologized for the awful things they said to me and names they called me back in the day. They have grown up to all be highly educated professional women with bright futures....I did my job, and now we are all great friends. So it was worth all the fights, tears, and silent treatment that I received for days on end because I said "No".

So hang in there, take some "me" time and enjoy these years while they are young. They grow up way too fast.


TAB said...

Hi. I love following your blog. You have darling girls and I just enjoy your photography skills.
You are certainly not alone in the tired, frustrated, and impatient department. And, you're right! You do need a break! I totally agree with bearie 1, take yourself to a hotel for a day and a sleep-full night. There is definitely NOTHING wrong about that. I wish I could do the same thing!
You are doing a fantastic job and I am always amazed at your patience.
God Bless.

Wendy said...

Oh Sarah (((hugs))) Add me to the list of people who would be there if we could be. Much love to you.

Lisa said...

From one triplet mom to another...sending lots of hugs and "hang in there" vibes. It's so hard to function when you're not well-rested. It sounds like a break would do you good...

Sarah said...

Thank you all for you kind words and hugs.

Katie said...

Aw hunny i'm sorry and hope you get your break soon. I am a preemie mom too and that guilt is a biatch to deal with. I hope Santa brings you happiness and peace for the new year.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping Sarah & Rich pick a weekend in January to go away. Papa and I will watch the girls the all weekend so she can have a break, sleep late and maybe enjoy a show of some sort.
Love, Grammy

Anonymous said...

Grammy rocks!

I really hope you take her up on her offer. Everything seems so much worse when you are sleep-deprived.

Even though it's hard now, I suspect there will be a time (in maybe 10-12 years) when you will miss this time of snuggling at night with your girls.

Hang in there.

Julia said...

Big hug to you too, Sarah! We have the same sleep thingies here and there is no way I am letting them cry to sleep. We know it will pass, but sometimes it is really hard to wait (and wait, and waaaaaiiit) while our whole life seems to be months (and months!) behind.

I hope Santa listens to you and you find a better self again.

MarysMom said...

Thanks for your post, it is a tough time of year for those of us who have had a child die. So many feelings and emotions. You are doing a great job and the girls are so cute. Hope you have a great New Year.