Honesty

My sweet little boy just fell asleep. He fought for half an hour so Mike tried to get him to sleep when he went to bed but that failed, too. I tried to snuggle him and avoid nursing him to sleep but in the end, caved because sometimes you just have to do what works.

He’s rosy cheeked, a bit snotty, that blue vein between his eyes is showing through his pale skin. His long, long eyelashes, like all of his siblings’ lashes, stand out most when he is sleeping.

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My back hurts. I finally just now do not have the headache I’ve had for half the day. I don’t get headaches often but this one just hung on as long as it could. I’m tired. So very tired. Like, all the time tired.

I had almost five hours without my kids today. Five hours to come and go from my house as I needed to, to meet Mike for lunch, finish some Christmas presents, prepare a few packages for mailing. And when I picked up my children, Oliver had just woken up from a nap that Jenny got him to take in her friend’s bedroom. She just has the touch with him. He was happy all day, charming us by saying, “bye bye,” and smiling with all his teeth showing. Walking around on his knees and with a bit of encouragement, walking a bit on his feet in the evening.

Now he is in bed. I let him sleep in my arms just long enough to ensure that he was fully asleep. If I put him down too soon, he will wake up. I put him in his bed which means that I might have an hour before he wakes up and wants to come into our bed.

 

This year was hard. I went looking for an answer on a forum I have used for years now. I searched, “toddler sleep” and found a relevant post: “Toddler who won’t sleep,” from almost four years ago. It was my post. Looking for answers because then twenty month old Ben wouldn’t sleep through the night. It wasn’t the sort of “not sleeping through the night” that most people imagine, though. It was multiple wakings, crying and carrying on, thrashing around in our bed if I brought him to bed with us at all, waking up his three older siblings who shared a room with him at the time. That year was hard, too.

I read through the post and found the answer at the end – once we started putting him into bed with the other boys, he slept. He is one of my best sleepers now. He sleeps snuggled up as close as he can get to whomever he is sharing a bed with. He is five and a half and I honestly didn’t remember him having that problem for so long. I thought he slept through the night just after a year. I know now that I’m remembering him night weaning around a year and that we attempted to use cry it out to get him to sleep through. I thought it worked but I guess I was wrong, at least in the long term.

Oliver is not Ben. Ben was bright and vibrant like Oliver is but for the first year of his life, Ben was pretty miserable half the time. Oliver has never been that way but seems to store up his fussiness for night. With the year being focused on losing weight, working out, watching what I was eating and all that, I don’t even know where we went wrong with Oliver. He was doing so well in those first four months. We got sick in January and that is when I know I stopped putting him down awake. But otherwise I thought I was being consistent. I don’t mind co-sleeping but I feel as though there hasn’t been much actual sleep involved.

Now I’m up forty minutes later than Mike, who has to get up for work in less than seven hours. I need to sleep but the garbage needs to be taken out and ideally, the dishes would be taken care of before bed.

This is really just one big sigh. An opportunity for honesty. I’m not super mom. I’m exhausted. I don’t know what I’m doing all the time; in fact, the hardest part about this year has been suddenly feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing at all. I don’t know how to be a mom right now. I need to find that niche with each child, find what they need from me and how to still make time to be healthy myself. I want to fix everything but I just don’t have the answers.

Being honest this year has not come easily. I don’t feel as though I’ve been dishonest but I have certainly held back simply because I didn’t want to burden other people with my stuff.

I love my children and my husband but right now, I just don’t always know how to love them. I want to, though. I don’t want to give up. That is one very big difference between 2015 and 2011. I wanted so badly to give up so many times. I’m glad I didn’t but it is disappointing to be teetering on the brink of some of that again. I thought I was stronger than that and I’m sorry that I’m not.

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