Of all the things that no one tells you about being parent, they leave out that the exhaustion stays with you. Any reasonable person would expect to be tired when you have a newborn baby that's waking up multiple times a night and really needs round-the-clock care. But once your baby gets a little bit older, and they are sleeping through the night, you can get back to getting a little bit more sleep - typically. Now, I say this knowing full well that there are parents out there whose kids are just crappy sleepers. They have toddlers that are still waking up multiple times a night and I don't know what that's like. All I can really say is: I feel for you in a very real way.
A few days ago I spent the night at my in-laws house. Shep and Rory came with me and while it took him awhile to get calm down Shep was really good through the night. He stayed in his pack and play and his grandma and grandpa's room. At one point he woke up during the night and said "Grandpa" - and of course Grandpa replied and said "I'm here, Shep," and he went right back to sleep. Rory on the other hand decided it would be a great day to wake up at least four or five times crying and upset. I'm sure she woke up other people, but I felt like I was going to lose my mind. Honestly I don't feel like I can complain about these sort of things because I'm a stay-at-home mom and I don't have to be up at 6 a.m. on the dot anymore to make it to the office on time.
But honestly: the mental drain of running constantly on a lack of sleep is something you can't explain to anyone. Honestly, you just have to experience it for yourself. Once you do you will have a lot more compassion for people who have it worse than you.
Today Shep was being quite a bit rowdy. I've noticed that when he starts to misbehave, giving him the opportunity to work out his wiggles and focuses his energy. So I embarked on a walk with Rory in my carrier with Shep by my side. At first I thought we would walk around the block a few times. But no, no - Shep had other plans.
We walked and walked and walked - probably just over a mile down to the riverfront. There's a park in town and I figured Shep would be really excited to play. Instead, he got preoccupied with the big dump trucks doing construction; the big barges pushing boats down the river; and the train that drove through town very slowly. After a while I started to get warm and wanted to head back home. Rookie mistake.
She refused to walk next to me and kept asking me to pick him up. So like the cool mom that I am, I put Shep on my shoulders while carrying Rory in my ring sling. Soon I started sweating and swearing because, of course, the entire walk home was up hill. I know that sounds like I'm 80 and complaining - but I live next to the Mississippi River! Yes, everything literally is uphill as you walk away from it. Shep was so tired he laid his head down on the top of my head and started muttering. I could tell that he was ready for a nap.
As soon as we got home I put Shep to bed, nursed Rory to sleep, and then crashed myself. Even mommies need naps. I've probably needed one since that fitful night earlier this week. And whole I'm diligent about my son getting the rest he needs, I often forget to do the same for myself. You know, I think I might take another nap tonight, as soon as my husband gets home. Who knows when I'll get a full 8 hours again?
Does your kid sleep through the night yet? When was the last time you got to take a nap while the kids nap? Give me hope @pi3sugarpi3