Monday, January 5, 2009

Armageddon is nowhere in sight, and a reflection on the newborn days

So, remember when I told you Kaylee's new sleeping habits may just be a hint that Armageddon was coming? Well, now I know that it most definitely is NOT.

We had two good nights.

The first night she slept for 9 hours and 45 minutes. Night # 2 was about 8 hours or so. And, last night we were back to the midnight wakeup call.

And wouldn't you know - each night she slept so well I went to bed by 9 to prepare myself in case she woke up multiple times. And she didn't. Last night I stayed up until the absolutely insane hour of 11 o'clock (oh, dear me!). I had trouble falling asleep, and just as I was dozing off at approximately 11:49, she starts crying.

I gave her a couple minutes because sometimes she just cries for a short bit and then goes back down. Not last night.

So, as I logged more rocking miles on the glider, I reminisced back to Kaylee's newborn days. I really struggled a lot then, and suddenly I recalled a conversation that I had with my mom.

Sleep was not a regular part of my life at that point, and it was really taking a toll on me. I was experiencing a fair amount of mommy guilt as well, and I felt the need to share it with my mom. At the time, I felt I was taking a risk by admitting my true struggle to her.

I remember telling her, "Mom, I feel so bad because I'd rather keep sleeping than get up to comfort Kaylee."

Man, I felt like an ass. I was so selfish, right? Wanting to sleep, wanting to put my needs above my child's, playing the tug of war between my pillow and the sweet babe in the Pack 'N Play at the end of my bed. I was seriously afraid my mom would think I was a bad mom (well, I know she wouldn't think that of me, but it's how I thought at the time).

Now I think back to that very feeling that made me feel so crappy. That feeling still exists sometimes, but I've lost much of the guilt over it.

Fortunately, I've accumulated enough sleep (and popped enough ABP's) to realize that it's okay to want to sleep instead of getting up with the baby. It doesn't mean I love her any less! I'll always want to comfort her and make her feel better when she's crying (and you better believe I'll always want to kick anyone's ass if they ever make her cry), but when I'm tired and I feel like staying in bed instead of getting up to rock her back to sleep, that's okay.

I'll eventually get my butt out of bed and stumble into the nursery to make her feel better (or I'll send Dennis in).

But, it's just one of those things that has taken me a good 8 months to realize that it's not worth feeling guilty about. It's not a bad thing to want sleep. And I want sleep. I want 8 hours of sleep. Every night. Really bad.


Kelly said...

I too partake in the drinking of the mommy guilt juice! It is what we do! My lazy ass skipped over the getting out of bed, she sleeps in the bed with us! I don't recommend this to anyone unless they enjoy waking up with a 2 year old's heel in your eye ;)

Summer said...

Oh girl! Lack of sleep does crazy things to you. You need it to function. And there is nothing to feel guilty about. =)

April said...

I am glad you realized that it's OK to feel that way. We ALL do.

Jenners said...

If you show me a mom who really truly WANTS to get up from a sound sleept to comfort a child, I'll show you a liar! You are not a bad mom -- you are a human one! : )

Al and Ruth and Noelle said...

Amen, sista! Great perspective.

Brittney said...

You can't be worth anything to your daughter dead-tired! Good for you!