Monday, August 3, 2009

I Have Problems

The other day, my mom and Evie and I were driving to the pool. From the back seat, Evie piped up and said "I have problems!" My mom's eyes widened and she whispered "She did not just say that!" Laughing, I asked Evie "What kind of problems do you have?" And she replied "I have sleeping problems."

So. Very. True.

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know sleep is a constant struggle in our house. We have good times and bad times - the last several months have been bad. If Evie even makes it into her own bed, she is often in ours by eleven o'clock.

That's not the worst part, though. Falling asleep is hard for me right now. This baby boy likes to do gymnastics in my tummy right when it's time for bed. Sometimes he kicks so hard that I gasp out loud! Plus, I can't sleep on my back or my stomach. Sleeping on my right side makes my hip fall asleep.

So I finally fall asleep, and Evie kicks me in the face. Or she wiggles around and moves so much that it feels like there's a wild animal in our bed. Kick, kick, kick... I decided last week that she has to get out of our bed. I can't do it anymore. All my theories about co-sleeping went out the window. Simply put, I need sleep.

My friend Karen suggested I put a sleeping bag next to our bed for Evie. I dug out this little napping mat from in the basement, and set it up in my room. Evie was thrilled! She insisted on taking her nap there, and slept there happily for three nights.

Here's my secret, though: I have problems, too. I wake up a million times each night to look at her. It's all I can do to leave her there on the floor; I can hardly stand having her so close, yet so far. I want to pick her up and snuggle her next to me. I could do it - just lift her in my arms and put her next to me, where she belongs. But I don't. Remember, I need sleep. So instead of bringing her into our bed, I toss and turn all night, missing her.

Last night Evie slept in her own bed all night. The little sleeping bag was empty until dawn. I snuck into her room twice to check on her - she was sleeping peacefully. My beautiful princess Sleeping Beauty. Oh, we praised her this morning! And she says she's ready to do it again tonight.

I know from experience that this might not last. She'll be in her bed for awhile, then want to be with us again. For some reason, this time is harder, though. What if she really stays in her room now? What if I really get my wish, and she grows up, moves a little closer towards independence?

And here is the paradox of motherhood, yet again. I'm raising my child to be independent, self-sufficient - celebrating each tiny step towards autonomy. But somewhere in my heart, I grieve every time she slips a little further from me. It's thrilling and heartbreaking, all at once.

But maybe I just need some sleep.


Heather said...

I am sure you do need sleep. And I am thinking you won't feel rested for many, many years. But even then, when you wake up one morning and think, "This is it! I finally feel good!" the kids will be doing things like playing next door, driving, and/or working. Except you won't remember feeling tired, just all the sweet memories of the things you did for and with them.

When they are grown and have children of their own, they will thank you for the wonderful childhood you provided them.

Fiona said...

Listen to Heather.

Also, I sympathize with the hip thing. All through my pregnancy, my hips fell asleep every hour or so, requiring me to flip over. That's not so easy when you're moving a supertanker (aka my belly).

Shanilie said...

Sleep is a marvelous thing. If i don't get any I am so emotional and - cranky sometmies lol. It is hard seeing our little babies growing up and getting more and more independant. I wish Jacob would be a little more dependant on me still.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Paradox of motherhood...isn't that the truth? The first night that Savannah slept all night in her bed, by herself, I just about cried. Just another step to independence.

I know you have said here on your blog...but when are you due with sweet baby boy? Is it late fall?

Alexandra said...

how funny!!

we have the same "problems" with Sweet Pea. He has never been an ideal sleeper. But we just follow his cues. And I am exactly like you. Even if he sleeps really well one night I am up looking at him in his room. lol. Charles and I haven't slept a whole night in over two years!