It's been a matter of concern to me lately that I can't seem to keep my eyes open. Either I can't wake up when Darwin's alarm goes off, or I have to nap when baby goes down for his afternoon snooze, or both. My afternoon low period has become serious dead time. I've actually started drinking coffee in the morning to boost my energy levels, and I don't even like coffee all that much.
I see looking back over my novena for order that one of my conclusions was to get up earlier. I know that during the school year, getting up early is the difference between getting all our work done in the morning or slouching through the afternoon. Yet if I'm always exhausted, how can I stay up?
What makes me so tired? The answer is so basic it's almost stupid: I'm not getting enough sleep. I've never believed in a division of labor for night wakings. Since Darwin has to leave the house and get up early to go to off to work, I don't expect him to get up in the middle of the night to deal with this or that (and of course he can't nurse the baby). Unlike me, he can't put his coworkers in front of a movie or in quiet time and take a nap. But this also means that my night's rest is constantly interrupted.
Here's a rundown of last night's activities:
- go to bed at 11:30, read for a while
- turn the A/C off, surprised that it's still on, put the sleeping girl in the hall back in her bed
- 3:10: Julia comes in and wants her necklace taken off. Have to turn on the light to fix that.
- 3:40: Isabel comes in, needs a drink of water.
- 4:25 wake up from bad dream, turn A/C back on and shut windows because it's way too humid
Now all this might not sound like that disturbed a night to most parents. And indeed, if those were the only distractions, I might count it a restful night. But in between everything, the baby was nursing. And nursing. He starts off the night in the crib, but comes into bed whenever he wakes up. Then I roll him from side to side whenever he starts fussing so I don't have to fully wake up. The problem is, I am waking up.
Jack is almost a year old. He doesn't need to eat every two hours. I don't want him to eat every two hours. I want him to sleep in his crib, because then he doesn't snuffle and paw at me all night and wake himself up. And frankly I have no attachment to a family-bed-style arrangement (especially with a queen-sized bed). But I've taken the lazy road of not training Jack to sleep all night in the crib at 6-8 months like I did with the girls, because I haven't wanted to deal with the few very sleepless nights and the crying it out that this would entail -- and also because now the crib is in our room, not the kids' bedroom like it was before. Now he has more powers of yelling persistence (and volume). But it's gotta be done.
The baby in his crib all night: I'll sleep to that!