I write about pretty much everything on this blog. The highs and the lows. My health problems, my depression. All the good stuff in my life I celebrate here. I have always been able to just blurt everything out, have a quick read to check for spelling mistakes and then hit publish (I am not really an editing sort of person).
But there is one thing that I don’t write about. Sleep.
I just did a search and the first and last time that I wrote about the issues we were having with sleep was back in June 2011 – when Kate was six weeks old and our challenges began.
I don’t know why I don’t write about it. We have had troubles with everything – from bedtimes to wake ups. And everything in between. I have tried everything I can possibly think of. I have taken advice, I have stuck to my gun, I have drafted in friends for moral support. I have crumbled under the stress and strain of it all. I cannot remember the last time I had a good nights sleep in my own home. I have been to sleep support groups. I am at my wits end.
This week has been the worst. Bedtime is shot to shit, with the kids just up and out of their beds screaming, crying and carrying on. At the end of a long day I can usually dig deep and find the ability to deal with one of them but if they are both doing it them I have no chance. And then when I finally get them to sleep I know it is just a matter of time before they wake again – Kate has dreadful screaming fits – she is not really asleep, not really awake. If she wakes she wants comfort. If she doesn’t she just keeps screaming. Piran always wakes and wants to come in my bed with me. He wants someone to be with him all night long. He wants to have someone stay in the room as he goes to sleep and he wants someone there all night. Kate sometimes gets up and climbs into our bed too. Last night, like many before, I had both of them in with me.
It gets to the point where I will do anything for sleep. Being strict at bedtime is one thing, being woken after just 10 minutes of sleep and having to be strong is another.
I cannot stay in Piran’s room while he goes to sleep. I have such an adversion to it that anger immediately bubbles up in my chest and I have to get out of there NOW. I guess it is because I know if I do it once he will want me to do it forever. I cannot do that. Not with Mr C away most weeks and no one else to tidy up, finish the dishes or make tomorrows sandwiches while I just stand there doing nothing. And if I stay with him then Kate will want me to as well. No no no.
I know that there is one day out there in the future that all of this will change. As everything, this too shall pass. But I have been thinking that for over 3 years and I just want it to stop.
Last night I stood there as my two children screamed and cried and shouted at me. I had put them to bed countless times but yet they kept coming back again and again. I had been ignoring them as they followed me round the house for ten minutes. All I wanted to do was run away. Turn round, open the door and run away as fast as I could. I didn’t, I lost my temper and screamed at them that they were making my life horrible and making me so unhappy and ran up the stairs, more a child than them and dove under the duvet in the dark. They of course followed me shouting apologies and crying even more.
I think perhaps I don’t write about this because I see this as my failing. Where I fall down as a parent. It must be me doing this wrong because everyone else’s children don’t do this. Their parents have managed to impose a routine, make them stay in their room until a reasonable hour in the morning (I even consider 6 to be a reasonable hour after months of 5am wake ups). Their children don’t come in their beds at night. They get to spend the night in bed with their husband.
With Mr C traveling so much we all miss him. I miss him the most each night when I go to bed. Nights spent in the same bed are rare enough, and even rarer with the musical beds that we end up playing when he is home.
I am waffling now. I am glad that I have written this all down. I had meant to write down what a typical night is like but this post is long enough and perhaps I will save that for another day. I know I feel worse right now because at the start of the summer I had worked so hard to get a bedtime routine that they would stick to, and I did it. And for a few blissful weeks it was all good. And now it is not again, and I haven’t changed what I am doing. I follow exactly the same routine evry night and they just won’t go to bloody sleep. Neither of them is allowed any sleep during the day. Kate spends all day telling me she is tired but she won’t go to sleep.
*bands head on desk*
This isn’t going to be one of those posts where I can tie it all up in a neat little ending. This is one that I will just have to consider to be unfinished. At least for now.