I cried so much today.
I sat on the kitchen floor and sobbed.
2 weeks of Sleep Deprivation.
Through pure exhaustion. Mentally emotionally and physically. I just wanted everything to stop. To feel normal again. To remember what it feels like to not be sleep deprived. To have energy. To have mental clarity. To not feel overwhelmed and my anxiety has been through the roof.
Time stopped. It all merged into one big long bundle of nothingness with no end in site. I didn’t feel like a person anymore. And it started feeling like it’s always been like this.
“You deserve a medal”.
“You cope so well”
“How do you do it?”
When I hear people say this to me I just think “if only you knew!”. Especially to those that are single or have a massive network of family support to help chip in to look after your kids.
These last 2 weeks have been absolutely horrendous. Deveena has come down with a viral infection. When you put it like that it doesn’t sound like a big deal really does it? But in reality it’s been relentless.
What’s been happening for Deveena?
She is a toddler who I sleep trained at 4 months old, sleeping through the night one one feed which she dropped herself. I put her in her cot and walk out. She fall’s asleep herself and stay’s asleep. But the last 2 weeks have been different.
Usually a big, bold and wild little character who bounces off the walls and is always laughing. She has been stuck to me like glue. Not wanting to go to anybody else. She has been vomiting every day, she hasn’t eating anything. She is off her milk and cranky. Everytime I have tried leaving the room she has been having meltdowns. Her naps have been all over the place and her night sleep is out the window. We have had frequent trips to the doctors and hospital.
So how has it impacted me as a mum of 2 running a business and looking after my munchkins?
Its knocked me sideways. Completely. I haven’t just cried today. I think I have cried 3 times in the last week. The worst part for me has been the time it’s taken to put her to sleep and the night wakings and the lack of routine for both naps and nights. She has had to sleep at odd times in the day because she is so unwell. But napping late into the evening and having a knock on effect at bedtime has been difficult. Taking hours to fall asleep but the waking every 1 to 2 hours because she has a temperature, vomiting or coughing. 3 nights ago it took me 2 hours of rocking, patting, shushing and laying with her to sleep. I knew I was reaching a dark place when it dawned on me how mums are arrested for shaking their babies and accidentally serious injury or death. I actually wanted to shake her. It really scared me. But that’s the reality of exhaustion, caring for a sick toddler and sleep deprivation. I hadn’t slept for 3 nights. Maybe 2 to 3 hours here and there. I ended up co sleeping from the middle of the night to morning through exhaustion for 3 nights. I will not these dark thoughts to be a gauge of how good a mother I am.
I haven’t been able to shower properly, some days I eat breakfast at 12pm and that’s a quick bowl of cereal or whatever I can grab my hands on. I have been living in my pyjamas and haven’t brushed my hair in a week. By the time the kids are asleep in bed I have just want to curl up in a ball and never get up. But because of my anxiety and insomnia for the last week I haven’t been able to wind down. So when I have had a chance to sleep I haven’t. Instead I have binged on TV serials. Oh by the way if you havent watched Euphoria omg you must!!! I have fought my sleep and stayed awake until midnight battling with sleep and guilt, selfishness and irresponsibility. Lying there wondering how exhausted I will be the next day and why the fuck I cant turn the I pad off. My brain has been wired and I just haven’t been able to switch off.
The household is upside down. There is no routine. We don’t know if we are coming or going. My body hurts my head hurts. I have forgotten the outside world. I don’t want to speak to anybody. I don’t want to go anywhere and I don’t want to do anything.
I have been snappy and impatience with my eldest daughter who bless her is on her summer holidays and as a result has had more time indoors then I would like to have. The guilt oh gosh don’t even get me started on that.
I have survived with TV and chocolate cookies. Does that make me a bad mother? Fuck no. Exhausted that’s all.
Half way through the week I have had to practice surrendering, accepting and letting go. To consciously work on my mindset and shake myself out of it. By remembering this is temporary. When she recovers things will go back to normal.
So what have I put in place?
First things first: Put deveena back into her own bedroom in her bed and made co sleeping non negotiable.
Any night wakings I have dealt with by using a gentle hands on sleep method making no tears a priority because she has been unwell.
Back on track with routine and normal nap times
Not allowing any sleep associations to develop
Put all work and house work aside
Told my husband to do all the cooking
Accepted things are just the way they are right now
After stupid TV binges starting to actually self care. Sitting down, consciously making a decision to eat and following up with it, explaining to my eldest that we will go out once her sister in unwell and refusing to entertain the guilt
Taking vitamins especially vitamin C and tons of it
Allowed myself to disconnect with the outside world and letting myself be a mess instead of feeling anxious and guilty about connection, relationships and hygiene.
Put an intention out to the universe to get things back on track this weekend, for her to recover and for life to get back to normal from Monday.
Connected with hope, faith and positivity.
I have constantly been thinking about my mums I work with, how they feel before sleep training and about you. YOU. I know you can relate to everything I am feeling. My last 2 weeks is your world. Day in day out. Maybe without the viral yes but mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. The rocking walking and taking hours to sleep. The lack of routine, naps in the air, the cranky baby or toddler. Fussy eating and clingy. The foggy head and the body aches. The not wanting to see anybody or go anywhere but wracked with guilt staying indoors. The fight with the I pad and TV and shitty foods. Not having anytime to eat or shower and feeling like a complete and utter mess. I know you hear me.
If you are sleep deprived give me a call on 07581 410015 and let’s talk about how we can change your life.