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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lincoln's first sleepover

It's been a rough month with Linc's sleeping. It seems we make some progress, but then take a couple steps back every few days. So I'm not sure I'm actually helping him learn better sleep, or if those nights of rest are just a fluke.0

I'm staying as consistent as I can with a schedule, and I do see it helping. While it still may take a while to get him asleep in his crib, it's starting to happen around the same time each day for his naps and bedtime. I know that's important! And I'm trying to appreciate that development. But it's so hard to be so chronically exhausted.

Before Christmas, my friend Nikki texted me to ask if she could take the kids for a couple of days. She wanted to teach Linc to take a bottle and give me some uninterrupted sleep in the kids' absence. I left it up in the air and thought about it for a couple of days before even approaching Kev with the subject.

Part of me really wanted to do it. I wanted to have some time to myself, free from anxiety and feeling so overwhelmed. But another part of me agonized over Linc's disinterest in bottles. I knew he wouldn't starve in the slightest, but I hated to think of him struggling with a bottle. Also, I felt so guilty wanting so badly to be away from the kids. I hated the reality that I was at a point I neededto be away from them.

But, y'know, sometimes a person needs a break. Sometimes being a parent is terrible. Sometimes being sleep-deprived gets to be too much. Sometimes a person has to do something in order to reset and function better. I was starting to hate the person I had become- always irritable, short-tempered, and unable to enjoy my kids.

So I talked with Kev (more like, sobbed and tried to spit out the details of Nikki's offer) and we decided to go for it. We planned to meet Nikki on Sunday evening and give her the kids. I knew Aspen would have a fantastic time playing with Nikki's daughter, and it was really just Linc I worried about (and Nikki's eardrums).

The drive up to meet Nik was so hard. I felt so nervous about my little motherboy. I know he won't remember any of this experience, whether good or bad, but I couldn't help but worry. But I did it. I drove away from my kids and went home and binge-watched Netflix with Kev.

It took Nikki about three hours to get Linc to sleep that night. He cried nearly the entire time. He woke up multiple times in the night, and spent two hours awake from about 4-6a. So... basically they were up all night. During all this, I managed to get about four hours of sleep before my body automatically woke me and wondered about feeding a baby. I managed to get a few more hours of sleep before getting up to pump before work, and that's when Nikki texted that perhaps Linc should come home (insert LOL emoji here).

We agreed Kev would pick up Linc (it was his day off Monday) while I was at work, and that Aspen could stay another night to play. Linc was so tired Kev said he slept on the ride home, which is the first time he's slept in the car for MONTHS. He was awake for about an hour when he got home and then I put him back down for another nap. He was so exhausted from torturing Nikki with his crying!

Overall, I'm still glad I let Nikki take the kids. It was nice not feeling anxiety about having small windows of time (while Linc napped) to get something done. Every day I rush around like a madwoman trying to finish items on my to-do list or play with Aspen or work during Linc's tiny naps. Although it was a short break, it's appreciated.

I'm grateful to have friends who offer to take my kids for me, even when it's not pleasant. I'm grateful Nikki and her husband are friends I can trust so thoroughly to be honest with me and supportive and Christ-like. I never in a million years thought my high-school friend Mike and my college roommate Nikki would one day take my kids for me so I wouldn't have a mental breakdown. It amazes me how God puts people in our lives to do His work.

And even after a terrible night with my baby, Nikki suggested we try it again in a few weeks. I think I'll give her a little more time than that to recover, though. It's not easy trying to rock my screaming, 22-pound infant to sleep for three hours.

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