Sleep anxiety is real. We’re having a particularly rough week sleep-wise. I feel like I have a newborn again. Booboo decided that she doesn’t need sleep. Plus she’s teething. She’s not particularly upset which is why I’m not sure if the sleepless nights and lack of naps is from that. When time for bed rolls around I don’t look forward to getting some much needed rest. Instead I dread going to sleep because I anticipate being rudely awakened less than two hours later. So I sit on the couch scrolling through my facebook feed for the millionth time. When I finally do get in bed, every noise and movement keeps me up. Is that the baby stirring? Is she going to start crying again? I’m afraid to close my eyes because it seems easier to just stay awake than to be woken on the verge of sleep. When I do fall asleep I’m haunted by the potential of being woken up at any point. My brain refuses to give in and I spend the rest of the night in limbo, not quite awake but not quite sleeping either.
The other day I yelled at my poor husband because he told me he doesn’t care what’s for dinner and I should decide. On the surface that might seem unreasonable. I’m sure that having an 8-month old who still wakes up multiple times per night had something to do with it as well. But what my well-intentioned husband doesn’t understand is that having to be the one to figure out what everyone will eat every day for every meal of the day is exhausting. Every once in a while I suffer from dinner decision fatigue.
Mom worries never end. Even when things are going our way, we worry. We worry when they don’t sleep. We worry when they do. I accidentally left my phone in the bedroom where Booboo is napping. Husband called me and I heard it ring over the monitor so I ran in there to get it as quickly as possible. I pick up quietly and tiptoe out of the room. I say “phew, baby stayed asleep!” and husband said “wow impressive. Is she still alive? haha”. I know he was kidding but now instead of enjoying an extra long (and much needed) nap I’m worried about SIDS and want to go check on her to make sure she’s breathing. At the same time I don’t want to wake her up. What’s a mom to do…
UPDATE: She’s alive!
For a few weeks now things have been building up and I had no choice but to consider that PPD might be to blame for at least some of that. Part of the reason I’m having a hard time with that possibility is because on the good days I think “I’m fine, I was just tired”. On bad days I feel like a faker, “you were fine yesterday. Just because you are having one off day doesn’t mean you need to start feeling sorry for yourself”. Lack of sleep is definitely a contributor because the bad days tend to come hand in hand with the bad nights. The other part of it is I don’t necessarily feel down or like I can’t enjoy things. I mostly just get angry and have a short fuse and I feel like everything in the world is out to get me. Sort of like the sneaky hate spiral over and over. After a couple weeks of snapping at the world, Husband cautiously approached me and said he thinks I should talk to someone. He even went ahead and found out all the information about the Employee Assistance Program that has some coverage to get things started.
We went to a park for a picnic with a couple of friends and our 2 kids. It was a really fun day out. Living in Silicon Valley, flying home-built drones and bahn mi sandwiches were on the agenda.
As the afternoon and the conversation went on I found myself sounding like a downer. We were talking about all the fun things we like to do but don’t get to do anymore. Play rock band, play settlers of catan, break out of an escape room, build a drone, go rock climbing… and the list goes on. My friend said “aww you sound so sad” and, defensively, I immediately replied “we still do fun things”. She said “like what?” and this time I had no reply for her.
I’ve been thinking about it since then. I am hopeful that someday we will get to do all those things once again. In the meantime I came up with this list of five things that are MORE fun with kids: