Hey there! It's a been a while, and odds are you haven't stopped by because I haven't had anything new to tell you. It's been nearly a month since my last post, and while I have been getting things done, attending events, and working my behind off, the truth is, I've been exhausted. The kids had both been sick on and off for almost 3 months, which led to major interruptions in their sleeping patterns. Sometime in August, Chloe went from being a perfect sleeper to needing to be rocked and nursed and coddled all night long. Caleb started school, got sick, and it was downhill from there.
I don't tell you this because I want your pity. I'm here to tell you that while social graces dictate that we should smile and "fake it till ya make it," the truth is, we don't always want to fake it, and we don't always feel like we will make it. In the roughest of my weeks, I probably mentioned to every soul I came across that my kids weren't sleeping through the night. If you were one of those people, I apologize profusely and thank you for not telling me to fly a kite. The truth is, for the last couple of months, I have felt like (and more than likely looked like) what Chloe looks like in the photo above. Crying, whiny, and perennially in a bad mood.
It's no wonder that sleep deprivation is used as a torture tactic on prisoners. Lack of sleep messes with all of your faculties - from energy levels, to brain chemical imbalances, and mood swings. I had zero energy. I couldn't focus on writing, and I was making really poor decision about what I ate. I kept putting off sleep training because it's something I've always grappled with. I fought it with Caleb, too. Once I did it, though, everyone was happier. I kept reminding myself of that.
And after a really rough night, I decided we needed to just go for it. I contacted a sleep consultant, Anet of Learn Eat Sleep, and she helped me come up with a plan for getting Chloe to sleep. We implemented it, and five days in, we've had two full nights of sleep. I feel almost superhuman. We have all woken up in good moods, we're not scrambling around because we hit snooze three times in a row, and everyone is feeling so much better about themselves.
But why a full post on this? Because while I made mention in passing on my instagram Stories about Chloe's interrupted sleeping patterns, I wasn't really forthcoming in just how bad it had gotten. Guys, it was bad. One night, after the third wakeup and spending forty minutes hearing her cry and trying to get her settled, I had to go to our room to get Eddie. I was in tears, and I told him, "I'm scared I might hurt her. I'm scared of myself." Guys, THAT is what sleep deprivation does to us. Luckily for all of us, I don't suffer from any kind of mental health issue that might have barred me from recognizing that in that moment, I was NOT OKAY. That night, I totally understood why some moms might hurt their children.
According to my social media posts, however, everything seemed "fine."
But I wasn't. And you know what? It's okay not to be fine. It's OKAY to say, "I NEED HELP."
And while you're at it asking for help, remind yourself that you don't need to compare yourself to anyone else. Because as I just proved, I'm only showing you a highlight reel. I try to be honest and transparent, I really do. But I get caught up in this world too, and I want everyone to think I'm doing great. I want to be able to do it all, because after all, in this day and age, our value is measured by how much we produce, right? And raising children doesn't give us a tangible product (I mean, aside from our kids being alive and well at the end of the day).
But this is me, being transparent. And telling you that I certainly don't have it all together. And I'm here to remind you that it's one hundred percent okay if you don't either.
And that it's okay to say "I need help," or "I need a break." Because God knows I love my kids and my husband. But really, sometimes, I need to feed my own soul. And I need time away so that I can come back fulfilled and replenished. Then I can be the best wife & mom I know how to be.
So if you're feeling worn down, momma, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are so many of us out here, crying tears of exhaustion and frustration at 2 am. I've been there. You're not the first, and you won't be the last. So ask for help.
And hang in there mama, you've got this.
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