Get some sleep!
No, seriously. That is the topic for today. Some of my readers have heard this story before, but when I think of lack of sleep, it is what I always think of.
Anyway, Super was born at the end of September, 2004 (insert huge sigh that he is getting so big, o.k., back to the story). Flower had just turned 5, but and Jelly Bean was 2 years, 9 months. We were all thrilled to have a baby in the house again. Super was a sweet, easy going baby. As a newborn, he took short catnaps (like 10 minutes) about 3 times during the day. Then from 10 pm to 3 am, the boy was UP. Not crying or anything, but just awake, wanted to be snuggled, looked at, rocked, etc. OK, lots of babies get their days and nights mixed up. It would calm down in the next month or two. Except that it didn't. I tried everything to improve his sleeping habits and nothing worked. As he got older, he just got more and more alert during that 10 pm to 3 am stretch. He would usually drop off around 3:15, sleep until 6:15, and then eat, go back to sleep until 8ish. Would be sort of o.k., I guess, except that Flower and Jelly Bean would get up around 6:30 am, so for months, I was only getting 3 - 3 1/2 hours of sleep a day.
At first, I was exhausted. I'd catch little snippets of sleep whenever I could, but it never was much. Every day was a fog. And then I got used to it. Or so I thought. Ever so gradually, I found myself just wanted to stay in more. I didn't want to go out to the park with the kids. And then I wouldn't want to go see my friends. And then I just wanted to just stay in all the time. And do almost nothing. But I didn't think I was depressed or anything. It was just what I felt like doing. I thought everything was fine.
And then it happened. He started sleeping. At almost 11 months old, he started taking longer naps, and he started sleeping some during the night hours. Almost over night, I went from getting 3 hours of sleep to getting 7 hours of sleep (some of it was interrupted sleep, but hey, I wasn't going to complain about it!) And suddenly, I felt like doing stuff. It was like the clouds had lifted and the sun was shining again. It was only afterwards that I realized that being so sleep deprived for so long had caused me to become depressed.
Now, I know that we are all in different circumstances, and you might not be able to get all the sleep that you want or need. But I also know that I, and maybe you, don't always follow the adage "Early to Bed, Early To Rise, Makes a Woman Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise." I need to be healthy, wealthy, and wise, so I should probably give this advice my best effort and try and curb my late nights, and get to bed earlier, so that I can get up earlier, and have some time to myself to meditate, and gather my thoughts before I start the day.
So go to sleep! You'll feel better!
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