I’m so tired, I’m falling asleep while in the bathroom. I think I need caffeine on IV!! I’ve been functioning on about 5 hours of sleep a night for the last 7.5 months, and it has been grueling. I no longer feel tired. I’m not sure if that’s scary or not. As a single mom — as a new mom — how am I to survive on little sleep?
I have been looking for months — years even — for regular, reliable, occasional childcare. This past year, I’ve even had funding available (under the title of respite!) for such a thing. Unfortunately, it does not seem to exist. I’m beginning to feel a little desperate, but I’m also getting creative about appointments and meetings.
Sleep advice on no sleep?
All the month of February, I’ve been talking about the benefits of sleep, and how to make sure your family gets enough. Ironically enough, I haven’t been able to get my own sleep. This is because I have a teething 7 month old baby; 5 other children that need to be fed, educated and loved; and a business to run .. and I’m a single mom. I keep telling myself, this will pass and eventually she will sleep.
This was supposed to be a post on co-sleeping, room sharing and transitions. I currently room share with my infant daughter. My intention was to co-sleep with her, as from past experience, that had gotten me the most sleep. And as a single mom, there’s no tag team here. My sleep is important! But it turns out this child is a light sleeper. And co-sleeping actually got both of us less sleep. So she is in her own bed.
And I am contemplating having her in her own room.
My children sleep fine, mostly.
My four middle children share rooms – two and two. My oldest has her own room, and my youngest will probably have her own room. I’ve had solid bedtime routines since infancy (a perk of being a single mom — I get to make the rules, and there’s no confusion!) and my kids mostly go to sleep and stay asleep with no issues.. now.
We’ve had sleep issues in the past, though. Mostly due to special needs. My oldest, who has ADHD, has struggled for years with falling asleep. She still struggles but now she’s old enough to know what tools she can use to help. My special needs child has also struggled in the past, but with a predictable routine, we can manage her anxiety and she sleeps better now.
I have the tools, the routines, the do’s and don’t do’s down pat. I think..
Sleep, perchance to dream..
Before baby girl joined us, I often struggled with nightmares. It was one of the leftovers of my marriage, and one of the reasons I’m now better off as a single parent, but they kept me awake for hours. Being this exhausted has had its benefit. I no longer have nightmares. Or if I do, I’m too asleep to remember them, or even to wake up to them. (The slightest baby noise wakes me, though!!) I guess there’s a positive in everything.
My fatigue has been aggravated lately by a bout of the flu. We got hit with flu mid-January, and I spent the better part of a week on the couch with a fever. While my kids are healthy and happy, I’m still feeling the effects on my lungs, my voice and my energy levels. With such a light sleeper sharing my room, I cannot cough properly at night. So I still have crud sitting in my throat and lungs.
A lack of sleep does not allow for fast recoveries.
Updates on my family
It’s hard to believe that my oldest is a full-fledged teenager, some days — and other days I’m so grateful she is! She often thinks I cannot do anything without her, and I will admit she does much around here to make my life easier. In return, I try to make sure that my requests of her are reasonable and that I respect her time to be young, to be carefree and to enjoy herself.
This girl is precious. Yet she can be so frustrating! Lately, her anxiety and special needs issues have been.. getting in the way more than usual. I am struggling to be as patient with her as I feel I once was, which is probably not helping. She can be so critical, so negative, it can be hard to bear. But she lights up with her music. Putting her in her choir program was one of the best decisions I could have made for her.
By rights, I should probably write that her age is 8. Her birthday is so soon, it’s practically here. 8 is a milestone year here, because at age 8, legally she doesn’t need to be in a car seat or booster anymore. We call this little girl a walking “question bump”. Her curious and inquisitive nature can sometimes get her into trouble — or annoy her sisters — but she is increasingly a huge help to me. She is becoming more and more capable of so many things.
This little miss is a sweetheart. The change turning 6 has made in her has been incredible to watch. It seems like overnight we went from whiney and sometimes oversensitive, to super caring and resilient. Physically she has sprouted — she’s now the same size as Miss Almost-8. Academically, her reading has taken off, and in just the 6 months she’s been practicing, she’s now onto first-reader chapter books. And emotionally, she has become strong and secure. Though she still has her moments.
Miss 4 is my little mischief maker. She bounces from person to person, from room to room, with a sunny smile or a little smirk. She can get into trouble faster than most, but she’s quick to learn from it too. She rarely makes the same mistake twice. It seems she is also left-handed, like Miss 6. This is becoming more apparent in her schoolwork, though she will still occasionally switch hands.
Little one here is growing before my eyes. There are times I’ll finish feeding her, and then think that she’s gained another pound! She cut her first tooth on Valentine’s Day. And she’s almost sitting up on her own now. Her favorite spot to be (besides in my arms) is in her exersaucer. She has really mastered it, and now is working on the tricks to get her sisters to pick up her toys, for now.
Summer family fun is coming
I cannot wait for summer. I am planting a garden — I just moved the old one, and I’m in process of building some new boxes for my garden, in a different spot than before. Yup, even as a single mom, I can do a lot of things on my own. With less arguing. And I am part of a couple of homeschool book sales — in two small cities not far from here. So I’ll be selling off some of my collection of homeschool books.
I bought a museum pass to one of the local museums. They have an amazing Sunday afternoon program during the warmer months — horse drawn wagon rides. So I’m hoping to be able to go every Sunday, and enjoy it together.
I have beach trips and park days planned. And I want to go on lots of picnics, whether that’s at home or elsewhere. Summer can’t come fast enough. It’s going to be so much fun.