Yet again, the Carpenter house is going through a period of no sleep. This time, it focuses more on Addie and her constant ups and downs during the night. Again, this is not a new behavior. If I really think of her whole two and a half year existence, she has only slept peacefully for maybe a few months of her life. It is particularly draining when you are handling these disruptions on your own though.
Andy and I had noticed that she was not sleeping well when we first moved here, which we first attributed to the time difference, a new house, and a whole new place to live. We did not have our own furniture for the first two months here, and when it did arrive, we moved Addie immediately into a big bed of her own. There was always a reason for Addie to be restless at night – hot weather with a tiny air conditioner, colds, getting adjusted to new schedules, etc. But when the first six months here had passed and Addie was still up and down nearly every night, Andy and I were growing more frustrated and concerned. Our nights began revolving around fighting just to get her into bed, then waking up with her many times each night to put her back in her bed. We spent some nights sleeping with her in her twin bed, waking up with sore necks and grumpiness. We persevered with strict bedtimes and routines, hoping that would work eventually.
Once Andy left, her nights grew even worse. She is very attached to her daddy, so I wondered if it was the change in our house. By now, I’m just exhausted and frustrated. Andy has been gone for almost two months now, yet Addie is still restless. She will not go to sleep at a decent time; she will stay in her room but gets out toys, turns on the lights, and is awake. This means that it is difficult for Lorelei to stay asleep, since they share a room. Lately, I have been bringing her downstairs with me while I do homework or whatnot. She always falls asleep, I take her upstairs later, and this way Lorelei gets some rest. Even if she falls asleep in her room, she wakes up at least once to try and climb in bed with me. I can usually get her back into her bed, or she’ll come in when I’m dead asleep and sneak over me. She tosses in her sleep and kicks constantly. She moans and yells a lot, which makes me wonder if she is in pain. Needless to say, our nights are disruptive and sleepless.
I know I complain about Addie a lot, and my thought is that if I didn’t complain from time to time, I would probably explode. This issue has me genuinely concerned though, combined with all the other behaviors she exhibits that I worry about. I am working on getting her evaluated here to see if there is anything else happening with her. She may be just another two year old, albeit a difficult one. But there may be something else, and I would like to at least have it ruled out. I have been reading a lot about ADHD, on the suspicion of my nurse mother, and everything I read sounds like I’m reading about Addie. Hopefully this is not the case with her, but if it is, I would gladly take the advice and help of any professional to help make my days and nights a little smoother.
I knew that mothers do not sleep if their children do not sleep. I just thought that these periods of exhaustion would be in the infant years, during illness, and probably in the teen years. I have not been prepared for the years of exhaustion I have already accumulated. I am only twenty-seven yet sometimes I am so weighed down by frustration and exhaustion that I feel much older. When I am tired, I know that I am not the best mom I could be. I feel drained and heavy, and even going up the stairs is tiring. I do not have as much patience as I normally would, and I lack enthusiasm for playing or interacting. About half the time, I can fake this and just power through for my children. This is becoming increasingly more difficult though, and I feel like I am cheating my children out of the good mom I once was and want to be. When I am rested, I find playing with my kids, coloring and making crafts, running around at the playground, and even reading the same book over and over again. If I could help Addie and figure out what is keeping her up and causing her to lose sleep, I could stop losing sleep too and could be better during the day as well.
So cross your fingers that we get evaluated soon and can figure out just what is going on with my dear Addie. Even if we find out nothing new, I would at least get some help or new tips to try with her. As for now, I’ll just keep mixing my blend of coffee to keep me going (secret trick – three parts regular coffee, I prefer hazelnut, and one part espresso). She just fell asleep, so I am going to catch the train to dreamland for at least a few hours!