I’m a teacher, wife, & mother of a 2 1/2 year old & a 2 week old who is taking the plunge and living my dream of being a stay at home mom for a full year. Through frugal living and semi self sufficiency, my family and I will attempt to live on my husband's teacher income in a two income world. The wisdom of my fore-mothers guide me as I set forward on this wonderful adventure that without a doubt will be filled with both challenges and triumphs.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The Art of Falling Asleep
I’m not quite sure why it takes my eldest daughter, Jenna, a million years to go to sleep each evening. Right now it’s 8:34 p.m. and she is still tossing and turning in her room since her 7:30 p.m. bed time. If our nightly trend continues it will be nearly 9:30 before the sounds of thumb sucking finally echoes over the baby monitor. I’ve tried just about everything I can think of to help her out. Late afternoon runs at the park, Chamomile Sleepy Time Tea, back rubs, warm baths with lavender bubbles, soft music, and missed afternoon naps (this just creates an extra horrid mutated version of the child lying awake in the next room).
We established a nighttime wind down routine for Jenna to help her “prepare” her mind and body for sleep. We read two books in bed, say our prayers, then it’s snuggle time and lights out. Still it doesn’t work. Mike suggested that we try children’s Benadryl. Drugging my kid with cough medicine seemed wrong somehow. But the other night I got desperate and I researched it anyway. Apparently it has the adverse affect on most children and is not recommended by pediatricians-DARN!
Naomi on the other hand, she has been gifted with the Sand Man’s magic dust. Most times I don’t even have to check the clock because about five minutes before or after each of her scheduled nap times/bedtimes she starts to rub her eyes and want to nurse. Then before I can say, “Jenna would you please hand me that burp cloth,” Naomi is sound asleep and sweetly snoring away in her crib.
She must have inherited that talent from her daddy. Mike and I can be in full nighttime conversation. He’ll ask me a question, and before I can answer his nose and throat are imitating the creaking of a boat moored too tightly to the dock during rough waters. It’s a horrid sound but apparently I’m not alone. (54% of married couples say their partner snores)
Must be wonderful to have that ability to fall instantly asleep when you are tired! I on the other hand have always had a difficult time falling asleep. My brain has a tendency to keep going on and on trying to solve the problems of my day and configure plans for the morning. Sleep aids have never worked for me ever. In fact I don’t think traditional sleep medication of any kind ever has. Even when I had to have my tonsils taken out the general anesthesia gas didn’t take effect right away.
I was 8 years old and I was super excited about my first surgery and the interesting gas mask they had just placed over my nose and mouth. “Ok, Jamie,” the doctor had said as he held it over my face, “Now close your eyes and count out loud backwards from 100.” I had seen this scene like 20 times on TV so I closed my eyes and started counting. By 78 I was board so I stopped counting and instead listened to the conversations around me. “Can we get more gauze over here, just in case this one is a bleeder?” Then over the hiss of gas I heard my doctor say, “Alright she’s out now, let’s begin.” To this I popped open my eyes and yelled, “SURPRISE!” “I’m still awake!” I thought it was hilarious, but by the looks on everyone’s face in the room they were far from amused. The last thing I remember is counting to 9.
If only I had the ability to quiet my mind and allow myself to truly rest. Think of the money a person could make if they’d invent a sleep mode button implant so we could instantly shut down as easily as a computer can. Most times when I’m lucky enough to fall asleep before 11 p.m. the sounds of Jenna’s talking in her sleep, or Naomi’s quiet dream whimpers, or Mike’s Jet engine snores wake me up at 3:00 a.m. and then I wide awake again for another hour or so. Couple that with Jenna’s biweekly 4:45 a.m. protests that she is no longer tired and playing in the dark is “good for her” and I’m turning into one frumpy Zombie Mama.
My brother, Jesse, and his friend came over the other afternoon to help move some furniture and it was only then that I realized I was still wearing my pajama top over my blue jeans and I hadn’t bothered to style my hair. I glanced in the mirror in between directing twin bed traffic, threw a head band on, and shrugged at the bouffant teen wolf like hairdo I was sporting. (A combination of the pictures below)
Hair Example A
Hair Example B
Jesse saw me come out of the bathroom, glanced at my head, and then made a face half amusement half pity. I whispered, “I didn't sleep again last night…don’t judge me!” and then proceeded to clean out the garage and rearrange the girls’ room on autopilot.
It’s now 9:25 p.m. and Jenna is finally asleep (nearly two hours late). I can’t be irritated about it I suppose. I figure I’m the guilty one for her inherited insomnia. But there must be something out there that can help? Anything? Suggestions, PLEASE!!! Feel free to email or comment anytime. Most likely I’ll still be awake to catch it ;0