Too many “quotations” {for “emphasis”} and not enough sleep.

As I type this my four-year old son is napping.  My two-year old son is in his crib chatting away and is not napping.  Again.  And my four-month old son {who shall remain nameless} is screaming.  I’m “wearing” him in a desperate attempt to calm him down.  It’s not working.

My youngest is what you might call a “cranky baby.”  I wouldn’t necessarily categorize him as “colicky,” I’ll leave that title for the parents that have had to endure hours, days and weeks of constant crying.  William falls more into the “if he isn’t sleeping then he is *probably* crying category.”  “Probably” not being always, but a good majority of the time {i.e. when he is home with mom.}  And the “sleeping” part is all relevant too.  While most days he can nap like a champion he seems to think that nighttime is just one more nap session.  Sleep for an hour or two – wake up and *maybe* go back to bed.  I’ll admit I’m dangling from a very thin thread.

Today I’ve yelled at the kids.  {“We don’t say that word mom!”  The “word” being shut-up.  I know, I know, bad mommy.}  Sigh.

I tried to convince Alex that it’s “take your baby to work day” for a week straight.  He didn’t bite.

If he wasn’t so darn cute I’d probably list him on Craigslist.  {Kidding.  Sort of.}

Before you suggest I just “shut-up” myself and have another cup of coffee or crack open a diet-coke, let me remind you of the cruelties of mother nature.  While that extra cup of coffee may perk me up – as a nursing mother – the same would be true for my sweet baby.  And the last thing that kid needs is a shot of caffeine.

Some might say it’s time to let him “cry it out” but I’m still not sure.  My go-to sleep book gently reminds parents that babies who are born early {William was almost one month early} need to have their age “adjusted” back five weeks or to their due date when considering a sleep schedule.  That means William should be sleeping like a mature 2 month old.  And his is.  But the thing is, his mom has been sleeping {or not} like a two month old for over four months.  I’m 30 years-old and tired.  And I’m tired of complaining that I’m tired.  And so is Alex.

I know, I know.  This to shall pass.  Blah, blah, blah.

The crying is even wearing on Henry and Charlie.  After singing countless songs to William, giving him his pacifier, or trying a new toy Henry will look up at me exasperated and ask {again} “why is he still crying?”

I don’t know.

In the meantime I’ve really tried to just let everything go.  I’ve played legos with Henry, read book after book to the boys, and have taken them on walks despite the cold winter weather.  The computer has sat unused.  My camera untouched.  I’ve still tackled the laundry, but this time Henry and Charlie are my helpers.  Each boy helps me to sort, load and unload as we work through the piles.  I’ve even given a “lesson” to Henry on how to hang his clothes up using a hanger.  Yes, that has made many simple household chores take twice {three times?} as long, but in the end we were all happier.

I’ve even tried getting back into my “crunchy granola mama roots.”  I purchased the latest copy of Mothering and soaked in all the “nature mama” goodness.  {OK, I soaked it in with a grain of salt – why do they assume you must be a super liberal mama to be a “good” nature mama?}  I was encouraged, but alas sleep was not discovered under that rock either.

I know that sleep deprivation is a big part of motherhood.  No sleep, it’s practically the first subject covered in parenting 101.  I get that.  This subject isn’t new to me – this is my third visit to the land of no sleep.  Yet with each child I must reach this point kicking and screaming.  I’m at the point when the “new mama adrenaline” has long since left the building, the “we’re just figuring things out” didn’t work, and the “why isn’t he sleeping!” has taken over.  We will get through this.  I will sleep again.  {I hope.}  My sweet boy will decide that smiles are much more fun than tears and this will all be a distant memory.

But I’m not complaining.  Really.  Just think of this as my essay on “why the world seems foggy.”  It will probably be filed away under “ATTENTION: read this carefully before trying for baby number four.”


14 thoughts on “Too many “quotations” {for “emphasis”} and not enough sleep.

  1. Hi Libby,

    I just survived several months of a “colicky” baby. It was really helpful when some one suggested that she was overstimulated and needed to be put back to bed very soon after eating. Doing that help tremedously.

    Here’s a post I wrote about it.

    When all else failed, I put in earplugs and cranked up the bathroom fan to get a little rest before trying everything again. She would be crying with or without me, so I might as while get a little rest.

    I feel for you!

  2. I could have written this post a year ago. In fact, I might have written this post a year ago! Write down the part of “at least he’s cute”. I wasn’t going to list Brodie on craigslist. I was just going to put him on the lawn with a sign that said “FREE”.

    Sadly, I didn’t learn any fancy tricks to get Brodie to stop crying. He’s still a high maintenance little dude, but it’s much, much better.

    Fingers crossed that you get some good rest soon!!

  3. Sometimes all you can do is to “hang in there”. My prayers for you all as you endure and learn from each other.

    My go to sleep book was the same as yours and I loved it! My girls are 20 and 18 now but babies are babies!

  4. Hi there,
    I don’t actually know you, but I enjoy reading your blog! All I can say is…”you’re not alone”!

    Karen Smith

  5. Oh, Libby! I’m so sorry! But just think, Carpe Diem weekend in 7 short days and nana, aunties and cousin eagerly in line to take William off your hands for the weekend. woohoo! I can’t wait! xoxo MB

  6. I’ve got a fairly free weekend. What can I do? I’ll call you in a couple of hours in the (fairly ridiculous) hope that you are still sleeping at 8:00am.

  7. Libby!

    Oh, I feel for you. Yes I do. I don’t think I’ve emailed in awhile but we’re pregnant with #2 and Stella has stopped sleeping through the night. It’s been a long few months and I’m also tired of complaining about being tired. Either way, I know how awful the sleep deprivation is!! Have you considered seeing a naturopath about the crying/colicky symptoms? I wonder if there might be foods you are eating that are getting into your breastmilk and affecting him? I know that there is an elimination diet that many naturopaths “prescribe” when parents complain of colicky babies and is typically very effective. Broccoli and cauliflower are tops on the list of things that can have an adverse affect, along with garlic, coffee, etc. Maybe check it out? Good luck!! I am sending lots of love your way!!

  8. And to think I was going to room with you next weekend. I guess I better invest in some really good ear plugs. Can’t wait.

  9. Libby,

    This post actually makes me feel better, in a twisted “misery loves company” sort of way!

    I think of you often, even if I don’t tell you so.

  10. Though number 3 has yet to arrive, I feel your pain on so many levels. Thanks for the post. Both my babies had bad colic, so we are bracing for the third round!! You are not alone. Hang in there and as spring comes, little William and you will pull through this challenging time. You are a fabulous mama, keep up the good work… God’s work!

  11. Oh, Libby, I hope things look up for you soon, or that at least you get to get a break and get away from the madness of it all. Sometimes all I need is to get out of the house ALONE.


    You’re a GREAT momma!

  12. Ok Libby I have rarely commented more for lack of time than anything else but I’ve been reading for ages…. also just had my 3rd who is a precious present of course but a crying if not being held by day or a crying if not being nursed by night baby and I’m going nuts. I thought to myself the other day – I am a normal person I have been a porfessional, I do have support and I can not handle this!! His cry wrings my nerves like nothing else! Plus dealing with the everything else of a 2.5 and 5 year old. And I know others are dealing with so much more…. And I too focus on being cheerful and making it through the day and so haven’t dusted in a month and strive to clean the bathroom once a week…but do feel bad b/c my house looks like a mess all the time. So very glad to know I’m not alone in this. I try to remind myself that this is just a stage… I will look back on from the other side of being organized once again. And I think God cares about the way I speak to the wee ones more than my dust…. it is just trying to find the balance… and some sleep along the way :) Would love to meet you but am in Canada so it will likely have to wait until heaven :) Mari

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