This week has been better than last week, so that’s a plus. We even had a couple days of mild 70 degree weather!
My first session with my therapist went well on Monday. We clicked and it was a nice feeling to have someone to talk to that understood exactly what I was feeling. Motherhood is overwhelming, and I, like a lot of women, feel the pressure to do it all. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is feeding my anxiety.
My therapist said for the most basic human functioning, a person needs five hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Yeah, I don’t get that. I get about three from the time it takes for my toddler to go down and until the baby wakes for the first time, I am lucky to get approximately three hours of uninterrupted sleep. And because I’m diabetic, I often get less when my blood sugar goes low and I have to get up to take care of it.
The baby wakes up again about three hours after he gets up the first time, so I’m running on about six and a half hours of total sleep each night, fragmented into pieces. I downloaded the Pillow app for my phone and have been tracking my sleep since I brought the baby home. It tells me how many times I wake and what type of sleep I get throughout the night.
Pre-kids, I was someone who naturally needed about nine hours of sleep. For real. So to have that so starkly decreased, it has taken a toll on my brain. So my therapist’s first strategy to help ease my anxiety was to find a way to get me more sleep. Sounds simple, right?
So we tried it. We decided I would just sleep with my oldest in his room, while my husband got up with the baby the first time. This was to supposed to get me to the five-hour mark.
Well it’s funny how anxiety works. Since I wasn’t in my own bed, I woke up about every hour in my son’s bed, the last of which was due to hearing the baby crying. We have a modest home, so I’m pretty sure there is no where in the house I could be where I wouldn’t hear him crying.
So after I heard my son crying, I got up and went back to my bed. Then at 3:45 in the morning, my oldest was standing in the hallway, sobbing and whining about his nap blanket at daycare. He then had a complete meltdown in the empty nursery for 30 minutes until I could plead with him to go back to his bed. He then required a book and me to lay down for him to go back to sleep. It was 4:30 when I was able to get back to my bed, only to wake up two hours later. So that was a night from hell.
So now I’m left worrying about how much sleep I need to get to stop all my worrying. Vicious cycle.
I meet with my therapist again next week, and will discuss with her that at the present time, I don’t see a way to get me those five uninterrupted hours.
I go back to work in a couple weeks and I am starting to realize that I am sad about that, which could be triggering a lot of anxiety. I like my job and am looking forward to socialization with my co-workers again, but I have really enjoyed my alone time with my new son. It’s been the two of us during the days, and I have reveled in this bonding time. Screw America and our non-existent parental leave. I am extremely grateful for having 12 weeks off with my son, but I would love to have the first six months to a year to be with my baby.