Thursday, December 16, 2010

Night Time Solutions? Hopefully We'll See

Here's a little update on Nater Mater and our sleep battles with him. Every single child we have had presents wonderful joys and interesting and unique challenges. He is no exception. He is the sweetest and funniest little guy (and entirely too cute). He's sweet, affectionate, mischievous, and accident prone. He declares victory with the most ER visits and 3 day hospital stays of any of the other 3 combined. He lives in silent stealth mode and I am forever finding him into things. You'd think I don't watch him, but I do! All I have to do is take a 60 second bathroom break and he'll find something he can get into. I digress though.
Lately Luke and i have been walking around in a haze of exhaustion. My dear husband is wonderful with getting up with our kids at night. He didn't used to be, but he also has had jobs where he worked the night shift or the late shift and he needed to sleep, so only I got up multiple times a night with our (at that time) two toddlers. Even though his job has a crazy schedule and hours, he now gets to be home at night. Yeah us!!
I've posted and written about our nap and night time challenges with Naters. Two days ago I was at the end of myself. It had been another fiasco of a bedtime with just me and my 4 kids plus the little boy I babysit. All of us were in tears except M who was happily watching Dora while my other children were yelling "unfair!"
Luke came home about 8 or 9 and I collapsed in his arms in tears. I try to make our home environment a welcoming one for when he does come home. You know, stuff like quiet music playing and all the kids (except M) in bed and the house cleaned up. Not this night. This night he found me sobbing on the couch declaring that motherhood was simply too hard and I felt the need to go on a long (and solo) vacation.
Bless his dear heart, he listened to me, held me, let me vent and then said, "why don't you ask other mom's how they do it?" I was surprised. He is not one who likes to ask for advice, but he didn't have a clue either and couldn't offer his own. So, I hopped onto facebook and he read what I wrote, gave his stamp of approval and I posted it to the world of facebook.
God knows what our hearts need and I know He doesn't want us to go it alone and "tough it out."
Luke and I have been praying about his schedule, my exhaustion and the kids missing him and him missing the kids. This time He provide via the world of facebook. I got several good tips and a couple of phone calls from dear women offering to just pray with me on the phone. Bless you! It's what I needed.
I also got a phone call from a good friend (who hadn't seen my posted plea for help) who invited me and the 2 littlest ones over for the morning. I hadn't seen her since last April other than in passing really, and was excited to get to spend some time with her.
She asked me the next morning how things were going. I shared with her my frustrations with Nater Mater and his poor sleep habits and then my bedtime woes. She was most insightful with Nater Mater's sleep patterns.
You see, apparently she was also the child who woke up multiple times a night to "play." She has memories of riding her trike down the hall when everyone else was asleep. Of course, if she got to loud, her parents put her back to bed, but for the most part as long as she stayed in her room and was quiet, they let her be. She was not a napper either. She simply didn't require much sleep! She also suggested a room of his own and a gate to keep him from wandering the house at night.
We tried it last night and it fairly well worked! We are also cutting our nap time (sigh). Luke also quit napping before he turned 2 and since Nater Mater seems to take after him in sooo many ways, I shouldn't be surprised. Nater still needs naps, but he can survive without them and he sleeps sooo much sounder at night when he doesn't get one. I'll have to keep him quietly occupied somehow due to 4 others sleeping in the middle of the afternoon!
So I threw out every parenting book info and knowledge from the previous 3 children that has been stored in the back of my mushy brain, and put him to bed as normal. Then we put up the gate.
Naters was not impressed with the gate and kept saying, "mommy! gate! no!" But, he didn't crawl over it. (which he is capable of). It was a full 2 hours later before he finally quit playing in his room and settled down for the night. He turned his light on, his toys were all over the room, but he went down without a whole lot of extra help from Luke or I! Luke did end up in the extra bed in the room in the middle of the night because I have a nasty cough that woke him up and scared him (Naters, not Luke). = ) (Although, I'm sure Luke couldn't sleep through all the coughing either).
I ended up taking the gate off sometime in the middle of the night (my mistake) and he woke me up bright and early with a freezing glass over cold water splashed all over me. "Here mommy, You!" Gasp! Lunge back! Shriek!
Good morning!

1 comment:

Soaring High said...

Let me clarify that God DOES ask us to tough this out and persevere, but He also calls us to community and to support each other and not hide it all when we aren't doing well. That's what I was trying to say.