It’s a mythical being when you become a mum.
The search is never ending. But when you get it, oh my, its like hitting the jackpot on the lottery and Jamie Dornan declaring his love for you all at once! (Just me with that fantasy?)
But girls and boys be warned!!!
This magical creature does not stay for long. Its harder to hold onto than a street cat. You might have it bless your house for a few nights, maybe one or two months, but it will disappear and leave you feeling like a used hag.
Sleep is one of the triggers for my Postnatal Depression (PND) and right now it is torturing me.
For around 4 months my littlest had been sleeping well. It was great, and the more sleep I got the better equipped I felt to pick myself up and deal with my anxieties throughout the day. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, having gone through it with my first child, but even with that thought I was still ill prepared for the no sleep shuffle.
Before sleep was ruthlessly taken away from me my little one decided to bless me with a full 12 hours of blissful sleep. I woke up feeling like the happiest women in the world. My four month old had mastered the art of unconsciousness. However that was a ploy. An evil game just for me to let my guard down as the next night he had me up every hour from 3, then the next night after that, every hour from 12.
As I pleaded with him to please go back to sleep, I could see the silent chuckle in his eyes as he thought ‘Piss off love, I’m enjoying these nightly cuddles!’
But what the absence of sleep really does is stop me from leaving my house.
Leaving my house is hard enough most days since PND hit. My sister dragged me crying and moping the first time I stepped out of my house. Having to face anything or move out with the baby, not knowing if he would take a tantrum, or if I would make a fool of myself when out was too much.
Slowly I have got better at it but going out of my house past 5 is still a little over bearing and it’s all to do with routines for sleep. I’m afraid if I don’t sleep, I’ll be too tired to deal with my anxiety and that I wont cope as a mother.
To cope with my anxiety I follow rigorous routines. My therapist explained it well to me last week, that I do it to lessen the chance of an unknown or negative experience. Supposedly I have a fear of the unknown. I guess shes right, new experiences scare the shit outta me so much I literally do shit myself, or I panic so much I cant breathe. But the biggest unknown right now is what the next day will bring.
Sleep has always been my greatest medication ever since I was a little child. If I wanted to hide from the world I would sleep, If I had a new challenge to face the next day I would make sure I was in bed early just to get enough sleep. I see sleep as a coping mechanism for the unknown.
And that’s where my problem lies…
Kids = No sleep
No sleep = Anxiety
Anxiety over not coping = PND trigger!
Sleep deprivation is in fact a form of torture. Why where these tiny balls of supposed joy sent to torture us?
Isn’t going through the pain of birth torture enough?
I read last week that we would only survive 11 days without sleep. It goes to prove my theory that some times I reckon my kids are out to get me! I mean, in reality, as parents we go for around 6 months on very little sleep. I reckon even those at Guantanamo Bay aren’t tortured with sleep deprivation for that long. It a miracle we are all still going, and more understandable that our emotions and mental health can take a beating at this time.
The only thing I’m holding onto, besides the Lucosade and Pro Plus tablets, is that sleep is going to get better.
I know this from my three year old and the years she danced the no sleep tango with me. They will sway back and forth but finally they do get there. It may be in one, two or three years, hell you may be a lucky little fucker and get it in a few months, but you will one day enjoy over 12 hours of glorious sleep without the sound of a wailing banshee taking you out of your Jamie Dornan induced dream.
And if that doesn’t relax you, please take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
No matter how much that competitive mother at baby group tries to make you believe her child slept for 12 hours at the age of 6 weeks. She is lying!
At least just keep telling yourself that! I do!