Little Life Sucker

Oh hey, guess what? It’s another post where I whine about not sleeping!

I know. My blog is so original and profound.

My life is a little like Groundhog Day, so that’s probably why my blog feels like it. I just keep going on and on and on about how I’m not sleeping because, well, I’m not. Ever, except in 3 hour intervals at night and random cat naps during the day.

I know so many are wanting to be all, “SEE! Sleep training/abuse doesn’t work!” but to be honest, just a couple days after I posted about sleep training (and blew up the internet), we all came down with a cold that lasted… a month? Since I’m not a total monster of a mother, I didn’t leave my baby to cry while I knew she wasn’t feeling well. Then we just never got back on track.

Because the thing about sleep training (the way I do it, the way that’s NOT just leaving them to “cry it out” all night in their room alone) is that it is a hell of a lot more work than just waking every few hours to pop a boob in your baby’s mouth. We just haven’t had the energy to jump back on, but I know we need to.

Hell, even my moderately crunchy midwife agrees that my health and sanity at this point needs to take priority, and we need to figure some things out (but I already knew that, it’s just hard to make myself a priority when I’m so tired… if that makes sense).

On top of all of that, Leyna dropped her morning nap. That may seem all, “Awesome! Now you can do things in the morning and she will sleep extra long in the afternoon,” but really it’s like, “Boo! I can’t take a nap in the morning and I’ll be a zombie until she passes out after lunch, at which point I’ll have to decide to either shower or take a 15 minute nap before picking my 3 year old up at school.” Morning playdates just aren’t going to happen if I have to hold my eyelids open with toothpicks.

Oh, I want to blog about more than this. I want to craft and organize and take pictures and live a funny life again, but this little life sucker is not allowing it. It’s ridiculously hard to tell this face no.

And she knows it. 

To anyone who thinks about chiming in to remind me that “this is just a phase… a small window of time… it will pass before I know it… they are only this little once,” I say this with as much love and respect as possible, but please kindly F off.

Leyna is 13 months old and I am one cranky, tired bitch

  • TheNextMartha - I”m the oddest person on the block when I say that I was elated when my kids outgrew their naps. Well, the first one at least. The 2nd one stopped napping at 2 so he was an asshole. I hope you can get some zzz’s because being tired sucks.ReplyCancel

    • heidi - oh thank goodness. Both my sons stopped napping at 2 completely. It totally sucked. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} - I have SO been there. My middle son (he will be 3 in May) has to date, robbed me of more sleep than either of my other two children combined. I don’t want to make you bury your face in your hands, but he STILL doens’t sleep through the night a lot of the time. He wakes up, running into my room, or crying in his bed. I went through a CRAZY MOM phase where I wanted to just lock him in his room (it did pass, by the way). He woke up at midnight and four am like clockwork until he was at least 1, and I would, yes, stick a boob in his mouth. I know what you mean, it was WAY easier to just do that, half awake, for 10 minutes than trying to let him cry. I did try to sleep train him, but it was BRUTAL. It just didn’t work for him. So, I have no TA-DA words of wisdom. I just wish I could make you a cup of coffee or take your kids for a walk so you could take a NAP! Because I have been in your shoes. Hang tight, Momma!ReplyCancel

  • Trinity - I feel you.

    I can’t tell you the last time I got a good night’s sleep. Wait. Yes I can. I had just had brain surgery, so that doesn’t count, right?ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ One Step at a Time - I am RIGHT. THERE. WITH. YOU.! My almost one year old is a sleep terrorist (and I say that with all the love in the World). We couldn’t get him to sleep through the night until about 2 months ago. And then a month ago he got the cold/fever/crude and it’s been a battle ever since. Sigh — I’m exhausted. Having to actually show up and be productive at work is laughable and all I can do with my kids once I am home is confine them in a safe space and sit on the floor while they crawl/climb all over me.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Ferber was the best thing we ever did for our sleep and sanity, but it also got thrown off track a few times due to sickness and teething. So I feel you.

    But as horrible a sleeper DS was as an infant, he is am AMAZING sleeper now. 7:30pm-7:30am, with a nap from 12-3. I gotta say, I think the suffering was worth it in the end if this is the result. Hope it works out that way for you too!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - Just like you said, it’s like groundhog day. At its worst I fell into a fear that this is the way things would be the rest of my life. Confession: When 3pm came around, I would snooze sitting up on the couch while I held by 1 year old (as long as she’d let me) on my lap while she watched Baby Signing Time (over and over). Luckily, at 2.5 yrs old, I can see that some things do get better. But God help anyone who crossed my path on all those days with not enough sleep. I wanted to slap anyone who looked rested and say, ‘DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH!!!!!’ So, here’s my wish that you get more sleep soon. That’s it!ReplyCancel

  • meekasmommy - Oy. But I hear you. My sleep is now in 2 hour stretches – even the 3 hours seems a luxury! ANd I, too, have just been TOO TIRED to even think about sleep training… But now? Now it’s time to do some thinking (and maybe some training? and most definitely, past time to do some sleeping)ReplyCancel

  • Megan - I feeeeel your pain. And I don’t even have much to complain about. I just know that when we don’t get the sleep we need, things are SO MUCH WORSE. I wish there was something I could do to help!ReplyCancel

  • Candace P - Oh, I so know.where you’re coming from. It’s not a fun place. Nor a funny place. Ignore the haters. Help her find sleep any way you feel is safe and right for your child. Then bring back.our funny!ReplyCancel

  • Mavi - I swear my son did not sleep until he was 3….and a half. I learned how to sleep in the car because that was the only way to get him down sometimes and FORGET about moving him- I think there’s still a blanket and a pillow in the trunk from those days. I remember crying to him PLEASE sleep. Please, please, mommy begs you. This is probably why he doesn’t have a sibling.
    Sometimes NOTHING works, and it really sucks. And damn-it 3 1/2 years is a long ass time to go without sleep. I think they call it torture in some places.

    The good news is, I now have a 12 hour sleeper at age 5. He will even sleep through a shopping trip to target in the cart. I like to day dream that some day he’s gonna be super successful and make a lot of money. When that happens, he will send me on annual vacations to beautiful resorts. He.Owes.Me.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny G - I hear you. Every time you talk about the sleep I feel for you, cause we’ve got the same baby I think. I wrote two months ago: http://off-the-deep-end.net/819/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-sleep/
    He was dropping the morning nap then. At ten months. I wanted to die.

    Last night was hideous. I need a nap. I’m so sorry you do too. This sucks.ReplyCancel

  • Jenna - Well, my just today 8 year old still wakes up at night and has then annoying habit of just standing by my bed and staring at me. She doesn’t talk, make noise, she just waits! How’s that for giving you a nice heart attack as you awake with the sense of someone there?

    So I don’t know that it does get better…maybe when she’s married and can stand by her hubby in the middle of the night staring at him?ReplyCancel

    • Andrea - I just spit out water on my computer picturing your daughter silently staring at you!! hahahahaReplyCancel

  • Meg - Hang in there. That transition to one nap sucks it big time. You are not alone. And we are still all reading your blog because we get it and you are awesome :) ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Hang in there momma, I’ve been there, not sleeping sucks. Try sleep training again when you’re ready. Getting sick or a disruption in routine always srews us up. Any chance your hubby can relieve you? Hoping sleep is in your near future!ReplyCancel

    • Jill - He helps already. He gets up with her and brings her to me once or twice a night, but I try to get up most of the time with her and he lets me sleep in and gets Kendall ready for school and packs his lunch.ReplyCancel

  • Good Girl Gone Green - I love how you need your post! Little E never did morning or afternoon naps regularly- not sure how I am still somewhat sane! Now she has to sleep in the morning b/c if she sleeps in the afternoon forget going to bed at 8pm. I need sleep so desperately too, wanna baby swap. You sleep one night I take the girls……..:) Hope you get some zzzzzz’s! ;) ReplyCancel

  • Kerrin - Oh, I feel ya. I just did Ferber with my son, and we were great….for about 3 weeks, then he started teething. And, it’s like they build up their resistance when you have to RE-Sleep train. They’re all, “you came in and got me before…you’ll do it again if I just cry long enough.”

    I looked in the mirror the other day and after years of working at a University and being mistaken for a student, I saw my tired, lined face and thought: “Well, no one’s going to think I’m 20 anymore!” So. very.tired. I won’t say “this too shall pass” but how about “you’re not alone” …?ReplyCancel

  • Be - I am so right there with you! My 11 month old is still up EATING several times a night and has never been a long napper. It’s a proven fact around here that any time I finally get up the courage to start sleep training her, everyone gets sick and all momentum is lost! Being pregnant with my third in three years has just about put my walking zombie state over the top!

    I’ve actually been having reoccurring dreams lately (during the few hours of sleep at a time) about going on a vacation ALONE…and just…SLEEPING!ReplyCancel

  • Brandy H. - I am absolutely terrified of my daughter dropping the AM nap. Terrified to the point that I freak out and convince myself that the end is near whenever she takes a short AM nap.
    But rest assured (haha) that you are not alone.
    Did Leyna gradually drop her morning nap by just taking shorter ones, or was it just one day BAM no more nap?ReplyCancel

    • Jill - It’s been a gradual struggle. ANd now she just went down for a 2nd nap, later than she used to. Her nap earlier was super short, but 2 hours later than it used to be. Ugh. I have no idea what she wants.ReplyCancel

  • Jacklyn - Dude- I was going to write something funny/encouraging, but I’m so f-ing tired by the time I scrolled to the bottom I already forgot.ReplyCancel

  • Abigail - Oh my goodness look at her face! I hope you won’t be offended by me saying she looks like the most gorgeous little evil genius ever.

    Sending sleepy dust your way. Or rather her way, I’m sure you have quite enough sleepiness for the both of you.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Oh, she’s totally an evil genius. That’s just the truth.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife - Where should I ship the pallet of 5 hour energy drinks to?ReplyCancel

  • Jenny B - Every time someone says “it just goes by so fast” I want to say “REALLY?! Well thank God! How fast is “fast’? Can you SPEED IT UP?” because I have not slept through the night since 2008 and that seems actually pretty long to me. Is it bad that I want to punch those folks sometimes (most of the time)?ReplyCancel

    • Jill - We should take a boxing class together to get our aggressions out.ReplyCancel

  • Demetria - I have an almost 4 year old and an almost 14m old who doesn’t sleep. I feel you. Everyone is tired of hearing me complain, my friends are suggesting antidepressants for me – I am one grouchy momma. The worse part is he isn’t just a boob addict like my first one – he just screams inconsolably every few hours throughout the night and doesn’t nap well. Anyhow, whine whine. Just want to let you know there’s someone in the trenches with you. We’ll get through this……. Right?ReplyCancel

  • Meri - This is rough; good luck to you!

    Now I am curious… Did I miss something? You mentioned your midwife. Are you still seeing a midwife from Leyna, or… ? (If I missed this, I feel like a moron.)ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Oh, goodness. No, you didn’t miss anything! I went in for my yearly with my midwife this week.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Oh man…transitioning to one nap AND sleep training at the same time? Hang in there! I think we may have the same cold you’re talking about here, so I’m a little braindead and can’t remember how you said you were going about CIO…we did increasing intervals with G, otherwise he got too worked up and everything melted to the ground. Put him down and let him fuss for 5 mins, then soothed for 5, let him fuss for 10, soothed for 5, fuss for 10, soothe…ect. If he made it a full hour without falling asleep, he got to get up and not nap. Pretty sure he only made it the full hour twice. The first few days SUCKED, but now he sleeps like an angel…assuming he’s not sick….which…speaking of, I hear coughing! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • MomEinstein - My daughter is now 17 months old and has only started sleeping consistently for the past 7 weeks or so. I didn’t even realize how much of a fog I was in for FIFTEEN MONTHS until now. I was a total zombie for a while there. It blows.

    Is there any way you can take a night or two off? I know, I know, the suggestion is easy to make and hard to do, but 10-12 hours of consecutive sleep will do wonders for you.

    I hope things get better soon.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Scott and I are both driving out to Nashville next week (Blissdom), so I’ll get a break then. I just need to get our life and routine back in order, and the only way to do that is to make sleep a more regular thing around here.ReplyCancel

  • Marta - This will sound wrong but this post made me feel better. Because my son didn’t sleep through the night reliably until he was over two and I thought it was my fault – it seemed all the other moms and kids had this figured out. But I’m having baby number two in seven weeks, so soon again I will be miserable and exhausted. Whee…. BTW, I’d be interested in your thoughts on the book “Bringing Up Bebe” which claims French parents are superior and have kids who STTN and never misbehave.ReplyCancel

  • Lola - Thank you for making me feel soooo much freaking better. This week I have gotten really depressed about how it feels like my kid is the only 8 month old in the world who doesn’t STTN. I swear all of my friends’ & relatives kids slept 12 hours a night days out of the hospital. I actually had one friend tell me that her second kid took sooooo much longer to STTN. 6 months. “Forever”! Wanted to punch her in the face. My husband came home from visiting his parents & sister yesterday and said they talked to him about how they think our son cries too much & should be sleeping through the night by now. They said we should leave him in his playpen and not get him until he stops crying. Seriously. The only thing they can think to do when he cries is stick him in his stroller & walk him around. That hasn’t worked for 8 months! Why would it work now?!?! It’s not magic that he stops crying as soon as I pick him up and love him a little. And I let THEM make ME feel like I’M doing something wrong?!?! Thank you (& all the commenters chiming in) for reminding me than no matter what the assholes think they know I am not doing anything wrong and there is nothing wrong with my son.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Oh hon, no. Absolutely nothing wrong. Hang in there.ReplyCancel

    • Emily at Tales of Fruit and Cake - Agreed! There is nothing wrong with him. Some kids just need more/different things from their parents than other kids. I had friends and family who made me feel the same way about my first, but I tried letting him CIO- he cried till he puked. Fail. I just tried my best to ignore the “helpful” advice and do what was working for us. He turned out to be a well adjusted 4 year old, not a sociopath. So I call it a win!ReplyCancel

  • nebuchudnessar - I am there too…. not quite the same, but I know what you mean about the sleep deprivation.
    It makes me a cranky, critical not-so-nice person

    I hope you get more sleep soonReplyCancel

  • Maureen - Dude, sleep training. You won’t be sorry! I know it is just one more thing when you’re already exhausted, and yeah the first few nights are rough but So Worth It. I swear!ReplyCancel

  • E - My youngest has decided that she needs to be up at 5am every single day. Sometimes, she’ll treat us to 4:30. I have no clue what she wants for naps, she’s all over the place. There are seriously days that I feel it’d be easier to sit and bang my head against the wall then to try to figure it out. Will she out grow it? Yes. But like you said, none of that matters in the middle of the battle.

    All I can say is you blog about it as much as you want because it muther effing sucks.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - I’m sorry. It sucks balls.ReplyCancel

  • Emily at Tales of Fruit and Cake - Okay, this is going to help you zero but I have to say it- I find it completely awesome that you are witty and sarcastic despite being tortured by sleep deprivation. For me, when I’m sleep deprived I just stand in the house screaming “why are you trying to ruin my life?!?!”. My 4 year old finds this to be hilarious. Mommy is not amused.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Ha! I find that very witty. What are you talking about? :) ReplyCancel

  • Upstatemamma - I just wanted to offer you a friendly word. I’m sorry you are struggling. Not sleeping is so hard. I was not sleeping at all when my oldest daughter was that age. It was awful. I know you will eventually find what works for you. Here’s hoping it is soon!ReplyCancel

  • Heather S - I am also a member of the cranky bitch club because I have a sleep nazi for a 10 month old. ‘No sleep for you!’ We were doing awesome until illness and schedule changes and now I am a zombie. Last night I sat with her on the living room floor at 2 am and just stared at her until she hugged me around the neck and went to sleep. Then an hour later she was in bed with us and we just wrestled all night long. My body is so wired to this that I now struggle to go to sleep because I know that as soon as I get close, I will be up with the babe again.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - yup. I don’t even bother going to bed until midnight because I know she’ll be up around that time anyway. Ugh. Hope you get some sleep tonight.ReplyCancel

      • Kimberly - Totally. I find it much harder to wake up after being asleep for 15-30 min or an hour. I get angrier in that state. If I stay awake then I can be a resigned zombie and not an angry zombie.ReplyCancel

  • Ruby - Boooh I hate that situation where the sleep training is more work than you can handle BECAUSE you’re tired and so you really need to do something but uuughhh the tiredness!

    I can only offer sympathies & that I am a total proponent of having a sleep consultant – just someone you are paying (a small fee) to tell you what to do (how you want to do it). Makes all the difference in the MOTN when you just want to sleeeeeep.ReplyCancel

    • Ruby - And for those who feel alone with the non-sleeping toddlers, I’m sure some of you have not read the HILARIOUS post from Rants from Mommyland: http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2010/03/sleep-wars-baby-vs-momma.html

      I find knowing I am not alone with the super early waker-upper or very light sleeper (still creeping through the house at night…) to be such a relief, and seeing people write funny things about it from a compassionate point of view helps me feel so much better.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Oh, I am so sorry! 9 years later I can still describe the sleep deprived hell of a baby that won’t sleep through the night. Ours finally did at 14 months….after a particularly heinous night of no sleep following a day of little napping – for her or me. I don’t know why it clicked for her when it did…maybe it was Mama’s poor sleep deprived crying?…but hoping that happens to Leyna SOON.ReplyCancel

  • heidi - I’m so sorry. There are no words to describe the awfulness of sleep deprivation along with the herculian task of taking care of toddlers/infants. My first two were also 2 years apart, and while #1 was a fabulous sleeper before, as soon as #2 came along, she went to hideous. So hubby slept with her while I tried to get baby to sleep, and it just continued. I remember those years through a haze of sheer exhaustion. You just do whatever you can to survive it.

    However, it DOES pass. I know it doesn’t feel like it will, but it does. The battle just changes to one of less physical exhaustion to mental exhaustion dealing with negotiating teens/preteens. Now is when I’m collecting the gray hair.

    HUGS! You’re doing a wonderful job… it’s just a very HARD job that is under-appreciated by many. However, we other mommies who did it/are doing it very much understand and appreciate what you’re doing.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista - We are on “vacation” visiting family so all three kids are in our room. Which means that whenever the baby cries I just pop her on the boob so she doesn’t wake the older two. Oh, plus she i sick and has a fever. So I was up 9 (NINE!) times last night. I don’t think I’ll survive the plane trip home in one piece.ReplyCancel

  • Melanie Mercier - When somebody told me to “enjoy this time because they are little for a very short time”, I usually pictured me locking them in a room every night with my beautiful son that cried 2hours non-stop from 1am to 3am no matter what I did…

    Hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Shauna - I might just C&P your post to my blog and jsut change the bottom to say Bennett is 12 1/2 months old and I am one cranky, tired bitch.

    This kid is killing me.ReplyCancel

  • B - Love the last sentence (and age revelation).ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Have you tried… white noise? KIDDING! That was the suggestion I would get most often when I told people my 12 month old still wouldn’t sleep through the night. I wanted to throat punch those people! Yes asshole, I’ve read every sleep book and tried EVERY technique out there except… tranquilizers, thankyouverymuch. (Come to think of it, why doesn’t some brilliant scientist develop an FDA approved baby sleeping pill? why oh why?) Anyhow, I feel your pain. Not sleeping is terrible. Beating yourself up about not sleeping is even worse. Hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Jennie - THANK YOU! Seriously. For keeping it real. I found your blog through a google search…..I searched “one year old doesnt sttn. Exhausted”. I’ve read all the stupid sleep books, I’ve heard all the stupid comments and advice. I literally go through my day praying the 4th cup of coffee wakes me up. I take my 4 year old to preschool and crash on the couch instead of cleaning or doing the 35 other things I should. My 13 month old, thank the lord, still naps in the morning! This whole giving up a nap thing, when it happens will surely kill me. If you find miracle sleep advice please for the love of god, post all about it!!!! F people and their opinions. You csnt please everyone, even if you post about nothing but sunshine and rainbows! And hell who has the energy to care?ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ a little barefoot blog - I just wanted to say that I’m reading back through these posts about sleep because I’m living it right now, and just need a little solidarity. I don’t know how I missed out on one of those “kids who sleeps” but neither of my boys is good at it (3.5y and 11mos). Anyway thanks, as always, for keeping it real. Good luck with round 3, I really hope you get a mythical good sleeper.ReplyCancel

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