I almost titled this post "One step forward, two steps back." I haven't been able to get a nap the last few days and with the little consecutive sleep that I've been getting at night, I really really need a nap. Last week I was able to get a nap after I dropped Boogie off at school. But no matter how hard I tried this week it wasn't in the cards. By yesterday I was totally exhausted, snappish, cranky, and fussing at the kids. Of course my mind went to, "I thought I had a handle on this. I can't do this. What is wrong with me?" What was wrong with me was the lack of sleep.
I received an e-mail a few weeks ago from a friend who also has a newborn. I think it was about this time (postpartum) that she was feeling the same way. Her husband encouraged her to get a nap when her kids went to school and her infant was sleeping. She said it made all the difference. My husband also insisted on the same thing for me. He knew there was nothing wrong with me except lack of sleep.
It reminded me of when I go running. It takes about a quarter to a half mile for me to hit my stride. When I first start I feel confident that I can run, but after a few minutes (and not quite warmed up) I feel that my stride is off and I'm wondering how I can run any distance at all and then it happens, I hit my stride and I feel good. That's what the last few weeks have been like. I feel like I can do this, and then I wonder what was I thinking and then I hit my stride. But as in every run, there's probably a hill and it takes a little more effort to keep going until you reach the peak and find a flat piece of road. I hit my metaphorical hill yesterday and boy it was bad. I snapped at the big kids, I was frustrated, and I had no patience. I was so tired I started crying. I called my husband and he came home to give me a break and to take Bug to dance class. He suggested that I call my Mama's Helper who is home on Spring Break and ask her to come by today to watch the kids while I napped.
My first thought was, "I should be able to do this on my own. I shouldn't have to call Hubby or anyone else to help me. I'm just tired." But I did as he asked and I'm glad that I did. Fortunately E. was available and came over this morning. I spent the next few hours resting and sleeping. I couldn't nap the whole time because I had to nurse the baby, but at least I knew my big kids were in good hands and I could concentrate on getting some rest. They needed a break from me and I probably needed a break from them.
Getting more sleep put some things into perspective for me: 1) I need more sleep; 2) more sleep makes Mama a happy & more patient Mama; 3) asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it's sometimes a necessity, 4) I need more sleep; 5) I'm a good Mama; 6) Did I say I need more sleep?
Thank you to my dear Hubby for coming to the rescue last night. Thank you to E. for giving me a break today. I'm looking forward to when Bam Bam sleeps through the night!