Well, hello. Ahem. Anybody still out there? Soooo … it’s been awhile. I guess I needed a break or something. Actually, that would be “or something” because it’s not so much that I needed a break from blogging (I mentally narrate my day in blog posts; it’s sad) as it is … other stuff. Part of it was the realization that many of my posts were causing concern among certain friends and family members as to my mental and emotional stability. I mean, I don’t want to make people think I’m about to go over the edge, here! And part of it was the realization that lately I’ve been feeling a lot like I’m about to go over the edge, here.
My stock answer when people ask me what it’s like, having two kids, is “It’s kicking my ass!” This is said – and meant – semi-jocularly, but the fact of the matter is that it’s also objectively true about 75% of the time. I constantly feel frazzled, stretched too thin, unfocused, inadequate, lacking direction, dysfunctional, and frustrated. In short, I am a BUSHEL BASKET OF FUN these days. Whoo. During one of my recent meltdowns, I explained to Mr. Squab that I don’t feel like I’m living up to my own (dwindling) standards in any aspect of my life right now: I’m not being the kind of mother I want to be, I’m not being a good partner to Mr. Squab, I’m completely overwhelmed even by minimal housework, I’m not making any progress in my professional life, and god knows I’m not taking great care of myself. My inner honors student is appalled at my inability to Get. Anything. Done. And while cognitively I’m aware that this, too, shall pass, I’ve been spending too much time lately feeling hopeless and dissatisfied. Which, let’s face it, is not the most fun way to be in the world. Also it is booooorrrrrriiiiiiiiinnnnnnggggg to talk about.
Mr. Squab, who I should say right now is basically a saint, pointed out that almost all of my funk can be traced back to one overarching cause: the lack of sleep. The Sprout, like her sister before her, wakes up every two hours all night long. Every night. Sometimes even more often than that. During the day, she takes wee naps in the morning and then a longer nap – as long as three hours, sometimes – in the afternoon, while the Hatchling sleeps. Which means that for the last five months I have not slept for longer than maybe three hours at one go … uh, at all. When the Hatchling was this same age, I was also profoundly sleep-deprived, but at least I could sleep whenever she did all through the day if I was really out of it. No such luck with two! And as any veteran parent can attest, after a few months of completely inadequate rest, you start to get a little psycho, and the worst of it is that you’re too tired to remember that fatigue is the source of your misery. I casually mentioned the Sprout’s poor sleeping habits at my weekly playgroup recently, and everyone immediately offered sympathy, remarking on how rough it is, how much you lose your mind, how everything goes all to hell when you’re so, so, so, so tired. It was like a revelation: Oh, yeah! That IS why I feel so shitty! Because I NEVER GET ANY SLEEP. It’s not that I’m an inadequate person! I’m just an inadequately rested person!
This realization does not, of course, help me get any more sleep – that will have to wait for sleep training in a month – but it does make me feel a little bit better about being such a mess. Because, really, I’m doing fine: I have lovely children and a wonderful partner and a good support system and a roof over my head and enough to eat etc., etc. I’m just bloody tired, is all.