New Obsession and Sheer Exhaustion

Since I am basking in free time, with so little to do on a daily basis, last week I decided this would be a good time in life to learn to embroider. I've thrown myself in with zeal typical of a new convert. This was my first project. It's a teatowel, and the bird's banner says "tasty," which is a term we have been known to employ. It took maybe 3 evenings to complete; I'm not sure how many hours. There is a relaxing rythym to stitching that I have come to crave. I especially love my new hobby because it can be done while watching crap tv. Now that I have started stitching I do not want to stop. Every chance I get, I grab my hoop and needle and go to it. This means that I am embroidering instead of emptying the dishwasher or vacuuming renegade gangs of dried playdough off the rug. It remains to be seen how my new hobby and my house are going to get along. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a blogging hiatus brought on by this pasttime.

For my second project I decided to throw beginner's caution to the fucking wind. I am working on a huge (relative to the teatowel bird) wall-hanging for a friend's wedding gift. All I have completed so far is the date of their wedding, which also happens to be my deadline for this project. It is far more intricate than the first pattern I worked on... I hope I can finish it in time. If I continue with the same frenzied pace as I am working at now, it should be no problem.

While I'm here, I wanted to complain a little about how tired I am. This baby is now five months old. According to some experts he should be sleeping all night now. But is he, you ask? Is he?
Oh, no, my friends, he is not. He's done it a few times, 5 maybe, but for the last month, a "long stretch" of sleep for me is 3 hours. Just to give you an example, here's how our night generally goes. This was last night's schedule: Theo wakes up at 11 pm, just as I'm heading up to bed. We nurse. Up again at 2:30. Nurse. Up again 3:30. Nurse. Up again 4:30. Nurse. Up again at 7 am. During that last shift, though, Simon woke up at 5:30 to pee. He went into the bathroom himself, but I swiftly followed in order to shush him so the baby didn't wake up (Theo's room is right by the WC). Then Simon got up again to poop at 6:15. I was so tired. I found myself dozing off while sitting on the edge of the tub waiting for him to go. When I started awake, I snapped at Simon to "hurry up and push it out!" What??? This is what exhaustion does to a mother. By this time it was 6:30 am, a time when most normal parents are probably starting their days. Instead, I am yelling at my kid to finish shitting so I can stumble back to bed for 30 more minutes.
You may have noticed that I nurse a lot. I know, I know. I understand that he surely isn't hungry all those times. I nurse because it's the easiest way for us both to get back to bed. Some people might say I'm huring myself in the long-run, that I should just try to comfort him or let him cry. But the comforting sans nursing doesn't work because you better believe he knows exactly what's underneath that tank top I'm wearing. The crying doesn't work because I can't sleep through it. And at 3 am MUST SLEEP are the only words I hear.
I honestly think I'm doing everything right... he sleeps great during the day. I take great pains to keep him well-rested, and the night sleeping is supposed to naturally follow. Since it isn't, I of course start feeling like I must be doing something wrong. Where have I failed as a mother? This is one of the things I can ponder while I pull my embroidery needle to and fro.
In the midst of this excrutiating exhaustion, I'm supposed to be shedding the 50 pounds gifted to me by Theo upon his arrival in this world. Losing weight means exercise, of course. I don't mind working out at all. In fact, I rather enjoy it if I have an ounce of energy. With the current sleeping situation, I don't have any.
What I want to know is this: how many calories can I burn by lifting my right forearm while pulling a needle and thread? Can somebody figure that out and let me know? Thanks. Posted by Picasa


Angela said...

Take or leave this advice, but when my sister was in a similar state, she started pumping a couple bottles of breast milk each day, adding some very fine baby cereal and feeding that to baby before mommy's bedtime. This kept the baby satisfied for longer periods since it was a heavier meal than breastmilk alone. Might ask your pediatrician before trying; I think her baby was younger than Theo at the time and her pedia said it was still early to feed the baby cereal, but she said fuckit and got some sleep.

The Tricyclist said...

I'm still wanting to wait another month before starting cereal... don't want to start too early and risk allergies. I'm trying instead to get him on a more regular nap schedule. Then, hopefully, good sleep in the day will lead to good sleep at night. I don't fucking know if it will work. It just makes me feel better to try something.
Also, my totally unexpert diagnosis is that he isn't hungry, but rather doesn't know how to get himself back to sleep after a sleep cycle ends. Ugn. Either way, the only good news here is that everything is a phase and will change soon. Hopefully when this changes it will be for the better.

MJ Watson said...

My love, I know nothing about how to get a child to sleep. With William, we had a standoff because I knew he did not need anything and I had had enough (I seriously think I was on the verge of a breakdown). I won, and he never got up in the middle of the night again. However, now that I am at this all over again, I am totally at a loss as to how to get a child to sleep (I'm currently reading 3 books on the topic, one of which you suggested--thanks! very informative--but still no luck). And the crying it out theory only seemed to work when it was just the two of us; now with a family of four, how do you let the other members of the house suffer as well?? Ok, I'm going to go back to reading those books now. I'll tell you as soon as I find anything useful!! Be strong, my parenting rolemodel, please know you are not alone. I am exhausted right there with you.