I’ve been doing this whole mom thing for a couple of years now, and I’ve come to a startling realization…
I’m pretty sure moms are superheroes or something. Wonder Woman, perhaps? (We totally wore to these to a work event).
But I digress.
I think ALL moms are heroes, don’t get me wrong, but for today I’m shouting it to my fellow working mamas (and yes, I think stay at home moms are heroes too in their own ways!). I’m shouting it out to those moms who hop in the shower while rubbing their eyes, who stumble into the kitchen half asleep to fetch a quick breakfast, who change diapers and feed the dog and pack a lunch and still manage to get out the door and get to work, no matter how tired.
We’re like the damn Energizer Bunny because even when we don’t think we can, we keep going and going and going, because what other option is there?
If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m tired.
Like… real tired. Almost at newborn level tired over here.
Caleb has been a dream sleeper with a few road bumps along the way, particularly around the one year mark when we fought our way through (but won!) the good ole Cry it Out method. Lately though, he’s suffering through some sort of horrid sleep regression and, well…. we’re all suffering along. Pretty sure I’ll be the one crying it out soon enough…
Up until last week, Caleb has been great. We have our little bedtime routine, I put him down in the crib, he smiles up at me, I leave, he goes to sleep. And I get my first and only little bit of free time for the day. Lately though, he has been screaming and crying and trembling with fear or anger or… who knows, really. It all started out of nowhere.
I bring him in to brush his teeth and he’s already worked up. He clamps his mouth shut, refusing to brush, and runs to my room. He wants to sleep in my bed instead of his own. Not happening. I put him in his crib, turn on his light up unicorn pillow and nightlight, which are new additions, but they don’t help. Guess it’s not a fear of the dark.
He stands up and screams and howls and I sit in the next room and feel my heart breaking and my resistance caving in with every single cry. Then it stops… eventually. Sometimes it’s 30 minutes, sometimes it’s an hour. It’s really anyone’s guess. Almost always lately, that’s not the end of it either. He’s then been waking up anytime between 1 and 4 and screaming all over again. The other night, it was for two hours. I kid you not, I had to play a rain sound video on my phone to drown it out because I hate it so much.
We are totally at a loss for what to do. We’ve caved in a few times and brought him to our room (and we STILL get no sleep because I’m pretty sure this kid is an octopus), but for the most part we are just attempting Cry it Out again.
What does this mean? It means I am having flashbacks to those newborn days that I simultaneously thought would never end and yet ended all too soon. It means I am sucking it up and going to work (sans coffee, too… don’t drink it) and working all day and feeling tired all the while but knowing I need to get it done anyway. It means I’m kind of a zombie but not quite so scary looking… and without the “gimme your brains” thing.
A childless friend has been sympathizing lately, asking in wonderment how the hell I’m even functioning right now. My answer? I’m functioning because I have no other choice BUT to function. I still have to get up, get dressed up, and go to work. When I get there, on my 2-4 hours of sleep, I still have to give it my all because let’s be honest… no one really cares if you’re tired. My method is to work on things that require the most focus and attention (like writing newsletters and creating graphics) in the mornings when I have more energy, or the days where I’ve gotten a decent amount of sleep the night before. More mindless activities, like weeding my book collection, are done when I’m working on just a couple hours of sleep. This system has worked out well for me thus far, as all of these things need to be done and require different energy levels or ability to focus.
And damn, is it hard to focus when you’re this tired.
But here I am, doing it anyway. And there YOU are, doing it too.
To all my fellow working mamas, I salute you (and yep, I may be patting myself a bit on the back here, too). We get shit done because we have to and we want to. We are tired — no, EXHAUSTED — but we do it all regardless. We wrestle our kids into pajamas, read bedtime stories, and take care of our little ones after a full day of work. We take care of business at home AND at the office. We transition from work attire to spit up clothes with ease. We dry our hair while feeding the kids. We pack our lunches and work bags while wrangling babies.
And you know what else? I think we are wonder women after all.
ZOMBIE wonder women, that is.