Monday, December 20, 2010

Irritability, Insomnia, Blech.

I have NEVER in my life been one who couldn't sleep. Like ever. I consider it a talent that I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. Concrete floor? 15 minute power nap? Done. Even when I'm really worried about something, sleep is my escape. I'm a stress sleeper, not non-sleeper.

So, I've been completely thrown by the fact that for the last several nights, I have NOT been able to sleep. It is not like I've been worried about Sam. I haven't. The Hopkins trip left me in a good place, and I've been feeling so hopeful and optimistic. But, for several nights, I've just been laying in bed with my wheels spinning until like 4 am.

Part of it is the holidays. So much to do. Shopping, meals, etc. B was raised Jewish and just LOVES Christmas (he says he was "cheated" out of it his whole life) so we always make a big deal out of it. This year, its just the three of us, and I didn't want to disappoint, so I planned on making a Christmas meal just for the three of us. But then I realized, B is all about the "joy" of the holiday, but I take on all the work. I did all the shopping, all the gift-selecting, all the wrapping, etc. etc. And I'm stressed. Work HAS picked up (as promised) and I have a lot on my plate. I lay in bed thinking about all I have to do, thinking I should just get up and DO it (since I'm not sleeping anyway) but I don't. Because really, who wants to get up at 1 am and read patent file histories?

But two nights ago, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I realized I have to simplify this holiday for myself. Because something has to give. So, there will be no Christmas dinner at our house. We'll be going out (for Chinese!). We'll have a big New Years Day meal when my mom is here the following week, and that's enough. I can't do it all, and there's no reason to try.

Sweet Sammie B also came down with a cold, and hasn't been sleeping well. She's been a congested little hot mess, and wakes up crying during the night. And B is NO help in the middle of the night. He says really helpful things like, "SAM, you are fine," and rolls over and goes back to sleep while I comfort and soothe. The problem is, I know that part of it is that in those moments, she ONLY wants me. He'll try to comfort her and she'll say "no" and roll over for me. So, he gives up and lets me do it. And the thing is, my heart melts that she wants me. Me. That I'm the one she goes to for comfort. That's "mom." I work with women whose kids could care less whether it is their mom, dad or nanny comforting them in those kinds of times (and even some where the moms readily admit they play second fiddle to dada in those moments) and I know that wouldn't be enough for me as a mom. Pre-baby, I might have thought so. I would have thought that's what equality and co-parenting is all about in a dual-income family. Post-baby, post-Sammie B, it would kill me if she didn't want me. So, its sort of a double-edged sword . . . I want her to want me more than anyone else in those moments, but I'm tired as hell the next day, and resentful that B gets to sleep through it all. And, I'm not really sure what the answer is. (This is where I'm hoping for comments, advice, some commiserating). I do know that laying in bed wanting to clobber B in his sleep is probably NOT the healthiest way to deal.

I remember in law school I attended a symposium about work-life balance, and a sociologist presented findings from a study that showed that even in non-traditional families (where the moms were the sole or primary breadwinners), moms still did more than 50% of the family management, child-rearing type of stuff. I definitely do. I pay the bills, I "manage" Sam's services, I'm the one that does most doctors appointments with her, etc. Part of this is because my job, while requiring many many more hours than B's does, is more flexible, but I think part of it is just being "mom." I wouldn't be happy if I couldn't do those things. I'd feel like a failure. Because I WANT to be the one at doctors appointments, etc. I want to be the one sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office with my sick kiddo, not waiting at work to get a call from someone else with the results. B says that I do more than my share because I'm a control freak and won't let anyone else help. I know that there may be some truth to that, but other times, I think it is just a shitty cop out.

Anyway, that's how I'm feeling today. I haven't blogged in a while, but before I get back to my regularly scheduled programming (I have drafts! with Christmas cheer! and pictures!), I needed to get this off my chest.

And, Sammie B seems to be recovering from her little cold - we did go to the doctor today, I missed half a day of work because there was an hour and a half wait, even though we made an appointment - just a cold/congestion with an irritated throat, we got an antibiotic and she's on the mend. Oh, but I looked up side effects for the prednizone my own doctor prescribed me last week to hopefully (once and for all) get rid of the horrendous cough I've had for 4 weeks, and "insomnia" and "irritability" were at the top of the list. Hmmmm. Maybe that's why I can't sleep and want to clobber my husband while he does.


Gina said... are on PREDNISONE??

And you are this lucid?

Yeah, don't worry, you'll be back to normal in no time. That stuff has me climbing the WALLS.

That being said, I totally get what you are saying and feel the exact.same.way. When I do have B take one of the boys to the doctor, I send a detailed note and get so frustrated if B doesn't remember every syllable the doctor uttered.

Also, if B ever says anything about being tired, I want to, well, clobber him. Even though I'd cry if G didn't want me during the night.

I'll stop now. Sorry. You got the floodgates w-a-y open.

Feel better.

Kelly said...

I want to leave you a long comment with helpful advice, but I have to get ready to take a deposition in 30 minutes....after I got up at 6:00 a.m. to pack Lexi's lunch, wrap the book for her school book exchange (that I bought at 8:00 last night on my way home from a 12 hour day in the office), walk the dogs and re-set the alarm for 8:15 so that my wonderful husband that is sleeping in b/c he has a wittle cold can get up and take Lexi to school. Hugs. I know how you feel. Every. Single. Day.