“Lay down. It’s time to be sleeping!” I say in a too gruff, overtired voice.
I am just so very tired. Tired in the morning, the afternoon, the evening and all through night. Tired on the school run, during our time at home, as I work, as I rest.
I can honestly count the number of nights that I have slept uninterrupted over the past two and a half years on one hand. I know it’s five, at most. Five out of the last 882 days. No wonder I am tired. It seems her sleeping biorhythms are very, very different from mine.
I try to react with calm and compassion but some nights the gruff bark erupts unexpectedly from the depths of my fatigue. Like the voice of someone else.
It’s not something I am proud of.
“Hold my hand, mummy?” she asks in a small voice in the big dark.
Even in my fatigue I soften at her request and I take her small hand in mine.
I understand sleeping is hard. It’s lonely. It’s dark. Sometimes it is too cold or too hot. Sometimes you might feel a little thirsty or hungry or have a pain in you tummy or you just need to to know that someone is there to hold your hand.
As I remind myself once again of all these possible reasons that she wakes I try my best to respond with love, patience and calmness.
I will do better next time. I will try not to let the tiredness win. I will do my best as that is all that I can do.
Because not sleeping is hard too.
What are your best suggestions for managing long term sleep deprivation?