Sleep changed for me when my son came into the picture. With pregnancy came insomnia, long before the various discomforts kept me awake at night. Then, of course, I couldn’t get comfortable, and then I had a newborn to nurture at all hours.
But even after X sleep trained, my brain and body just didn’t seem the same in regards to sleep. Every month or so, my mind turns into a magpie, and randomly chatters in a way that would put even the most gregarious school-aged child to shame. No matter how tired I was before the lights went out, once I’m in bed and snuggled against my softly snoring husband, my brain won’t shut up.
Inevitably, the next day I take a long nap (which in my world means longer than 20 minutes.) And inevitably, I don’t get to sleep until late that night. I slowly chip away at my sleep deficit until I’m finally caught up, but a week has gone by and I realize I’ve barely left the house, hardly done any chores, and have I even really played with my son, or just demanded that he go play and leave me alone, over and over and over again?
It’s a terrible cycle, and was an unexplained one — until this week. This week, I realized that, in a way, my good days cause my bad days.
Essentially, when I finally find stability again, I cram my life — and brain — full to the brim. Assorted projects at home, seeing all of the friends I’ve lost track of in a mire of symptomatic days, catching up, making plans. But most of all, desperately trying, subconsciously or otherwise, not to let things get that bad again.
And then that night, I can’t sleep.
So today, as I’m finally seeing the end of another cycle of sleeplessness, I have told myself:
I have done enough.
And when I list it out, I really have done a lot. I did a load of dishes, cleaned a bathroom, decluttered the kitchen counters, visited a friend. I kept my son alive and even played with him — despite the fact that he wouldn’t take a nap today. Never mind “done enough,” I’ve done a TON!
I still feel the pull of things left undone, though. The toys scattered across the floor, the trash that needs to go out, the mounds and mounds of clean laundry ready to be put away.
But all of that will be there tomorrow. Tomorrow will not actually be a better day if I break myself in half doing things today, in the name of making
tomorrow someday never less stressful. It just doesn’t work like that.
So today I’m sitting in my living room, playing computer games guilt free and savoring thoughts of a special moment I had with my son this afternoon, instead of resenting him for depleting my finite energy when there’s so many other things I “need” to do.
That’s made today so much better.
And I think, as I result, tomorrow will be subsequently sweeter.