Friday, October 24, 2008

No rest for the weary

It's been a month since we moved into this house. In that month Joseph has slept through the night one time. Once. All the other nights he's woken up multiple times screaming for us to "help" him go back to sleep. Some nights he falls back asleep quickly and we'll only have to spend a couple of minutes with him. Other nights he'll scream and cry for an hour or more.

Last night was a rough one. For two hours he yelled and screamed at me. I sat there and listened to him as he screamed that once corner of his room was too dark, that he was cold, that he was hot, that his head hurt, that he hated me, that the computer room down the hall was too dark, that his leg hurt, that I was the worst mother ever, that his nose was runny, that he wanted to read a book and on and on and on and on. Outwardly I managed to keep my cool and I spoke to him in low, soothing tones (only raising my voice once when he wouldn't stop screaming "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy!" at the top of his lungs) and tried to gently convince him to go back to sleep.

On the inside though I was screaming too. "Why won't he just knock it off? Why won't he sleep? Can't he see how tired I am? Why won't he just be normal?"

We're at the end of our ropes here. During the day Joseph is cranky and hyper because he's not getting enough sleep. Jesse and I are crabby, with each other and with the kids, because we're not getting enough sleep.

I just don't know what to do. We've tried everything. Everything that should work hasn't worked. Every time someone asks "Have you tried .....?" the answer is yes, we've tried it and it didn't work. In fact, instead of getting better the situation seems to be getting worse.

I don't even know why I'm posting this. Maybe in a day or two I'll regret saying "Hey internet! Come read about how horrid my kid is and what a rotten mom I am!" Maybe not. Maybe I'm just wishing that someone out there will have a magical idea that fixes everything and lets us all get the sleep that we need.

I know I said we've tried it all but my god, what do we do here?

19 comments:

Sara said...

*Gulp* Have you tried Melatonin? My daughter has autism as well, and that was recommended to us by our dr.
:)

courtneyryan369 said...

I won't offer a "have you tried?" but instead off you mental hugs and peaceful thoughts.

Hang in there!

Heinous said...

Sorry to hear that. Have you tried babycenter.com for suggestions? I used to go there for all sorts of things. At the very least there were co-commiserators there.

heathenmommy said...

Chamomile tea? That stuff works as well as Benadryl for me!

Nette @ Smiling Mom said...

Jen,
Is Joseph autistic? Or is he going through a thing? I noticed another commenter mentioned autism. I'm going through a huge tantrum phase with my son right now as well. I think I'm finally breaking through the wall. Email if you want. :-)

Hang in there! njkdonohue at gmail dot com

Ben said...

I have a three day weekend coming up, maybe I could come over for a sleepover.

Lala said...

drugs? I don't know you do it......

quilted family said...

have you tried magical sleeping powder? Give Jospeh some talcum powder in a colorfully decorated container, he is to sprinkle a little bit in all the corners of his room, turn around 3x and then he can sleep. (This gives Joseph "power" over his own sleeping, if he wakes he can sprinkle some more powder and settle back down to sleep) Alternate technique is lightly scented water in a spray bottle, but I think the talcum powder is less messy. Worked wonders for my child with Sensory Integration issues.

Also give him time, you did just move and he may need more time to get adjusted to his new surroundings. Does he play in his room during the day? That way he could familiarize himself with the room in a safe and happy way.

Hope something helps/ and soon.

Marinka said...

That sounds so, so hard. How old is Joseph? If this behavior is unusual for him, and it sounds like it is, he may need help dealing with anxiety. Don't feel bad about feeling like you're at the end of your rope, though. Sleep deprivation is the worst. It's pure torture.

Ferdinand the Duck said...

Internet hugs, lady. I have no advice to offer, but I'm sending all my mellow mojo to you and the fam.

Jamie said...

I have nothing to offer that you probably heard before... So I just sent thoughts of peace and sleeping children.

queermom said...

I just spent the last three days at the Geneva Centre's Autism Symposium. Have you read anything by Anthony Atwood? I highly recommend looking into some of his work.

http://www.autism.net/content/view/495/292/

He spoke of many practical solutions for managing anxiety.
Good luck to you and Joesph!
ammo33@hotmail.com

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

This may have already been suggested to you, but my nephew used to have bad nightmares, and always end up with mom and dad. My sister put a sleeping bag right next to her bed, so if he woke up, he could come and crawl in that and sleep. Maybe being closer to mom would help. Otherwise, my prayers and thoughts are with you. Hang in there, this too shall pass.

Alison Wonderland said...

I went through a phase when I was older than Joseph is but... the probblem was that i wasn't waking up entirely so I couldnt' go back to sleep. I have that with my kids on occasion as well. The trick is to find something that will wake him up. My dad made me walk around the house with him. I end up sprinkling my kids with water. Once they're truly awake they can go back to sleep.

Karen said...

can you get him to nap? Sleep begets sleep and lack of is a vicious cycle. So see if you can get any sleep in!

Then work on making it at normal night time.

I like the sleep spray/powder.

good luck and hugs

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

Hugs to you and your family! My daughter is not a good sleeper so far, she can and sometimes will sleep through the night, but not regularly, so I don't feel qualified to suggest anything.

I hope things improve soon.
Steph

Laggin said...

I have nothing for you but an e-nap for you and Mr. Grumbly...which I'm sending your way.

Oh, and the phrase "Hey internet! Come read about how horrid my kid is and what a rotten mom I am!" should not have been in that post. Becuase I saw nothing about horrid kids or rotten moms in there. :)

Jen said...

**huge squishy hugs** I gave birth to the world's worst sleeper, so while I have no successful tips for you (because NOTHING worked for Amelia for the first two years... she literally woke 8-10 times a night for 24+ months), I do have a crap-ton of empathy.

Tink said...

I don't want to recommend anything to you except lavender. We got a light ring for my cousin and put lavender essential oil drops in there every night before bed and it helped her a lot.

Good luck! This has GOT to be tough. Don't think you're a bad mommy - everyone has moments of frustration and you certainly aren't taking it out on the kids. It's OK.