Just so you aren't fooled into thinking we're living on easy street over here with two babies, today was ROUGH. Jackson is mid 6 week growth spurt, and not handling it well. He's unsettled, and hungry, and not sleeping, and just tough work! This morning, after trying to get him to sleep for over 30 minutes with no luck, I popped him and Ri into the car and we went for a drive. For 40 minutes. He slept, Riley played and talked and read stories, and I got a mental break. Riley must have known we were having an off day because she was really good all day long and she took a 3 hour nap. This little guy, on the other hand... did not do much of THIS.
It's hard because with Riley, when she was tough to get to sleep, I had the luxury to be able to hold her or sleep with her or basically do whatever it took to meet her needs. With Jackson, I just can't do that. And with only one baby, it's so much easier to deal with the lack of sleep, but with TWO babies, it's so hard to function during the day. When the little baby is up every hour during the night, and the toddler is up for the day before 6am, and they make it impossible for me to nap during the day... yikes, it can be a struggle. And the thing is, it took Riley TWENTY MONTHS to sleep through the night, so I'm not fooled into thinking that "this too shall pass" or that "this is just a phase" that I just have to get through with Jackson. Something has to change, and I'm just not sure what it is.
An overtired baby is NOT a happy baby. And the thing is, it's a vicious cycle. Overtired babies fight sleep, and then don't sleep well. And then when they don't sleep well, they get overtired, and on and on. And let's just say Jackson is one not very happy, very tired baby right now. In fact, right this moment as I type, Mark is pushing him around the house in the stroller since all other methods to get him to sleep have failed. He's alternating between being quiet and yawning, and screaming. But not yet sleeping.
It's hard because I want to do what's best for Jackson, and I want to do what's best for Riley as well. But how do I do both? Do I spend hours each day with Jackson trying to get him to sleep, and unable to spend that quality time with Riley? Do I let Jackson cry a bit, so that I can give Riley enough attention during the day? I'm trying a bunch of different things to see what works best for me, and for us as a family.
But today, I just felt... defeated. Jackson cried. A lot. If I wasn't holding him or feeding him, he was crying. And even if I was holding him, often he was crying. Riley had to spend way too much time entertaining herself, or playing with the ipad, with not enough attention from me. I was so exhausted and impatient. And questioning myself. Should we stop swaddling him since he seems to be getting too hot? Should we swaddle him tighter since he can break free? Is he awake too long? Should we put him in his crib? Or keep him in the rock 'n play? Should we move him out of our room? Should I space out his feedings? Should I just wear him in the MOBY wrap all day? Is he going through a growth spurt? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Or, maybe today was a fluke, maybe he's just struggling his way through a growth spurt, and all will be easier tomorrow Or the next day. At least it's a weekend, and I have some back-up. Days like these make being far far away from your family harder than ever.