Kicking & Screaming


Sleep. I love sleep. I’ve always been a deep sleeper. I’m talking sleep through alarms, sleep through phones ringing. My only chance was to be physically woken up. Regrettably everyone found out that never ended good for them because I usually protested in my sleep by swinging or kicking at them. My mother used to have to spray me with water from my bedroom door to wake me up in the mornings. My husband has tried on a couple of occasions to get me to rise before the sun with him to go hunt and found out that isn’t really ideal unless I went to sleep at 7:00 pm the night before. It’s possible. It’s just a lot of work to bring me into the land of the living before I’m ready. My body is just programmed to require a certain number of hours of sleep. If I can’t fall asleep by a certain time, my body just makes me sleep in longer to make up for it. Trouble is, I also am OCD and have major anxiety issues so that just makes going to bed at a normal time an impossible task. This, of course, made me worry when I found out we were having a baby What if I wouldn’t be able to wake up in the middle of the night for all those feedings because of my sleep habits? (Thankfully that’s not the case and I do just fine with her.)

I have spent so many mornings of my life kicking and screaming against the dawn yet I have always wished that I could be the type of morning person to get up early,  read the paper and eat a good breakfast with coffee and juice and have time to do things before work. That was never me  though. I am the type that wakes frantic after hitting snooze too many times on the alarm, fly around the house to grab my things and do my makeup in the car. Quite the opposite of my ideal, I know. We always want what we’re not though don’t we? The dark haired girls want to go lighter. Straight haired girls want curls. Tall wants to be short. Short wants to be tall. We’re just never happy? Well, i’m just never happy once I awake later than I want and realize I’ve slept away that time. That’s time I will never get back. I protest getting up and then get upset that I’ve slept in. Hello? What’s the problem here??

Well, I think I figured it out. It’s got more to do with what you’re rising FOR than anything. I have worked at my job for 11 years now. 11 years I have dealt with some pretty crazy stuff and it’s a constant stress fest in that office. So naturally I dread it some weeks. Those are the weeks I fret until the wee hours trying to figure out solutions and then sleep in partly because I got to bed so late and partly because I just don’t want to face it. Eventually I do of course muster up the courage to face the day. Much to my dismay though. Yet, since I’ve been home, having to wake to feed my child or change her diaper  at all hours of the night has been an exception. I realized in those few hours she’s awake I get to experience her facial expressions or a smiles or coos. Well that’s worthwhile. I look forward to that. So naturally I have had no issue waking these past few weeks to enjoy it. I actually didn’t sleep a wink the entire three nights were at the hospital and I wasn’t tired at all. That was likely just the adrenaline so I worried when I got home it would wear off and I’d be a zombie. Thankfully I’ve only had  a couple nights where the lack of sleep made me a pretty grumpy beast. But aside from that I’ve woken before dawn and put on some herbal tea to sip while nursing the baby and watched the news. I’ve seen my husband off to work (something I haven’t even stirred from these past few years). I nap after breakfast when the baby naps. It’s been nice.

I think this is why I’ve fretted so much about returning to work too. I know I’ll go back to the dread. I’ll return to the kicking and screaming against the day because the day is not what I want it to be. It’s merely what it has to be. I feel bad saying it but I wish sometimes for complete economic catastrophe. I wish sometimes that something significant would wipe out our dependency on money. Eliminate the very sources of the bills we have to pay. Say cable ceased to exist anymore. Cell phones. Or the internet. Well it’d be a shame to not have a blog anymore but I don’t have a fan base of millions and I never had a blog before anyway. Back then it was simply called a journal. And back then you’d be PISSED if you caught someone reading it. Now with one click we can reach thousands. Millions even. And we want to show everyone that we’re similar or different or smart or talented  to satisfy some inner need to be known in this world so we can’t help but to share.

Our original plan with the baby was to put her right in her nursery in the crib. We have a cat and two dogs so I didn’t want her in our room with us with all that pet hair or the cat climbing in to her crib to satisfy her curiosity. We certainly couldn’t have her sleep in our bed with us because that would be a recipe for disaster between my husband’s restlessness and the dogs. Little did I know that it would be so hard to put her in an entirely different room from us. She also didn’t like being on her back. So I slept with her on my chest in the hospital. When we got home I found that I could create a perfect spot on the recliner of our sofa with extra pillows that would keep us surrounded safely so she could sleep on my chest. So that’s where she’s been ever since. They say newborns are too young to get “spoiled” by being held too much or cuddled. I had hoped they were right but judging from her recent issues I think they got it wrong.

The baby has started kicking and screaming too. It’s usually at night and she’s battling the decision to sleep or to eat and in the end trying to do the one thing she can’t do at the same time: Both. So she’ll nurse for a few minutes and then doze off and then wake up a few minutes later pissed that she fell asleep. It’s like she senses the same apprehension and anxiety in me or something. Then again it could just be the Vitamin D drops we just started her on (which taste like shit by the way and make your tongue numb). If it is anxiety, well, I wished for a few of my features and talents to be bestowed upon my daughter but my nerves and separation anxiety weren’t part of them.

I was the kid who cried the night before the first day of school and by morning it had escalated to full blown panic attacks by the  because I was convinced that my family was going to up and move while I was gone. I was late and puffy eyed every single first day of school I can recall. Jobs were the same way. It wasn’t just separation from my family but also the fear of change. Something new. It scares the daylights out of me because I am helpless to it and have no control over anything.

Maybe I give her too much credit. Surely she can’t know that things are about to change? Can she really sense it or is this just me and my nerves creating it? Either way I think it’s safe to say that we’ll both be kicking and screaming come Sunday night and then Monday morning when I have to go to work and leave her for the first time ever.


About stephrader

I am a new mom who went from managing a fast paced legal office to the 24/7 lifestyle of a stay-at-home-mom. I am inspired by everything and writing has always been my outlet. I love that each day offers something new, exciting, breathtaking, philosophical, tasty, funny and yes, sometimes even sad. Check out my blog 'The Write Side of Life'.

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