Monday, October 3, 2016

Overtired Is Spoon Deficient

I didn't come up with the spoon theory, but I hope the creator pardons me using their expression.

My middle came down with hand foot and mouth this week. It is by far the worst illness I've ever experienced as a parent. Even that I've experienced as a person.

She was inconsolable. Screaming about the pain and itching. I know how she feels, I've been there with my hives, awake at night, desperate for sleep, and unable to because of the burning, itching, and pain. Feeling that way is bad enough but watching her suffer it is heartwrenching.

She is better tonight, though she is not to bed yet. She took a 3 or 4 hour nap today, I'm not even sure, but it seemed like forever, especially since her little brother also took a nap about the same length. He   has a slight fever and is fussy tonight too. I'm hoping he doesn't come down with the worst of it because that's just not fair for someone that little.

But the point of my post today is more about my reaction. I definitely don't handle illness well at night. I'm okay during the day, but if you are going to critically reduce my sleep or interrupt it with overwhelming screaming squealing and screeching, apparently it becomes obvious that I have no spoons left over for midnight patience.

Like, I have a hard time figuring out and making sense of whatever is happening. More recently, since my third baby, my brain functioning is so bad that I waffle almost every single decision. I just can't decide things. We've been in to urgent care quite often for my middle since my 3rd was born because I just can't decide if it's a big deal or not. Then I second guess myself when we're there because it takes so long, makes a nightmare of a night, and sometimes I've even felt as if we were just being a pest to the medical professionals on call. (Which I will maintain is NOT my fault or problem.)

I just go back to that spoon theory. I mean, I literally don't have a plethora of extra energy, patience or focus for each day, and I am empty of spoons by bedtime. Then throw an illness in there and you know you don't have something pretty and helpful happening.

Last night I finally gave in. In effort to try and protect the baby from getting sick, I had been separating myself from my middle. She was pretty sad about it, and finally I just gave up. My husband couldn't take it anymore and it was getting really frustrating and bad. We did get some sleep finally after I gave in, but it wasn't perfect, and still meant I didn't get more than 2 hours sleep that first bad night. Last night was much better, but I stayed away with the apprehension that she would just wake me up by screaming anyway, so why go to sleep. When I finally was having to call it quits so I could sleep, I actually got her into bed without her waking up (after failing twice before that), and woke my husband to switch kids with me.

That worked probably the best of anything. It's one thing if I plan on staying up for things, it's quite another to be awakened to screaming. That is the hardest. I lose spoons just hearing her scream. She is quite dramatic that way I would guess, so it can be very hard to feel sorry for her when shes piercing my eardrums with her screeching. I think I normally do very well dealing with that part during the day, but at night it's not tolerable.

Anyway, I think it's probably normal to feel this way, I think that it makes you stronger and maybe eventually sometime in the next 18 years I will be able to function better at night and not lose my mind over the interruptions to sleep and stuff. You know, just in time for the youngest to graduate and be ready to leave home.

It's true that you can only give so much. I might have trouble with my day, and run out of spoons on the regular, but I still try to stretch myself every day, and it is indeed all worth it. How God does that - makes something that's normally so difficult actually feel worth it, but He does. It's interesting, and you have to then wrap your mind around the fact that your perfect Father God is much stronger, able, and loving than any of us could ever be to even our own children. #Intense