Why is my baby so mean to me?

You’d think by 7 ½ months old my baby would be in some sort of decent schedule.  Ha!  Well sometimes it’s pretty good, other times… well, torture and a mean game of ‘let’s see how mommy can survive with even more sleep deprivation’.
Week nights/days can be tough.  It used to be just me all day with the baby, but now my 7 year old son is home all day too.  This is a blessing most of the time as he is an awesome big brother and can be a playmate/distraction for my baby daughter while I do fun things like go to the bathroom, dishes or cook.  However he is another child who needs snacks, help with certain things and finds it necessary to tell me how bored he is.
Her sleep “schedule” (I use that word LOOSELY) consists of her usually averaging 10 hours of sleep per night.  Oh, that sounds great right?  What the hell am I complaining about?
Ugh, no.
It’s rare that those 10 hours are uninterrupted bliss (that has only happened twice).  If that were the case, this post would not exist.  No, when my baby “sleeps through the night” it usually involves a few cry-outs, which she kind of sleeps through, but of course I wake up for.  Sometimes I actually have to go into her room and find the lost binky or help her out of whatever weird position she’s gotten herself into now that she’s more mobile.

Her new thing is to completely freak out and get more and more awake unless I pick her up for a moment long enough for her to fall back asleep (usually it’s a gas issue for her when she gets like that).
So on a good night, she’ll call out but then make herself happy and go back to sleep… me, it takes sometimes 30-45 minutes to fall back asleep again.
So for her 10 hours of sleep, the best I’ve ever achieved is 8 hours of combined sleep.
And when I get 8 hours of sleep, I am so tired ALL DAY.  But if I get 5 hours of sleep, I’m fine.  Shouldn’t we adults strive for 8 hours???  Eight hours of sleep now feels the way getting 10 hours of sleep used to feel when I was in my twenties… like I could just continue to sleep all day.  It’s like I get in this sleepy funk and can’t break free.  There is such a thing as too much sleep.  I can’t believe that 8 hours is now my “too much” point!  Crazy!  I NEED that sleep!!
Just once I’d like to feel rested.
There is a scene in Practical Magic that sums up exactly the feeling I desire and is honestly the best portrayal of this feeling I’ve ever seen in a movie.  If I was more technologically inclined, I’d just show the clip of it and put it on a loop, but alas, I feel these days my technical skills are just enough to get by, so all you get a still shot (which is no way truly shows what I’m talking about).
Sally wakes up happy - Practical Magic

It’s the scene in the movie when Sandra Bullock’s character Sally finally wakes up feeling rested and hopeful after spending days in bed over the loss of her husband.  The music also helps to portray the feeling as just when this still shot was taken it sings “you’re gonna breakthrough”.

I have only woken up feeling refreshed TWICE since she was born and that was back when she was 2 or 3 months old and let me get 4 or 5 hours of sleep in a row for the first time.  Well unfortunately even 5 hours of sleep does not equal waking up feeling rested anymore, although I can make it through the day without feeling constantly tired… it’s just REALLY hard to wake up.

So now onto my “mean” baby example…
For some reason, my baby likes to make me look like a whiner or worse, a liar.  When her daddy comes home from work and asks how she was for the day I tell my tales of how she barely napped, was fussy, didn’t let me get much sleep, etc. but then on the weekends what does she do?  She sleeps great through the night (only 1-2 cry outs), and then takes 1 ½ hour naps during the day!  WTF?
I started noticing this maybe a month ago.
I’d appreciate this better behavior if it weren’t for Sunday nights when she punishes me.
After some decent sleep Friday & Saturday night, my body is more willing to accept more sleep by the time Sunday night rolls around.
But what does my baby do?  Goes to sleep at 11pm, cry outs at 12:30am, wakes up at 1:30am, back to sleep by 1:45am, cry outs at 2:30am, and 4:00am, and wakes up at 5:00am and stays up for 2 hours before going back to sleep at 7am and sleeping until 9 or 9:30am.  So guess how much sleep I got?  Yeah, maybe 3-4 hours combined with the longest part being 1.5 to 2 hours.  And of course since it’s now Monday and hubby isn’t around, I’m not getting any naps unless she graciously gives me one (instead of just 30 minute naps which are completely useless to me).

UGH.

It is a hell of a way to start the week.  I haven’t figured out WHY she does this on Sunday nights.  Her food isn’t any different that day versus any other day of the week, and other than having daddy home that day we don’t manage any overstimulation that is any different than any other day of the week…  I just don’t know.  And if I’m different, I’m actually more relaxed knowing I have another adult to rely on.

This week she got psyched out.   July 4th was a holiday so hubby was home and it really felt like a Saturday for all of us… so she slept 10 hours with just one call out that I didn’t even have to get out of bed for and she managed 1 ½ hour naps during the day.  But I thought she’d realize it wasn’t actually a weekend when July 5th came around and daddy wasn’t around.
Nope, I think she really thought it was just a Sunday (‘cause sometimes daddy is gone taking a nap, shopping, mowing the lawn, etc) so maybe she thought he was just out for the day – not a work.
So last night on what she thought was a Sunday night she of course slept HORRIBLY.  I seriously didn’t get any real sleep until after 7:30am this morning.  She got me up at 9:45am and I fed her and waited for daddy to wake up a little after 10am.  Then it was MY nap time!  Thank goodness it was actually a Saturday.

So now that it’s the actual weekend, will she sleep horribly on Sunday night again?  Lord I hope not, but we’ll see.

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About personinprogress

A 30-something woman on a mission of self-improvement and lifelong healthy habits. A new 365/50 Project starts Nov 15th 2016!
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3 Responses to Why is my baby so mean to me?

  1. Sleep deprivation is the worst! I feel for you. I also know what you mean about your daughter making it seem like you are a liar; when my partner’s home, my son is always super sweet, when someone comes to babysit and has to put him to bed he’ll generally wake up only once during the night as opposed to 3 time on a normal night. It’s maddening!

    • gwenacious says:

      I learned years ago that babies/kids will commonly act the WORST for their parents (and appear like perfect angels for strangers or other family) but I had no idea they would do this for one parent over another until now.
      She wants for me so much (if I’m in the room, she cries for me) yet she’s meanest to me! Not fair!

      • Probably because you’re with her all the time, she decides to be happy when her father is around. I’m in the same situation, it’s as though he’s tired of being with me all the time even though I can scarcely put him down when we’re alone. Perhaps things’ll be different when I go back to work in a couple of months. Only time will tell.

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