Sleep. That ilusive thing that I cannot quite get my hands on. You forfeit sleep when you become a parent. At least until your kids get the hang of it. Problem is J is autistic and a good portion of autistic kids do not sleep well. On top of that I have an infant. They don’t like sleep all that much either. They want to be awake staring at you creepily as you will them to fall asleep while they eat. I haven’t had a good night sleep since early 2012. I feel like I miss it. I mean I’m not completely sure that I remember what sleeping through the night felt like. I’m sure someday I will be lucky enough but tonight is not the night.
J was up a lot last night. My husband thinks growing pains and I’m like “he’s big enough”. He’ll be 5 in December and he’s already the size of a 6 year old. It hurts my heart that I can’t figure out what it is and he can’t tell me. He just cries. He has no other way. Tonight I pulled him into the rocker that’s in his room. He’s too big of course. I couldn’t believe as I rocked him and he whimpered, that he’d gotten so big. I looked at him and thought “he’s not a little boy anymore”. I stared at his face in light of his star turtle thing and thought “he’s gotten so big. When did that happen”? Kids grow so fast. We cuddled for a bit. I like that he’ll rock with me sometimes. That he will cuddle. This is a huge thing. Some parents of autistic kids do not get this opportunity because their kids don’t like to be touched.
When he would get up at night, sometimes I would lose my patience. After several days of it and running on little to no sleep, exhaustion comes in and makes you irritable and snappish. I would get angry at him. For what? He doesn’t do it in purpose. He wants to sleep too. He can’t tell you what hurts. It’s not his fault. My tone would be angry. I was a terrible parent in that moment for getting angry at 2 am. Snapping at him. That’s on me not him. It shouldn’t matter how tired I am.
I can tell you absolutely that now that I’ve started taking care of my gut health it’s been amazing. I still run on the same amount of sleep and he still gets up at night but I’m patient. I don’t feel the irritability like I used too. It’s amazing. I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to not get irritated at night with him. It makes it easier to get him back to sleep because he senses I’m calm about it. I’m there for him.
This makes all the difference in the world to both of us.