No sleep. And no patience. And no energy.

I’m so tired. I’m tired of being a bad momma, and a bad wife, and a bad housekeeper. I’m tired of being a bad friend.

I can’t remember ever having a day as bad as today. I love my kids, I do… but something has to give soon, before I have a mental break.

I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to move beyond this. I feel like we’ve sought help and asked all the right questions, and nothing changes. I feel like there is something wrong and no one is noticing. I feel like this is NOT NORMAL, and everyone keeps brushing it off as normal.

Ronan is not a normal kid. He’s sweet, and funny, and kind… but he also is very strong willed, and doesn’t ever want to veer from the path he has chosen. He has no regulatory ability, which means when he starts getting over-excited, he can’t calm himself down. When he’s over-excited, he loses his ability to discern what may or may not be appropriate, what may or may not be safe. He becomes very dangerous, to himself and others. But he doesn’t see it, and he can’t calm down. He also has no inhibitions. You can’t interrupt his “go” mode. If he is in the middle of reaching out his hand to touch the hot stove, it doesn’t matter how hard or loud you yell, you can’t interrupt the process once it’s in motion. He’s always immediately sorry afterwards, he genuinely regrets his action – but he’s unable to stop once he’s pushed play.

I feel like we have tried everything possible for sleep. Earlier bed times, later bed times, melatonin, different blankets, different rooms, different lighting, chiropractic care and reiki. We’ve tried skipping naps, longer naps, more physical activity, less TV, letting him stay up in his room until he’s tired, leaving the door open, letting him sleep with us… we have really tried everything short of drugging the kid.

Ronan’s occupational therapist believes that a night-time disruption of this nature is likely neurological. It’s not behavioral – he’s not rebelling or being awful – he can’t help it. With all of the other systems that he seems unable to regulate, it doesn’t seem like a stretch that he’s also unable to regulate his sleep cycle.

Moving forward, we’ve had some blood work done to find out if there’s anything physical going on (like low iron, or environmental factors.) Ronan’s OT is recommending a neuro consult. I guess that’s where we go from here.

To top it all off, Ruby is coming into her own. She has figured out that she is in control of her own body, and we can’t force her to do anything. She wants what she wants, and any “no” is met with an all out, back-arching, tonsil showing mega-fit.

Pregnant mama with no sleep is at the end of her rope. There is no more rope. We have exhausted all rope.

Please send rope.

  • Lisa

    Just saw this and hope I might be able to offer some advice. I recently made some serious dietary changes and in researching the program I ended up trying I saw stories from LOTS of parents who have kids with issues like yours. Turns out, lots of these neurological/behavioral issues can be caused by food intolerances or sensitivities. Check out the Whole9 website and read the testimonials about their Whole30 program. They also just came out with a book called It Starts With Food which talks about the program. It is essentially the paleo diet but you cut out a lot of stuff for 30 days to see if you get results. The results can be staggering. Also check out PeaceLovePaleo’s website. Their children have also seen great results for their behavioral issues and sensory processing disorder from switching to the paleo diet. Just a suggestion. Good luck and hang in there!

  • Angela

    Oh man, that’s rough. We have a high strung, anxious daughter and she has a lot of trouble with sleep. She’s not disruptive, but just exhausted and the most exhausted she gets, the more anxious she gets and the more anxious she gets, etc. My husband started doing guided meditation with her and it is seems to be really helping. Maybe that’s worth a shot with Ronan? I’m sad to hear that your intuition is being ignored or stymied, intentionally or not. I hope you get the answers and solutions you need soon.

  • Lindsay

    This might be a long shot, and obviously I haven’t met Ronan, and you may have had him looked at for this already, but do you think there is any evidence that he is on the autism spectrum? Children with autism often have sleep disorders. Either way I would hazard to guess that the sleep issues and the regulatory deficits are related – if not causally than perhaps they are both symptoms of an overarching issue. Anyway, I really hope you are able to get some help and support and SLEEP!

  • Savannah Marie

    You’re still gluten and dairy free right? Madilyn has been testing her boundaries a lot lately too, so I’ve been feeling like a horrible mom, a worse wife (to be) and obviously I’ve never been a good housekeeper. I feel like I’m constantly telling Madilyn what to do and what to say and how to say it (use manners, ask nicely, re-evaluate your tone) and everyone else gets to have fun with her.

    When I want to Madilyn to start or stop doing something, for instance, she was having accidents because she waits too long to go potty, I use a calendar; she got a sticker on the calendar for everyday she didn’t have an accident, for example. When we got to 10 stickers, we went to the dollar store and she picked out a prize. The calendar helped me determine that her potty issue was 100% behavioral and I didn’t have to worry about taking her to the doctor for bladder issues…. Obviously if Ronan just isn’t sleeping, his body isn’t telling him that he’s tired. You’re smart for taking a better look into that. Always trust your gut. Maybe try something like the calendar, to just try to get him to stay in bed? Then maybe if he has an incentive to stay in bed, he’ll fall back to sleep. — or at the very least, let you get more rest.

    I also think I’m going to start implementing an allowance. She’ll get a quarter, a dime, etc for picking up toys, feeding the dogs, etc. But she’ll get a quarter or a dime taken away everytime she talks back or throws a tantrum.

    I hope you get some relief soon! Congrats again on your third baby!