There’s a reason why sleep deprivation is a form of torture. It’s been 4 weeks and 4 nights of blissful, adorable, loud, grating, suckling torture in my house. I try not to complain, I really do, because I knew what I was getting into*. And really, seeing this face when you are awake makes it hard to be too mad for too long:
I know I’m supposed to “sleep when she sleeps,” and “take it easy.” You also know that I have 2 other children who are both enjoying summer vacation. What this means for me is that the world keeps turning. When Elise has a really good feeding and falls asleep at the breast, it’s perfect because it means I can make lunch for the other 2 – hey, maybe even me! – without carrying her in her sling. It means I can help them with the painting they’ve been wanting to do for an hour now. It means I can get them setup with their water balloons or water guns and help them enjoy their time. Very rarely am I able to “sleep when she sleeps.”
So what do I do to combat the insanity that chronic sleep deprivation brings on?
Well, many of you know that I love to cook (here’s my food blog, in case you didn’t know just how much: realfoodcooking.wordpress.com). I also really love music. Being in the kitchen, and playing tunes at a ear-drum-bursting-volume are the 2 best and fastest ways to restore myself.
Enter the next challenge.
Playing my music, without interruption, at mach 10, is not really an option when there are 3 little people around. First off, I have to be careful of their ear drums. Because while I am deaf** all ready, they have perfectly working ears. And really – I’d like to keep it that way. Besides, the teen years aren’t that far off now (Connor’s all ready 8 and 1/4 years old) and they’ll be blasting their own ear drums with their own headphones in less time than I care to think about.
This leaves me one alternative: cooking. Which is how we end up with things like this when the longest stretch of sleep I got last night was 2.5 hours:
A few days ago, I baked cookies. Before that, a crisp. And before that, a birthday cake which came on the heels of a chocolate chip cookie pie… Not to mention the regular meals, which of course I’m making too. Burgers, roast beef, barbecue pizza, and so on. There are 21 meals and 14 snacks eaten in a week at my house. And I prep most of these.
My point? Well… there’s a lot of food around me. And if you remember, I am an emotional eater. The sleep deprivation and the dropping hormones and the raw, beautiful emotion of having a newborn in your midst, combined with my prolific endeavours in the kitchen create a perfect storm.
How does this emotional eating, closet eating, exhausted, tortured soul deal with what needs to happen to rebalance and restore herself? No really – I’m asking you. Because I don’t have any answers or solutions. Logically, I know that I should not be worrying about my weight. The thing is, I’m not logical right now. I’m not rational. I’m barely coherent for god’s sake! And to be perfectly honest with you, I’m generally not worrying about my weight; I’m simply stuffing whatever I find into my mouth.
When the rational moments surface however, and I look back over my eating habits, I cringe. I can see what I’m doing in hindsight. I see the desperation of needing to get through the day/afternoon/hour/moment and knowing that 2 or 3 cookies will help me do just that. Or maybe a caramel macchiato. Perhaps a bowl of ice cream; no maybe a large bag of smart food… the options are endless, and the slope I am on is very slippery.
* Except that I didn’t really. Because Sam – number 2 and my most recent newborn experience – slept for 8 hours right from the moment of his birth. That’s right: he was born sleeping through the night. So it’s been 8 years since I’ve lived with a non-sleeping tiny being.
** All right, not deaf, but hearing impaired. I had 2 hearing aids until the dog turned them into $2,000 confetti… and they were put away! In their case!! On the credenza in my office!!! Wrapped in kleenex even, to give them extra protection!!!! Bloody dog… he’s lucky he’s so friggin’ cute.