Our family seems to have had an ongoing cold since November. It feels longer, much longer.
Since BB started preschool, he seems to get most things going. For him the cough is his nemesis. He doesn’t seem able to have a cold without coughing, he is particularly susceptible to this for some reason. In the past Me and J may have picked up something occasionally, but we seemed pretty invincible. (I think I might be kidding myself here, but that’s truly how I remember it, or I would pick something up and after a couple of days it would be gone).
Now we are a family of four though, it’s a whole different ball game. We seem to bat the colds and coughs backwards and forwards to each other, in some kind of world record breaking attempt, that’s still going.
The boys are wonderful, but when you are not getting a good nights sleep (I need at least 8 hours) you get run down quicker. Our bodies just aren’t able to recharge fully, and that can make you feel truly rubbish. Sleep deprivation is like nothing else. I can understand why it’s used as a method of torture.
This last month, we have been blessed with the fact that LP has started to sleep longer at night. However once BB starts coughing then we are all woken up, and very often he likes to get into bed with us, and share his cough by repeatedly coughing over us for what seems like hours. As I write this, it seems so harsh. I know that BB can’t help it, and telling anyone to stop coughing really does not work. However at 3am in the morning all rational thought goes out of the window. I just want sleep, wonderful glorious sleep, which seems to be doing its best to avoid me at the moment.
I do not handle being woken in the middle of the night very well. I stomp about, am fairly vocal, I guess I feel like ‘well if I’m awake then you can all wake up, and feel my pain.’ Normally this may follow with some crying from one or both boys, while we try and ease them back to sleep.
I feel pretty deranged at that time in the morning, it’s like I’m having an out of body experience. Whilst I can be grumpy from time to time, I’m generally not like this.
All the while though, I know I need to be kind and patient, loving and gentle, I need to show respect to my family. The boys see what I do and certainly BB’s behaviour is sometimes acted out as a result of how I have behaved. That makes me feel awful, I certainly do not want him to follow these examples of mine.
Before the boys go to bed, we pray and I often pray that they would get a good nights sleep, amongst other things. So when we are woken in the night, I often find myself thinking, why God, give me a break, I just need to sleep tonight, please can this be the night we all sleep. I truly believe that God will answer my prayer that night, but then it doesn’t happen. I know that God is for me, but why can’t I sleep?!
Many times in a situation, I know that I certainly have a life lesson to learn. Not in a harsh way, but with a nudge, God is saying you need to sort this area out. Needless to say, I’m still sorting it out. How I behave not only affects our sons, but it has a massive impact on my mood and how I treat J. It seems to me that the answer is not that once I get sleep all will be well. For me it is more that my default behaviour during these occasions does not represent who I want to be, so I need to work on that and get to the root of the issue. I need to let God in.
I will still be tired, and I will still have tough nights, it’s part of the package, but being angry about it doesn’t make anyone’s life any better, least of all mine, and it’s not going to make either of our boys sleep well every night. I do need to vent my frustrations though, and how I feel is valid, but I just don’t have the right attitude about the situation at the moment.
As for the colds and coughs. They will go, the boys will get better and we will all get some sleep at some point…
Matthew 11:28 (NIV) ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’