Oh dear sleep, please come to visit my house! The boy didn’t go to sleep until around 2am this morning. He is just a mess. So since he was up so late (as were the other kids as a byproduct) everyone slept in this morning until around 11am. Yup, I am totally screwed for sleep tonight.
The baby got up at 11am, he is not going to go to bed before 11pm tonight.
The boy slept until around 11:30 and has been lazing around all day. No running, no jumping, no happily swinging in his new swing. Nope, he has been sitting All DAY LONG. There is no way he is going to sleep tonight.
And he started refusing his melatonin at night.
So he REALLY isn’t going to go to sleep tonight.
Shoot me now.
Cause this mom is stupid tired.
This mom wants to crawl into a nice warm bed and pull the blankets up over her head to end the day.
If you have a child with Autism, you know my pain. You know the struggle sleep can be. I am going to pull all the topical punches I can think of tonight. I have his favorite nighttime essential oils ready to go. I’ve got the magnesium cream mixed with his SleepyIze blend that he loves me rubbing on his feet as part of our night time routine. I’ve got the Melatonin capsule ready to go – just in case I can sneak it into some tart cherry juice just before bed.
Cause this momma wants to sleep tonight.
Did you know that you really have to stay awake and alert when you have a child with Autism in the house? There’s none of that half dozing off that you can do with other kids. I can take a quick nap when my 9 year old daughter is home, cause she is old enough to get me if she needs me. She can yell for me if she needs my help. Not with Autism in the house. The boy is stealthy. He has been known to get into our medicine cabinet in the bathroom, empty the refrigerator, break lamps, and even leave the house to walk the neighborhood. Elopement it’s called and I write about it here. You can’t let your guard down for a moment – that is when he will find an opportunity to get into a dangerous situation. So this cycle of no sleep for me will continue until I can try and get the boy to sleep again. And no sleep is rough on the body, rough on the mind.
You want to bless a parent with an Autistic child? Ask if you can come over so they can sleep. They won’t do it during the day – there are chores to be done that an Autism Parent will not skip in lieu of a nap. We put ourselves last (to our detriment). I write about that here. We know we need to take care of ourselves, but dishes need done, groceries need buying and dinner needs cooking. Unless you are prepared to get that all done WHILE keeping the child safe – don’t expect us to want to nap during the day.
Come over at bedtime if the child won’t go to sleep – sit up and keep the child safe while mom or dad grabs some sleep.
Come over at 3am if the child is one that wakes up at 2 on a regular basis. Keep the child safe so the parent can sleep.
It is so rough on single parents.
It is so rough on those of us whose spouses work the night shift.
Oh who am I kidding – it is rough on all of us, no matter our circumstances.
Autism isn’t for the faint of heart!!
Bless all of you fellow parents and caregivers who are my brothers and sisters on this Autism journey. I pray for you all daily and I know your struggles are monumental – as are those struggles our amazing children face.
You will survive.