The 24 hour-ness of being a stay at home mom is pretty intense.

I feel like I'm underwater. Everything slightly muted and moving a bit slower than usual. Max does not sleep in long stretches and at first I was buoyed by post-partum hormones. He's a newborn, I told myself, and this is a phase that will end soon. Besides, he went back to sleep easily. But this last month has been torturous. With everyone in the house battling colds and flus, I found myself sleeping less and less. When I went to physical therapy this week and answered some questions about my activity level I was horrified to discover that I may be sleeping as little as 2 or 3 hours a night. A few nights I slept not at all, being woken by one child after another just as soon as I drifted off.

Sleep begets sleep, they say. When I have adequate sleep, I find it easy to fall asleep, or to nap when the opportunity presents itself. But when I haven't been sleeping, especially when it's because other people keep waking me up, I start to dread night time. It becomes very difficult to even lay down and close my eyes because I think, what's the point? Someone is going to need something in a minute anyway. I feel less tired when I just stay awake than if I am constantly jolted out of sleep. Of course, this is logical only to a very tired person, and in fact staying awake for many days in a row will literally kill you or make you crazy. But then I start feeling anxious about not having slept and perpetually worry that I may already be crazy. It doesn't help that over the past month we've been stuck at home a lot and the only person I'm talking to is three and says things like "I know how to swim in Spanish."

This is one of the biggest downsides of breastfeeding. Trying to pump enough to make a bottle someone else could give the baby is a lot of work if you also have to nurse the baby throughout the day. And even if you do get enough and someone else can feed the baby, you will probably be woken up by engorged, leaky breasts and then either have to pump in the middle of the night or hope the baby wakes up and needs to be fed again.

I started googling for answers - never a good thing - and almost bought the Magical Merlin Sleepsuit. Yes, that's a real thing. It costs like $40 and looks like one of those sumo costumes you put on when your company has decided your division should do some team building. It's supposed to ease the transition out of swaddling.

I also decided I should probably stop eating dairy, eggs, peanuts and shellfish. Oh and gluten. And start eating more oatmeal and brewer's yeast. (That's from the internet, can you tell?)

Later I thought I'd maybe just throw in the towel and wean Max onto formula. Until I saw what a can of formula costs. Then my commitment to breastfeeding was renewed.

I made a schedule and tried to stick to it for naps and feeding. Max slept even less.

I bought him gas drops. He seems to enjoy the taste, but farts as much as he ever did.

I tried to banish Marko from my bed, thinking maybe Max was disturbed by too many people in the room. But then Marko slept even less.

I cut down on coffee, but that just gave me a headache, and you know how they say to put on your own oxygen mask before you try to help someone else? Well, my coffee is the oxygen mask I must put on before even thinking about pouring the first bowl of cheerios.

They say the days are long but the years are short. Right now it just feels like one big long never-ending day. The good thing about this phase is if you are a person who likes hugs (which I am), there is no shortage of that. Hugs are available from my children 24-7.

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