This Mama’s Broken Heart and R.E.M. Sleep Cycle


It’s not even nine o’clock and the coffee is gone. . . It’s going to be a long day.

Our son, for whatever reason, has been waking up in the absolute middle of the night convinced that someone is trying to get into our home to harm him. He cries, wants us to sleep with him and refuses to go back to sleep for hours. This has been going on for over a week now and we are all running on a lot less than full steam. I actually took a three-hour nap Saturday afternoon (after a trip to the Missouri Star Quilt Co. in Hamilton, but that’s another story) because I was so tired. It wouldn’t have been an issue but we had a party to attend and the babysitter’s arrival was the only thing that got me out of bed. Now, that’s embarrassing!

Last night I finally had enough (this mama likes her sleep); so after an hour of more of the same I finally told him if he couldn’t sleep he should get up and clean his room. And so he did! This must be serious. We have talked, reassured, cuddled and reasoned. We have checked doors, told stories and tried tough love. We have recalled happy things, thought about favorite places and read books. We have tried essential oils, counted sheep and yes, even suggested household chores. I just don’t know what else to do.

Old Man Winter reared his grumpy head again this weekend with bitter temps and snow flurries, so if Spring finally decides to stay for good this time we will be able to get outside and exercise more, which should help. We already limit our son’s electronic time to 30 minutes a day and after last night I’m restricting his TV viewing to PBS (he actually thought this one was a good idea). I stay on top of what he watches on a daily basis, but perhaps there have been fear triggers and mature subjects that have escaped my perception. Of course the kids at school talk about all matter of ill-advised subjects like Five Nights at Freddy’s, the movie It (Why are parents allowing their first graders to watch this stuff?) and what they saw on the news; but that environment is somewhat out of my control.

We have to figure this out, because it breaks a mama’s heart (and R.E.M. sleep cycle) to have a child in fear tears in the middle of the night without being able to make it all better. That’s what we mamas do — we fix things!

If you have any suggestions or consolations, please leave me a comment below. This mama needs some help (and some serious sleep)! Thank you.

photo credit: Real Cowboys Drive Cadillacs early morning (rest your head remix) via photopin (license)

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