For the most part, I think my children make me a better person. I swear less. I am a more courteous driver. I eat more vegetables. I take more joy in the little things in life.
However, recently, Petunia's sleep patterns have made me a worse person. We're in the period in which separation anxiety is setting in, and new motor skills are being practiced. When Pumpkin was this age, we were up 5 times a night and I started The Great Sleep Experiment in desperation. Petunia is only up 2-3 times a night, but because of Pumpkin's late bed time and Petunia's stubborn refusal to settle into a true schedule, I have been unable to get my minimum requirement of 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
I've been grumpy and irritable. I have resented the sleep Hubby was getting. Hubby thought I was slacking off on the chores, and he was probably right- I had hit that stage of sleep deprivation when all I really cared about was finding a way to get more sleep.
The final straw was this Saturday. I was angry that I was making the crock pot dish for dinner, and was crashing around the kitchen. Pumpkin was watching me, and she said "Mommy, why are you so mad?" I stopped, and looked at her, and said "For no good reason. Mommy needs a time out." I went into our guest room/office and just sat for a few minutes. I knew something was going to have to change.
So Sunday night, I pumped before bed. I left a bottle for Hubby and went to bed as early as I could. He slept on the sofa with the monitor until Petunia's second waking, and then came and got me. I felt like a completely different woman yesterday. Last night, I left another bottle. Hubby came in after he gave her the bottle, but I still slept really well. I'm sitting in the living room now, watching Petunia play (she's also taken to waking up for the day at 5 a.m.). I could still use more sleep, but I no longer crave it like some sort of drug. Really, the only question is why didn't I do this sooner?