The cover picture to this blog explains it all. It's a picture of one of the nights of struggle to get her to sleep and my bright idea to have the TV on at the same time. Delirium doesn't begin to explain what happened to my brain during this three month time period.
It all began in November 2017. That’s when I began the biggest struggle of my life. Let’s set the scene. On October 7, 2015, I signed my resignation letter to Schaumburg School District 54 for extenuating circumstances with a student. The video below will explain in better detail of how that went down.
Why I Decided to Become an Entrepreneur - Jul. 15, 2017
Now, I went over my biggest challenge in my life when I decided to be a stay-at-home dad in a previous blog post called The Biggest Challenge of My Life on Jan. 22, 2018. So what’s the difference in that blog to this one? Well now we’re talking about how that challenge turned into an incredible struggle.
It often times felt like I was going to die, figuratively speaking of course. Mentally, it was incredibly challenging.
November brought on the teething phase for Daisy which meant Michelle and I got no sleep. She already wasn’t sleeping well. She would start the night in her crib and then end up in our bed until she woke us up at 3am.
Yes. 3am. The time I used to wake up. This baby that would end up in our bed at 9pm, toss and turn the entire night and then wake up like she was ready to play at 3am became our norm for three months.
I did my best to combat this but nothing worked.
I tired getting up earlier than 3am. FAIL.
We tried putting lavender oils on her feet and her body. FAIL.
We tried giving her nightly baths before bed. FAIL.
We tried giving her Tylenol before bed. FAIL.
Teething necklace? FAIL.
Sleep in her playpen or in her own crib in her room? FAIL.
We tried everything. There were more things we tried but I can’t remember them all and it’s late night as I’m typing this. It’s close to my bedtime as we speak.
But his is what would often happen. We’d get tired and be ready for bed and she’d be ready to jump in our bed. It was nerve wracking. We basically had to tiptoe into our room and not make a noise.
We finally found a method that seemed to help. When Daisy would wake up in the middle of the night, I’d get her from the room and take her to the couch. This actually worked. She would get solid sleep from 2-6am with no interruptions. It was great!! Well, let’s rephrase that. It was great for her. It was hell for me. I had to sleep with Daisy until 6am because I needed her to learn to sleep until then.
This went on for a grueling three months. It was hell in my mindset. Here I am a guy who loves to get up early and get things done. I love to be awake when everyone is asleep to get massive amounts of work done. But for three months, I was behind. When I woke up at 6, that was three hours behind my schedule. I couldn't make this time up throughout the day. My life was a constant catch-up.
It was demoralizing. I felt defeated many days. I couldn’t see the end to this agonizing pain of getting no sleep and being unproductive (according to my standards). It was wearing my nerves thin. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and just kept going. It seemed never ending.
It got to the point where I suggested to Michelle that we needed to put Daisy in her own crib in her own room. Period. I wasn’t having it anymore. I was at my wit’s end and needed sanity or I was going to lose it. I knew this task would take a minimum three weeks to catch hold with Daisy. This meant three more weeks of hell before I could catch six hours of uninterrupted sleep.
But to my surprise, this was what she needed. We knew she was using Michelle as a pacifier (breastfeeding when she didn’t need to after waking up in the night). There were only a few times we had to get Daisy in the middle of the night but it worked out much better than we anticipated.
The purpose of this story is to let you know that you too will go through a situation where you’ll feel like you’re going to mentally whither away. Like you can’t take much more pain.
You’ll feel defeated beyond belief and will be tested beyond your will. You’ll feel like a zombie and ask yourself foolish questions like why the hell did I do this to myself??
Understand one thing: This too shall pass. It won’t last forever. Whatever trouble you’re going through will seem insurmountable. It’ll seem overwhelming and will test every fiber of your being. Remember, this too shall pass. It won’t last forever.
Daisy is finally sleeping like a normal baby. I’m finally getting my sleep. I’m slowly but surely getting back to being productive and getting up early. Not 3am early but now I have a new adjusted time of 4:30am.
Dealing with my struggles as a stay-at-home dad have ultimately helped me to mentally battle many things in my life. When my wife proposed the idea of me being a stay-at-home dad, I remember my first response was, this will be the hardest challenge of my life.
That still holds true to this day. Although now, it’s not so bad. Give it time, I’m sure another major challenge in parenthood awaits. I’ll enjoy my moment for now!!
Be awesome all day, everyday.