Guest blog: Fighting Sleep

sleepingHe used to be my easiest sleeper.

Even as a baby- if he was tired, he’d just fall asleep wherever he happened to be. In the stroller in the middle of the zoo, in his exersaucer, on the floor. When he was old enough to crawl up the steps, he’d crawl up to his room and start pulling on the slats of his crib, letting me know hey mom, it’s naptime. As he got older, he was always the first of my three boys to fall asleep at night and always without a fight.

But there’s been such a change in my kindergartener’s sleep since the beginning of the year. Which is why I spent the last hour sitting with him as he tried to settle down and fall asleep.

He put his head in my lap and pulled one of my arms around him, as I used the other hand to stroke his hair. Looking down at his sweet face as he tried to settle himself down for the night. Answering some of his questions- those why’s that only a child would think to ask. And shushing some of his other talk, reminding him that it’s time for sleep.

Getting frustrated as more minutes tick by and I think of how hard it will be to wake him up in the morning and get him off to school. And then taking a deep breath and realizing that I was doing what I could. After all- I can make him lie down, but I can’t make him sleep.

Knowing that this nightly fight against sleep is an unwelcome side effect of the particular medication he starting taking at the beginning of the school year for his ADHD. While we knew it was possible that could happen, we were hoping to skip that side effect. And at first, I thought that maybe I was just reading too much into it and he was simply trying to stay up later thanks to other changes, like being on a different schedule for the school year. But on the rare days we don’t give him his meds, he’s able to drift off to sleep hours before he does on a day with meds.

But watching his eyes drift closed, beautiful long eyelashes fluttering as he tries to fight sleep, I know it’s worth it. His days are so much easier when he takes a pill. So much so that even he notices and will accuse in the middle of a rough non-pill day “Mommy, you didn’t give me my pill today!”

So I’ll take the later nights. And the time to sit and rest with my little guy who will soon enough be protesting that he is way too old to cuddle up with his mama.

 

Shell- known as @shellthings on Twitter- wrangles chaos and mayhem on a daily basis (otherwise known as raising three boys). When she’s not breaking up wrestling matches or ducking legos, she spills her thoughts on parenting, marriage and all things mom on her blog, Things I Can’t Say.

Adrienne Ehlert Bashista is the co-editor of and contributor to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, and is also the author of two picture books about Russian adoption. She’s had stories, essays, and articles published in a variety of journals, both print and on-line. She is the owner of DRT Press. She was a school librarian for many years before giving it up to devote more time to the rest of her life. She chronicles her adventures raising her son, recently diagnosed with FASD in her blog, A Square Peg, a Round Hole. She also writes for the blog for Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and her writing/speaking website is adriennebashista.net. She lives in central North Carolina with her husband, two sons, two dogs, 21 chickens, and a lot of bees.

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Related posts:

adhd and sleep problems, ADHD medication, parenting ADHD, parenting/FAMILY, sleep ·

About the author

Adrienne Ehlert Bashista is the co-editor of and contributor to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories, and is also the author of two picture books about Russian adoption. She’s had stories, essays, and articles published in a variety of journals, both print and on-line. She is the owner of DRT Press. She was a school librarian for many years before giving it up to devote more time to the rest of her life. She chronicles her adventures raising her son, recently diagnosed with FASD in her blog, A Square Peg, a Round Hole. She also writes for the blog for Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and her writing/speaking website is adriennebashista.net. She lives in central North Carolina with her husband, two sons, two dogs, 21 chickens, and a lot of bees.

4 Comments

  1. Andy Drouin says:

    One word… melatonin!  It has been a life saver for us.

    Reply
  2. I’m glad he’s seeing such a positive difference in his day! What a happy happy thing to read. Those late nights must exhaust you, but I know you would stay up until dawn with him if you had to. 

    Reply
  3. From Tracie says:

    It is so hard when the thing that is helping is also causing issues. But it is wonderful that the medication is making such a big difference in his days. You are a good mom.  

    Reply
  4. Dee says:

    When my son was young, before he was diagnosed, he slept well but always had a hard time settling down. I started repeating 3 bedtime rules: No talking. Be quiet. Be still.  I used to feel bad about it. After all, shouldn’t I want to answer my child’s questions? Shouldn’t I want him to interact with the story? But the reality was that if I didn’t insist on quiet and stillness, he wouldn’t fall asleep.

    Of course medication rebound only compounded his antsyness at night. At 11 I still find myself using those 3 rules.  It’s less frequent, in that he knows the drill. But sometimes, itches (which often seem to borderline on tics) keep him restless and moving. I have to remind him that he can’t fall asleep if he’s moving.

    It’s another thing I find difficult to understand! I love to sleep and going to bed and being still is one of my favorite times of the day!

    Reply

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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