Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Whiny One

Sorry - A Whiny Post

Not fun to read, but necessary for my sanity.

The fact that Daniel has ADHD weighs on Don and me, sometimes more than others. Lack of sleep or consistent routine aggravates the condition, meaning we have to run a tight ship, whether we want to or not. It isn't always understood by family, and is sometimes even judged, when we have to say no to some experiences, such as late-night bonfires. The kids are already up later than usual due to Sunday night church. And now that fireflies are out, we have to allow at least one night a week for that, through July. Wouldn't you know, the recent bonfire invitation was last minute, and came the day after the boys stayed up late catching their beloved fireflies?

Although aggravating and challenging, even when all experiences seem equally important, we have to set limits. Both boys need 11 hours of sleep. People, there's hell to pay when they don't get it. I've read articles indicating doctors would rather parents choose adequate sleep over nighttime experiences, at least in the younger years. Children can't learn and grow properly when they're sleep deprived. It's discouraging, but I've read that even teenagers need a full ten hours of sleep, so the dilemma won't quickly go away. Sigh. At the very least, teenagers might have the sense to sleep in when they're overtired. My boys? Uh, no. That would be too easy. They get up even EARLIER when they're tired.

It feels lonely to be judged, let me tell you. I'm seasoned enough to realize that unless someone walks in my shoes, they can't really make legitimate judgments. Taking unfair judgment like a grain of salt, though, is easier said than done. Really, just having a lot of kids close in age means you have to run a tighter ship, in the interest of every one's sanity. But how would that be known by parents of two children, eight years apart? Or to parents of more subdued kids who, even when tired or excited, rarely raise their voices, or exert their independence?

Okay. I think I'm done whining now. There are parents out there praying for their children's very lives, so this is small stuff. Like those given heavier burdens, we can't argue with our All-Knowing, Loving Creator, about why our son has some minor (but really not minor) disorder. The Lord knows what we need. He knows what we can handle. He provides the grace we need to finish the race. He knows our hearts like no one else can. He is the only true judge. If we remain open to his leading, we can't go wrong.


Fern said...

You know I understand, completely. My kids also need a lot more sleep than they like to get -- they won't nap, and get up very early, which pushes bedtime earlier than is really reasonable when it's still bright out at 8. But this is the reason we don't do Wednesday night church, even though the kids loved it. I can't deal with them on Thursdays.

I just wanted to tell you I understand! We get lots of well meant advice about how if we'd let our kids stay up later, they'd sleep later in the mornings. I wish!! ;)

Evenspor said...

I wish more parents would put more emphasis on getting enough sleep, or at least be more understanding of parents who do. I totally understand how you feel.

Danielle said...

I feel you! My kids need more sleep than the average child and we have gotten so many negative comments over nap time or evening/night activities we've forgone because of it. But the truth is I know that I am doing the best for my kids by letting them get the sleep that they need. We have plenty of years ahead of us for 10 pm fireworks or afternoon trips to the amusement park. What they need now is sleep and I'd be a bad mom if I let someone guilt me out of letting them get it! Stick to your guns. You know what you are doing is right for your family!

Stephanie said...

I understand and completely agree with you! Young children need their sleep and they thrive on a schedule. However, both of our parents live far away and seem upset when we enforce naptimes and early bedtimes when we come to visit. I guess they feel it interferes with the time they have to visit with their grandaughter. Unfortunately, I know how unpleasant the visit will soon be if we let her stay up late a few nights in a row. Sleeping in late in the morning - not going to happen! You have my support on this issue - you are the mom so you know what is best for you kids!