The other day my husband and I were talking about his difficulty getting up in the morning. It is an epic battle that involves me spending 20-30 minutes every day attempting to get him out of bed while feeding/dressing the kids and trying to get myself dressed. It can get ugly, so we discuss this issue constantly.
Meanwhile, I’m struggling with working full time, having a baby that is still not fully sleeping through the night and a little dude that tries to climb into our bed at all hours of the night and then decides that 5am is a perfectly acceptable time to get up. Every. Day.
Our household and sleep just aren’t getting along and haven’t for a long time. We all want to get good sleep but it just doesn’t seem to happen. The kids will grow out of their phases and that will help, but I’ve come to a realization lately.
My husband’s “solution” to his problem waking up was “I just need to get more sleep.” My response to him was my recent realization.
There is no more sleep. There are no more hours. This is what life looks like right now and we just need to deal with what sleep we ARE getting instead of excusing ourselves to the purgatory of “things will be better when I get more sleep.”
Yes, of course they WILL be better when we can get a solid 7-9 hours without interruptions of wet beds, restless babies, and whatever else goes bump in the night. Things will be better when at 5:30am on a Saturday morning, the children (and therefore, we) are actually asleep. I imagine this future world exists and I hope it actually becomes a reality someday.
However, now… in our world right now… there is no more sleep. There is only what we do with the sleep we’re able to get. I know we’re not the only household in this recession of rest, I see my fellow parents posting on Facebook and tweeting at all hours of the night. I’ve heard the tales of being up with the sick kid half the night and then getting up and going to work as usual. This is what life with littles is: Lots of bodily fluids, very little sleep. Hmm… kind of like college. Too far? Too far.
It’s amusing to me now how much people fawn all over parents of newborns. Oh, you must be so tired. Yes, granted, you ARE tired, very tired. However, you have the adrenaline rush of this new life you are being introduced to, you have communal help of friends and family (sometimes), and the baby SLEEPS MOST OF THE TIME. You can also PUT THE BABY DOWN and it doesn’t go anywhere. Then, after about 3 months, all the fanfare goes away and no one really cares if you’re still tired. That’s about the time you are expected, like the rest of us, to suck it up and deal. But, when the adrenaline, help, and constant sleeping and staying put of the baby goes away – that’s when the real “tired” sets in. A few weeks of reduced sleep turns into months upon months upon more months. Your energy reserves are GONE. The babies grow and move and need more interaction and physical work from you. Then they talk and tantrum and know that “six zero zero” on the clock means wakeup time, even on a weekend. Then there’s more than one of them and they both want things at different times of the night through to morning. It’s then that you realize you haven’t had more than 4 straight hours of sleep in 9 months and that pattern isn’t likely to end any time soon.
But, you just get used to it and carry on because the fact is… there is no more sleep. Not now, anyway. Lots of bodily fluids, very little sleep. That is life. At least, it is my life. But, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here. Now can someone send me a bullhorn or something to help my husband get up in the mornings? Thanks, that’d be great.
So angelic… if only she’d stay that way all night long.