Sunday, September 5, 2010

Please, please, please, let me get what I want...sleep!

When you have a new baby, you expect to be up for long periods during the night, and having broken sleep, and being exhausted in general. Then (hopefully) after several months, things get better in the sleep department, and your baby will maybe 'sleep through' and you will get more sleep, even if it is broken sleep.

Many new mums will tell you sleep deprivation is very effective torture. I completely agree. It is amazing how messed up your head can be when you have been days without real sleep, and how logical you can be after catching up. Logical according to my standards, not my husband's, which are very very incredibly high.

I often have found after having a new baby, that I would be surprised at how well I could cope on so little sleep- for a few days. Then I would lose it. Then, I would once again surprise myself at how well I was coping without sleep (except for that meltdown, of course) and I continue doing okay, not as good as normal, of course, but okay, until the next meltdown....and the cycle continues.

I think the reason that between 'episodes' I maintained a vague level of normalcy is because after having a baby you fully expect to get very little sleep, and that you will sleep at any opportunity you can, prioritizing it over housework or cooking. But when I don't have any reason to expect to be sleep deprived, it hits me so much harder.

So fast forward to the present day, and I now have three children. None of them are newborn babies anymore, and they all at one point mastered sleeping through the night, and even at some stages sleeping right through the night, from about 7-7 (woohoo!) So how is it that I get no sleep anymore?

My husband has been away for almost a week, and I am soooooo relieved he comes back early tomorrow morning. With my husband home, there is someone to share kid duty with during the night- and when I say share, taking turns pretending to be asleep and getting elbowed by the other saying, "Your turn!" With my husband away, I have been solely responsible for our kids, who on a typical night wake up twice each. You do the math. So on any given night, I have been up six times. And let's not forget the extra fun stuff, like a teething baby, or a vomiting toddler who refuses to use a bucket and left a trail from one end of the house to the other, oh yeah, and that big one who wets his bed about every second night, sometimes twice in one night.

The alarm goes off and I scrunch up my face and think "Seriously??? Time to wake up? I didn't get any sleep yet!" Then I wake up and see a giant pile of extra washing, covered in vomit and pee and remember all the things I have to do that day before I can go back to bed again that night.

I love my bed. It is my happy place. I have become one of those people who collapses into bed at the end of the day and makes an audible noise, an internal sigh signifying both frustration and relief, like an old person. I have fallen asleep at the movies (like my Mum!!)

Oh yes, and somewhere in there I am supposed to find extra energy for working out, housework, being energetic with my kids and something to stimulate my mind and wake it up from its zombie like state.

I'm so looking forward to my husband coming home! But if he walks in and says "I'm SO tired..." I may just throw one of those children who is still awake at him.

About this blog