Oh what my husband and I wouldn’t give for a full, uninterrupted night of sleep. I look at this predicament through two lenses, knowing that in a very short amount of time I will be writing a blog complaining about the fact that my kids don’t want to snuggle anymore and don’t need me as much. But right now, mommy and daddy have not had a full night sleeps more than 20 times in the last six years. Even typing this makes me yawn.
There is simply nothing to prepare you for new mom tiredness. If you have gone through it, then I don’t need to explain it to you. So I'll tell you this story. My biggest fear as a new mom was that I would be so out of it tired that I would leave my baby somewhere…I had nightmares about this. It never happened, but I did mistake the gas for the break once. Thank goodness I was still in park. I had just gotten into my car and was sitting in the parking spot. I kept hearing this super loud engine revving sound. I looked around the parking lot and thought, “What loser is trying to be cool by revving their engine?” And then I glanced down at my feet. That loser was me. Needless to say, tired was an understatement.
Fast forward six years later. I beg my daughter every night to try and stay in her bed. I explain to her that mommy and daddy are much happier and more fun when they get a solid night's sleep, just like she is. She understands completely, and bless her little heart, always says to me with such concern, “I will try my hardest mommy. I just get so scared.” And for that I really can’t blame her because I WAS that kid, the one who would sneak into my parents bed every night as well. I would always start out by going to my mom’s side only to be told to “go back to bed”, and then would proceed to “the sucker’s” side, my dad, who would help me in without really waking up. My mom would find out I had made my way into their King when she would roll over onto me.
We have tried several things to inspire and motivate my imaginative 6-year-old to stay in her bed, but nothing has worked. Incentives have included everything from a star chart and special treats to even pierced ears. I once, out of pure desperation, told her I would give her $20 if she would stay in her bed….but she couldn’t.
And the problem really isn't her crawling into our bed, it's her incredible, tornado like force throughouther stay. She is stuck to us like Velcro yet she never stays still. She kicks us like a world cup soccer player, pokes us like a spear fisher, and pulls our hair like a back-alley fighter. The strength and stamina of a 6-year-old from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. while completely unconscious is truly phenomenal.
But then, there are those moments...those precious moments when I feel her roll over and cuddle, or she calls out to me scared and I am there to comfort her. Or when I wake just before her to catch the adorably peaceful look on her face just like when she was a baby. Those are the moments that I know make this Lack of sleep so VERY worth it. So my husband and I carry on, weary eyed, knowingly lucky, and hopeful for day number 21 of a FULL night's sleep.