Got Sleep?

August 2, 2011. Posted in: Nighttime parenting

by Paula Yount
Mother-to-Mother.com

Reprinted with permission from the author.

It just occurred to me that I have not had a “full night” (decent night??) sleep in 27 or so years!!!!

All these sleep questions made me think about when I last got a “full night” – or what one might call *decent* night sleep…. and I had to go all the way back to BEFORE I was married… yes, you got that right… before I married.

It occurred to me that once married, my sleep was interrupted by my “loving” (*ahem*) husband – frequently (sheesh)… of course BECAUSE of those nightly interruptions, along came BABIES… and we all know how sleep and babies goes….

So then fast forward past the first year… now I have little toddlers.. we’re waking up to potty, waking up because of thirst, waking up because they’re sick (ew)…so much for uninterrupted night of sleep…

Fast forward a little.. now we’re preschool and school age (by this time we’re juggling preschoolers, toddlers and babies – and I want to kill my husband each time he *wakes* me in the night)…. now we get kiddies who wake because of hunger (anyone who has boys can understand this), because of wet pants, and still going through that *catch every bug there ever was* stage.

Fast forward… now they’re all over 2 and on into school… I THINK I might get a full night sleep maybe… woops! Wrong… someone forgot to tell the husband to STOP WAKING ME UP… and now my school age kids are bringing home bugs from school, can’t sleep because the toddler wet and it leaked on someone… so & so took all the covers… don’t want to share a bed, or even a room… chickenpox, strep, and poison ivy… so much for sleep.

Fast forward.. now they are teens… my husband has given up waking me by now. . but still no sleep, who can sleep with the teen out there somewhere (yeah, right, the car ran out of gas!) Gotta wait till they are all home safe and sound. Even now, soft footsteps are heard, and a whisper – “MOM” – to wake me… gotta talk about new girlfriends, broken hearts, and the latest thing in engine parts (at 2 am????)

Fast forward… the last ones are teens, the oldest two married… at last, maybe I can sleep ALL NIGHT… ugh… nope… dh now remembered what it used to be like waking me up… here we go with THAT again <grin>… Now I wait till the oldest are home safely for the night (yeah, I ask them to call me so I know they are home – old habits die hard), and I get midnight calls for all sorts of reasons (don’t they EVER sleep??) including the awesome wee-hr-of-the-morning calls from my pregnant daughter about how the baby moved, or “is this normal?”, or the “Mom, are you still awake? I need to talk…” calls (of course I am awake.. I NEVER really sleep <grin>)

The other night the youngest boys bunked over at their sister’s house, and the house was totally quiet… as I lay there listening to the deafening silence (do you know how LOUD a quiet house is???) it occurred to me that I SHOULD be able to sleep… but I can’t… my mind is full of thoughts about my kids… where they are, are they okay, are they sleeping well, and I think of our moms here on the board… and hope they are okay, and my friends and family… and finally… I begin to drift off to sleep…. and I hear a whisper in my ear… “honey… you awake?….”

Copyright © 2002 by Paula Yount. No portion of this text may be copied or reproduced in any manner, electronically or otherwise, without the express written permission of the author.