I’ve thought this over many times, the sleep issue. I was pregnant twice and both times loosing sleep as the tiny wonder inside me wreaked havoc on my body or decided to do summersaults at 2 am, in the middle of my prime sleep time. Then, after their amazing arrivals, I lost sleep again, through night wakings, upset little tummies, or because they just needed to be held and feel love. Those days were the gray days, full of happiness, awe and yet groggy like a teenager at noon on a Sunday.
Now that my little men have advanced to big boy beds, I find I’m still up or being woken for various reasons. A glass of water. A lost stuffy (which is always tucked under a blanket right next to them)! A bad dream. Gas (there will always be gas), or just to snuggle a little more.
I’m learning to embrace the reality that sleep deprivation will grace me until…well who knows?
As a parent, do we really ever get the recommended shut eye and mental rest that we are “required” to get? What about when they loose their first tooth and decided to wait until the tooth fairy arrives, or wake up wondering why she only left a quarter? What about when they go for a sleepover and decide at 2am they need to go home because they feel homesick? What about a week away at summer camp and they stop phoning home on day two to check in, but I’m still calling the cell phone I bought as an emergency to check up on them, will I sleep soundly for that week? And then there are the years they will push the limits and stay out past their curfews. I know I’ll be looking at the clock in anticipation, my foot drumming the floor and my eyes glazed over. I know I’ll feel exhausted when they leave home to grow up, I’ll wonder (and it will probably be at 3 am) if they’re alright.
I’m sure somewhere down the road, when my children have their own children I will willingly volunteer my grand-parenting services and be once again taken back to the days of gas, giggles, 2 am snuggles and trips to the potty.
I figure now is the time to embrace the dark formations under my eyes, comb out my midnight rats nets and pour myself a third cup of coffee by 7am. I would much rather be woken up by, “Mommy, I love you so much I couldn’t sleep,” than to anything else.