Last night just as hubby and I were drifting off for our much needed sleep, a shoe fell came crashing down from the top shelf of the wardrobe, rattling the doors and sending us both shooting out of bed like a rocket. There is nothing like a little adrenaline to get you ready for a good night’s sleep is there? This tired mum loves being woken up by shoes falling from the sky!
And today as I contemplate the thought of a quick nap before daycare pick up, I am reminded of all the sleep habits that we give up when we become parents. You know the ones that your single friends still rub in when they call you on a Saturday at 11:30am to see if you are keen to meet up for breakfast? “Um, I ate my rice bubbles four hours ago and I’m about to serve my toddler lunch before they rip my head off in a hangry rage!”
Ah, sleep-ins my old friends. Sometimes planned and sometimes a happy accident when you forget to set your alarm for work on Monday morning – oops! On the weekend I was listening to my sister-in-law telling her primary school aged kids that they better not wake her up on Sunday as she was having a sleep in. And in my head I was like “I want to be just like you one day.” Those are some life goals I tell you.
We go from newborn sleep where any sleep in is only because the baby was up AAAAALLLL night to toddler days where they have a knack for only sleeping in on the days that you need them to be up and out the door early. The rest of the time you end up waking up mid awesome dream because you can feel a tiny pair of eyes peering at you or climbing into your bed! And while I am on the subject, why is it that when my daughter wakes me up at 5am and I tell her to ask daddy for whatever it is that she wants that she tells me, “no, daddy is sleeping.” Ah, what was I just doing kiddo?
8 hours a night
I was one of those people who used to set my bed and wake up times based on me getting my required minimum 8 hours of sleep per night. I would work back from what time I needed to be at work and then determine my optimal bedtime for functional sleep. These days I’m just an overworked mum who goes to bed when everything is done for the night, including getting my stubborn two-year-old to sleep and then I wake up in the morning when either my alarm goes off because I have to be somewhere, hubby’s alarm wakes me up, the two-year-old wakes me up or I have one of those “it’s 5:30am and I am wide awake for no reason” wake ups.
I have given up counting hours of sleep and somehow still function (mostly). If only all your extra sleep from your youth was added to a sleep bank that you could withdraw from when mum life takes over and only the power of coffee has the ability to keep you going for the day.
Staying up all night
This is one of those do so at your own peril habits. Sure, you can stay up all night but you will most certainly pay for it the next day. Kids have a sensor for weakness and vulnerability and they will take advantage of the position you are in, that I can guarantee. So maybe binge watch the new season of Orange is the New Black over a few nights rather than all at once. Or at least save your all nighters for a date night when the kids are at the grandparents and you can enjoy one of those sacred sleep ins that we all miss so dearly.
Do you remember the feeling of going to bed without much to worry about other than your presentation at work the next day or the argument you had with your bestie that night? And now, how many times have you woken up in a cold sweat since having kids because you have had a horrible nightmare about something happening to one of them? Or waking up to go and check that they are still ok? Even when we sleep we worry about our kids!
And it seems that even the kids have an evil plan to ruin our chances of sound sleep. “Mum is looking particulalry tired tonight, time to play the wake up every two hours game to really keep her on her toes.” There is no guarantee of a full nights sleep with kids!
I was once the queen of the nanna naps. Usually on a Sunday afternoon to get me rested and ready for the week ahead. I was quite good at sleeping when my baby slept at any time of day but I wouldn’t call those nanna naps because really, they were just about survival. These days my beloved Sunday afternoon nanna naps are the bottom of the priority list after washing, cleaning, playing and general mum stuff. And why is my two-year-old already rejecting her afternoon sleep? Doesn’t she know how much I need the downtime? And doesn’t she know how much she will regret not making a lifetime habit of nanna naps when she is a 32-year-old mum just wanting to sit in the sun and pop a crochet blanket over her lap to have a little doze off to sleep?
What are the sleep habits you have given up since kids came along? What are your tired mum survival tips?
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