The other day as I stood bleary eyed watching my coffee brew I drifted off into a daydream. I started remembering the mornings before kids. The get up on your own time Saturday mornings, the roll over at 9am on a rainy Sunday and wake up feeling completely rested. They say your brain doesn’t function properly if you don’t get enough sleep. Well I can tell you my brain hasn’t functioned properly in 5 years, 5 months, 8 days and 10 hours. As I came out of my daydream I realized just how poorly my brain was functioning as I watched my coffee brew all over the counter and onto the floor because I never put the mug under it.
If you have ever been in a conversation with a group of parents you have probably had a conversation based solely around the topic of sleep. As parents it seems to be the thing we all obsess over the most. We talk about how tired we are, how little the baby slept the night before, how the older kid was up with a stomach ache and the middle kid was up from a bad dream. We ask each other about it. How old was little Johnny when he slept through the night? What time do your kids get up in the morning? Is it still dark? Does Suzy try to sleep in your bed ever? It seems that once you become a parent the nights of long, beautiful, uninterrupted sleep are long gone but are they really? Yes, YES THEY ARE so grab some coffee (don’t forget the cup) and read the ten reasons you will never sleep like you did before you had kids.
1. You brought home a beautiful newborn. They are trying to make up for nine months of being in utero. They don’t want to sleep in fear that they will miss something earth shattering. When they realize nothing exciting is happening at 3am they will decide they will be the excitement. Thank God for 3am Law and Order reruns.
2. Your adorable baby is desperately trying to crawl. Did you know that reaching a milestone like this can cause your FINALLY SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT baby to wake up crying, frequently throughout the night? Yeah I didn’t either until my Dr. told me that’s why he was waking up. Apparently I have over achievers who are still trying to accomplish things in their sleep. I may have spent the whole next day showing him how to crawl so we could jump up and down, applaud like raging lunatics and hopefully get some sleep that night.
3. Teething. I’m telling you I have never thought teeth with more overrated than I do now. I watched my kids eat food with just their gums and I’m pretty convinced we don’t really need teeth. I mainly feel this way because I want to sleep and teething gets in the way.
4. Leaky Diapers. There is nothing worse than waking up to a crying baby or toddler only to walk into the room at 3am and get hit in the face with the smell of urine. It’s 3 am and you now have to change your baby’s diaper and the crib sheet which is essentially like wrestling an alligator in a small cage. Trust me the alligator wins every single time.
5. Colds. I don’t know about you guys but when I’m sick all I want to do is SLEEP. When my kids are sick though all they want to do is get up all night long. I inevitably wind up sick when they are better. I mean of course I’m sick I got a total of 3.2 hours of sleep in one whole week. I also look 10 years older.
6. Monsters are under the bed. Well if we’re being honest the monsters are in the bed but you have to check under the bed and in the closet to convince them that it is all clear and they can safely close their eyes for the next 8-10 hours, which they apparently hear as minutes and will call for you to tell you that.
7. They need water. I don’t know what my kids are doing in their sleep to work up such a thirst but I’m starting to suspect they do some type of sleep aerobics.
8. They heard something, and you are not allowed to leave their room until you decipher exactly what that something was. Just blame the dog and call it a night.
9. You are foolishly in the soundest of sleeps only to wake up to a kid 2 inches from your face. It only takes one time of this happening for you to sleep with one eye opened for the rest of your existence.
10. Kids have endless energy. Those mornings of easing into the day have been replaced with waking up like a shot out of a cannon.
So 5 years, 5 months, 8 days and 10 hours into this whole parenthood thing I have finally accepted that I will never sleep like I did oh say 7 years ago. I have also become pretty good at knowing what the necessities are for surviving; coffee, coffee, and more coffee. I’m also secretly planning my revenge for when my boys are teenagers (can you say trumpets at 6am) so that keeps me going all while continuing to hunt down the person who first said “I slept like a baby last night.” Because they either a) were an idiot, b) never met a baby c) have a baby that needs to teach every other baby on the planet how to sleep. If I find them I will let you know. Until then stay strong my friends.