Doctor’s recommend at least eight hours of sleep a night. I don’t know about you but there are some weeks I don’t feel I get eight hours a week much less eight hours a night. Guess that comes with being a mom to five Littles.
I am what I would call a seasoned shift sleeper. What is a shift sleeper you may ask? Well it’s exactly what it sounds like, one who sleeps in broken shifts throughout the night. I have been a shift sleeper for so many years I am not sure I could sleep eight straight hours if I tried. For example, last weekend while Sierra and I were visiting friends in Green Bay I thought for sure I would “catch up” on my sleep. I was looking forward to it. Sie and I made it to the hotel, eat, chatted for a while and then I told her I was going to bed. She said I fell asleep quickly, she was still up working on a midterm for college, the problem was I didn’t stay that way. I have gotten up between 2 and 3 in the morning for so long to feed babies I naturally woke up to feed the baby, only problem was she wasn’t with me. I thought about calling my husband or at least sending him a text to make sure he was up, but he assured me he would be fine.( By the way all the children were fine when I got back home, so I assume my husband did okay filling my shoes for two days.) So I sat there looking at the walls. I got up out of my nice comfy bed, got a drink a water and then tried for what seemed like hours to go back to sleep. Sleep finally came an hour before I had my alarm set. It happens all the time.
Normally my nights go something like this: we start putting the kids to bed around 7pm. Bedtime for the kids are at 7(Big Al), 730(Diva), and 830(Wildman). Then we deal with baby girl and our Elmo. Baby girl normally goes to sleep around 8 and then back up at midnight for a bottle. Elmo never sleeps. If I get him to bed by eleven I count it a victory. I am actually typing this with him laying across my lap as he is trying to drift off to dream land. I make my “last rounds” about 11 or 1130, again depending on when our late night error decides to call it a night. By the time I do that it’s time for baby girls bottle. My head finds my pillow and I sleep for a little while. Wildman and Big Al are potty training so the night normally holds at least three “Mommy I got to GO NOW” visits. While I’m up I go around and pull everyone’s blankets back up and make sure their toes are covered. They look so sweet and peaceful while they sleep. I have to cherish this moment so I can recall it and not go “hulk crazy” as the kids call it tomorrow when they are fighting and trying to kill each other over who gets to swing in the yellow swing. They really are precious when they are sleeping. At 3 baby girl is up again for a small bottle, she doesn’t not drink all of it but I think she just likes the one on one time with momma. By 4 one or two of them have managed to make it into our room and by this point I to tried to carry them back for a third time. Then before you know it the 6am alarm goes off and it’s a brand new day. Yeah!!!!
And for those that think stay at home moms nap all day let me tell you something…..you’re crazy. I’m not sure when the last time I took a nap was. During the day I am down two Littles with diva and Wildman being in school but that still leaves three here. And they Never nap at the same time ever. So one learns, or adjusts, to running on little sleep. And sorry moms, most dad’s can sleep through a hurricane. So a baby crying or a toddler running up and down the hallway will not phase them. I’m pretty sure they take classes on how to tune out kids.
But I would not change a thing. Yes there are days I wish I could lay down and take a nap, or days I wish I could sleep in past 6 a.m.(especially on Saturday and Sundays), or days I didn’t have to get up a 3 for a half eaten bottle. But the truth is I don’t mind any of these things. I enjoy my one on one with my baby girl at 3 am, I enjoy talking and joking with the boys, I am glad they are potty training. Life as a shift sleeper is pretty good.
From our beautiful chaos to yours life is to short to sleep through it. There will be time for sleeping when we are died. Enjoy your little ones, hold.them, laugh with them, dance in the rain with them.