Ever since September 3,1998, I have been a light sleeper. Six straight years of pregnancy and nursing will do that to a person. (FYI, exclusive nursing does not guarantee a hiatus from pregnancy.)
We never used a baby monitor. I woke enough with their hunger/puke/poop/ear infection/can't find my pacifier cries. I didn't want to be awoken every time a baby sneezed.
By the time each child turned one, he was a great sleeper. One would think that at the point they all were one or older, I'd finally get some sleep. One would be wrong.
My body was so used to getting up all night, I couldn't just switch it to sleeping all night.
Plus, even the best sleepers have occasional bad nights. Wetting the bed, nightmares, coughing fits, and lost blankies are going to happen sometimes. Multiply the number of kids times the number of occasional bad nights, and you have very few good nights for the mom.
Now, some of you may wonder, why didn't Hubby take care of some of the nighttime issues?
Well, because I learned early on that Hubby is useless in the middle of the night.
First off, he sleeps like the dead.
An example of how hard he sleeps:
One night, a baby cried and woke me up. As I was getting out of bed, I saw itty-bitty Buttercup sleeping on Hubby's chest. He was on his back, and she was stretched out on top of him, from his chin to his knees. This was very unusual, seeing as how we NEVER invite children into our bed in the middle of the night. I woke him up and asked, "What is she doing here?"
His answer? "I have no idea. I didn't know she was there."
Cross my heart and hope to die, that is exactly how it happened.
One morning he made the comment, "The baby slept well last night." He never made that mistake again. I basically ripped him a new one, screeching, "I go maybe four minutes of sleep last night! You just slept through it!"
So, on those rare nights that I just couldn't get up one more time, I would kick Hubby and say, "Your turn." and roll back over.
I almost always regretted that decision.
He sleeps so soundly, he is completely disoriented when awoken. Combine that with the fact that he cannot see a daggum thing without his glasses, and we have a hit, completely embarrassing Youtube video in the making. Except it's not funny at 2:17am, when I am muttering fortheloveIjustneedsomesleeptakecareofthissoIcanclosemyeyesfortenstinkinminutes into my seldom-used pillow.
If, by some miracle, he makes it to the child's room, he has no flippin' idea what to do. When the kids were babies, he'd try the pacifier or blankie, then give up. If it was a coughing child, he would just leave child, saying there was nothing he could do. No hugging. No cuddling. No lying with the child for a bit. Not because he didn't care, but because his brain just doesn't function when the sun goes down.
Heaven forbid there be a diaper blowout or vomit in the room of the crying child. At that point, Hubby just screams like a little girl. "Help! I need some help in here!" In daylight hours, he is no good with big messes. At nighttime, he just panics. Panics, I tell you. Like the poo or vomit is going to jump up and smear itself all over him, and he is helpless to stop it. I have to get up and calm him down, then give him directions on how to get it all cleaned up.
Bless his heart, he has tried. He tried and tried and tried. Finally I just gave up. I will be awake regardless, so I might as well let him keep sleeping.
Over the last few months, I have realized something about my sleep. If I go to bed at my usual 10:00, I will not be able to fall asleep easily after being awoken by a child or a couple of dogs trying to kill an opossum that wandered into our yard. This leads to exhaustion the next day.
However, if I wait until 11:00 or 11:30 to go to bed, I can fall back to sleep quite easily after a 2:00 Cuckoo bathroom run. Plus, I won't be dragging the next day. So, of course I've been going to bed later these days and sleeping quite well.
Yesterday morning, I mentioned to Hubby that the little boys have been doing well, not getting up to go to the bathroom or anything recently.
He looked at me like I was nuts. "Cuckoo has been up at approximately 2:30 every single night. You've slept right through it."
After 15 long years, my dues have been paid in full.
Hubby is now The Nightwatchman.
The kids may suffer for it, but at this point, I don't know if I care.
I'm getting solid sleep.
And It. Is. Awesome.
Have a lovely day!