I remember a time when sleep was not essential.
Days rolled into one and sleep was replaced by Red Bull. Or a close alternative.
When you did take the decision to have a ‘bit of a rest’, you didn’t even need a bed. I remember a time when I decided to have a nap and awoke the next morning on a park bench in the centre of town. Or the time when I awoke in a field hedge many miles from home. Still don’t know what happened.
I’m obviously reminiscing about my adulthood adventures. Good times. From what I remember.
But nowadays sleep is a big factor.
Parenting can be quite a struggle without proper rest, which obviously, you don’t get. With the first child the shock is instant. Your regular sleep pattern goes out of the window. No more waking up at a weekend to the tune of Football Focus and regular lie-ins until lunchtime.
The late night movie is no longer a viable option. Drinking copious amounts of alcohol of an evening is just not doable. Entertaining friends with a friendly game of Twister and light refreshments, pah, forget it!
Once the initial shock has been handled, you settle into a routine and work your sleep pattern around the needs of the child and its feeding. Happy days, we’re all human again.
Now, the time has come and you decide to have another child. What you fail to take into account when you make this decision, is how the hell you are going to sleep with two children. Surely nobody can handle that?? Only time will tell.
If, like me, you have waited two and a half years before having the second child, it’s not actually as bad as you think. The first child has gotten into their own sleeping pattern and are not waking you up as much as they used to, apart from times of illness (see previous post) and nightmares.
It still takes a while to adapt to having to look after another person at night, although we have been extremely lucky. At the age of five weeks, my boy sleeps from 11pm through ’til 5am and has already dropped a feed. Now, who expects to get six hours kip with a still relatively newborn baby? That’s my boy. And to top it off, without bragging, he’s already into his cot and I reckon, give it a few weeks, he’ll be in his own room! No more tip toeing around the bedroom and stifling the cries of pain when I stub my toe!
I still can’t watch late night tv, sit on the xbox all night or get tanked up, but I think I can live without them. For the time being that is.
So for all those parents out there having difficulties with sleeping children, I sympathise with you and do not mean to show off. Because no doubt in the future, I will not have it so lucky.
What I am dreading though is the sleepless nights I’m going to have when the kids have grown up into teenagers. Remembering what I was like, its quite scary to think that they might be like Daddy.