In my 20s “up all night” meant something awesome must have happened. A party. Or a concert. Going out to a club. An adventure in the city.
One time, my husband I stayed up all night binge-watching old episodes of Cheers, that we had rented from Blockbuster Video, just because. I would never have the energy to do that now. Because now, a major feature of my life is sleep deprivation.
I was mentioned this to another mom a few weeks ago, that I was sleep deprived, and she was surprised. “Really? Like real sleep deprivation.”
I explained, yes, it was real. I’ve been to the doctor about it and everything.
“But why?” she asked.
I was completely surprised that she wouldn’t automatically know. Aren’t all parents sleep deprived?
Seriously. Aren’t all parents sleep deprived? How are they not sleep deprived?
In the moment I was so flabbergasted that I couldn’t really explain myself. Clearly this person was not sleep deprived. The first answer that came to mind was just, kids. Kids are the reason I don’t sleep any more. But I couldn’t say that, because she has even more kids than I do – four! I mumbled something about stress and work, and changed the subject.
The truth is, there are many reasons why I don’t sleep much any more, but kids are definitely, for very practical and real reasons, the biggest reason why I haven’t had a full nights sleep in (literally) years.
Last night, for example, our two year old woke up five times in the night. Five! Each time was the same. He wanted “one last sip” of water. Each time he woke, his adorable little voice would come floating into our bedroom. “Mommy. I want Mommy. One last sip.” I stumbled into his room, picked him up, hugged him, handed him his water bottle for exactly three seconds, and then he went right back to sleep like clockwork. Even though Brinton and I took turns going in, we both woke up every time.
The same thing happened the night before.
Before the water thing started, Jackson was in the habit of calling for us to do “one last tuck in.” And before that he had a stomach bug. And before that, he was waking up saying (always in an adorably cute voice), “I want snack.” And before that. . . you get the picture.
My sleep deprivation isn’t all Jackson’s fault though. Our daughter Lily also wakes up. A few weeks ago she kept waking up asking for “a snuggle,” and before that, it was that her room was too hot, and when we started leaving her door open for extra air, she kept waking up to complain about our dog sleeping next to her face. Sigh.
And since I’m now listing all the things that wake me up in the night, I might as well share that our dog, Indie, also does not sleep through the night. He routinely wakes up and cries to be let out, or cries just completely randomly and we’ll never know why. In the middle of the night he stands at the bottom of our stairs and refuses to go up them by himself (even though he got them down them somehow) -he cries until someone carries him up. His teeth chatter in his sleep, which is kind of gross, and it wakes me up. And sometimes he sleeps to close to my face, too — so I completely understand Lily’s complaints.
And to top it all off, there are some nights, between Jackson’s sips of water, Indie crying to go out, Lily waking up to get Indie out of her face, resulting in Indie sleeping on my face, my husband also snores. Loudly.
So, that is why I am sleep deprived.
I know I shouldn’t complain. I know too well that I am so lucky to even have a kid, and even luckier to have two. And they are both healthy.
Our dog may like to sleep in our faces, but he’s cute and sweet, and he’s a part of our family.
And I’m fortunate to have a wonderfully sweet husband who also gets up in the night (even if he does snore). And he’s healthy (minus the snoring).
I’ll love them all forever, even if they do keep me up at night.