It’s not a headache, honey—9 reasons I want my sleep back
I’ll admit it, they were right. All those people who slapped me on the back during those final weeks of my first pregnancy and said, “Sleep all you can now…you’re not going to sleep for a LOOOOOONG time!” They would chuckle, like they had a private joke they weren’t sharing. I don’t think I’ve slept soundly since. I apologize to all of my wonderful friends, but I really don’t want to go out to celebrate my birthday. And to my husband, I truly am sorry, but I don’t have a headache…I just desperately want to sleep. It’s not you; I promise. It’s them. Those little creatures that have kept me awake for the past five years.
1. Pregnancy sleep sucks. Since my 3rd trimester, I haven’t slept through the night. The baby hiccuped—yes hiccuped—All. Freaking. Night. Long. And kicked. And yes, I had to pee a gazillion times.
2. Newborn nights. No one can prepare you for those early morning feedings or the bleary-eyed, stumbling through the dark, desperately trying to get the minuscule buttons on the onesies open nights. And don’t forget the projectile poop—remember that? Once it hit me in the face. True story!
3. Teething troubles. Is it me, or is teething worse than the newborn stage?
4. Terrible twos and night terrors. Is your toddler afraid of everything? Currently ours wakes up at 3 a.m. fretting about the big Belle doll in her sister’s room or the stuffed “big kitty cat” is in her closet. Sigh.
5. Bed-wetting. How many mattress pads do you own? Eight really is not enough. The preschool years brought us undies at night and lots of bed-wetting. Try to change sheets at 2 a.m. while singing the Elmo song, “accidents happen and that’s ok!” with a smile on your face. I dare you.
6. Steam showers blow. Preschool is a breeding ground for every green snot illness under the sun. I call it the Preschool Cesspool, and what’s even worse is you can’t give them decongestants until they’re older. Enter the steam shower, humidifiers, and lots of sleepless nights.
7. Stomach flu. When you survive your first stomach flu with your kids, you deserve the highest medal of honor. Cleaning out the vomit bowl multiple times in the middle of the night must be the single worst part of parenthood. We’ve had it twice in five years. I can still smell the puke in my nose hairs.
8. Lovey drama. The lovey is horrible. Yes, it soothes your baby during sleep training, but when your darling child moves to a big kid bed, it inevitably gets lost 8,000 times. Every night.
9. Weekend wake-up call. My favorite part of parent sleep deprivation came when school began this year. Not only are we waking every day before 6 a.m. because of school, but on the weekends as well. Unfortunately, a 2 ½-year-old doesn’t know the difference between Friday and Saturday, and 6 a.m. is the perfect time for a milk and gummy vitamin party. Will we ever sleep again? If my husband can figure out a way, my headache might just go away.