Looking back I should have realised when in the latter stages of my twin pregnancy, the crazy dreams, endless trips to the toilet and insomnia began, that my relationship with sleep was about to change forever.
Over three years later and I still haven’t forgiven Mother Nature for robbing me of the last full nights of sleep that I would ever have. It doesn’t matter to me that it was my bodys way of ensuring I was ready for the newborn stage, where you feel that matchsticks were invented for the sole reason to keep your eyes open and that coffee really should be offered intravenously before you leave the maternity hospital with your newborn bundles of joy. I loved my sleep and am rightly pissed off in my final pregnancy month I slept on average three hours a night.
Of course as a first timer to parenting I was besotted with my twins, upsetting however when I look back at the few photos we have of those really early days, my memory is extremely hazy. We were surviving on cycles of one and a half hours of sleep as I was breastfeeding pumping,feeding and repeat. That one feed which the other half did solely with my pumped milk, allowed me to get a precious three hours of sleep straight. However as any new mother will attest, once you hear your little one cry it is like Mother Nature bolts you upright in the bed through an invisible string that links you to your baby and leaves you with an urge to be with your child deep within.
As the months go on the crankiness sets in, the who slept better argument happens , all either of you want is an uninterrupted nights sleep. And then it happens ,they sleep through the night however be forewarned I have written in the past about how you should never utter those words here for good reason!
Sleep regresssions happen but over time they eventually do sleep and the fog does lift, life kind of resembles normality. You will always be tired but suddenly you feel brave enough to take back up hobbies you dropped, you make it your mission to go to the gym and gain a little identity back through whatever method you have missed since becoming a parent.
And then your child gets sick, viral, nothing too serious but enough to remind you of the commodity that is sleep to a parent.
It is over three weeks now since we have had the longest run of viral coughs, bugs, tonsillitis and hours during the night of the baby monitor buzzing . We have dragged our weary bodies up through all hours of the night to administer medicine. We have fretted at the side of the cotbeds looking over the kids whilst coughs rule the midnight hours and rob any of us of getting any decent sleep. We still have the day jobs to get through and energy levels are at an all time low.
It is now that I truly appreciate the power of napping. I never fully understood how my husband could after a marathon sleep, pre kids, lay so much value in a power nap. Now I love my sleep( hence this piece!) but to me naps reminded me of my Grandparents nodding off beside the fire not a young persons thing to do. But he would often on a weekend afternoon or after a busy day at work, shut eye for half an hour or so beside me on the couch much to my lack of understanding.
I remember when the twins came along and I heard over and over the sentence that any parent would be forgiven if they slightly harmed the person whose mouth uttered ” Sure can’t you nap whilst the babies are napping” how I would have absolutely loved nothing more than to close the curtains and climb into bed. To forget about the dishes, the milk that needed pumping, the dinners that needed to be made, the house that needed to be cleaned. To forget it all and just nap. Some days this did happen, pure exhaustion would lead me to flop down on the couch, bed, where-ever my weary body felt like laying down and it was glorious.
Back to present day and now I would lie down anywhere to shut my eyes for twenty minutes. Literally there is nowhere I haven’t thought of lately, if only I could close my eyes. I have sadly lived for the weekends where I know I can go back to bed for a little while and catch up on some much needed rest. Sleep deprivation or just leading a busy life in general like we all do these days means something has to give. Our bodies need fuel and energy to keep going so from here on in I fully intend to embrace the nap. Now if someone could just let the kids know they too should embrace the midday nap again and still go to bed 8pm to 730am that would be just great!
Image credit: Wunderela