Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get a full night’s sleep again.
Bedtime at our house is hard. It’s been hard since we had our first child nine years ago.
Our son was the baby with colic, who, to my recollection, didn’t sleep through the night for the first time until he was nine months old, and it was very sporadic after that.
Now, we have two kids and there’s always at least one who doesn’t want to go to sleep, won’t stay in bed, or is up too early.
We try to have them both in bed at 8:30 p.m., but that rarely happens. Those people who have their kids in bed at 7:00 p.m. and keep them in bed until 7:00 a.m. are like unicorns to me.
When I finally get to settle in bed at night, that’s seriously one of my favorite parts of the day. I’m a work-from-home mom, so by bedtime, I’m done. Every once in a while, there is a night without drama and everyone goes to bed. But most nights, that’s not the case.
Here’s an example of one of our recent nights:
It’s 2:13 a.m. on Saturday morning. I was in a deep sleep when I heard “Mama” over the monitor. I rolled over and told my husband to go check on our 3-year-old daughter because she usually goes back to bed more easily for him than she does for me.
A few seconds later, louder this time, I heard, “I want Mama!”
As I climbed out of my warm bed, I had to step over my 9-year-old son, who was asleep on the floor beside me. He has never slept in our room (besides his first three months in a bassinet) but has recently started coming into our room during the night and camping out. (He says our floor is “comfortable.”)
He’s rarely ever tired. I assume he’ll be a night owl like his dad. Many nights, he will still be awake when I go check on him around 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. But rarely ever does he want to be awake at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for school!
Back to the story. By the time I made my way down the hall and into my daughter’s room, she was having a full-blown fit. Ain’t nobody got time for that at 3:00 a.m.!
While I was standing at her door during this time, my husband came to see what’s going on. He says he almost tripped over our son and broke his neck when he went back in our room. (He said he didn’t hear me say he was on our floor).
I was hoping to rock her for a few minutes, calm her down, and lay her back in bed.
Wrong. We rocked for a long time. As I watched the clock, the minutes of sleep I could be getting ticked away. Then, I lay in bed with her, praying she’d go to sleep soon. She finally went to sleep, but it was just before 6:00 a.m..
As I tiptoed out of her room, my son’s overhead light in his room was on. (His dad put him back in his room around 2:30 a.m.) I asked what he was doing, and the answer was: looking for his Pokémon cards.
I slugged back to bed as the sun was rising and my husband was snoring. As I tried to go back to sleep, I heard something and looked down on the floor and there was our son, again.
I leaned over and told to my husband that he needed to get him back to his room. When he got up, he said, “He’s not in here.” I said “Yes he is — I just saw him!”
He proceeded to look for him in his room, our closets, and downstairs. He’s nowhere to be found. Then I heard him. He was under our bed. We both told him to go back to his room.
My husband had to get ready to work his fourth Saturday in a row, so he just stayed up. I rolled over and managed to go back to sleep before they were up again.
I know I’m not alone (although sometimes it feels like it). If you’re struggling with sleep in your house, know you’re not alone either!