You may have noticed that “being tired” is a recurring theme on my blog, because my blog is about parenting, and being tired is one of parenting‘s recurring themes. Yay kids!
I knew – we all knew – that being tired was part of the deal before I had my first kid, and it’s not the tiredness that bugs me. No, my problem isn’t that I’m exhausted, or my constant sleep deprivation; I knew my quantity of sleep would suffer. It’s the quality of sleep I miss the most!
Two kids deep, the little sleep I do get has become a battleground. Every night, there’s a five-year-old in my bed, keeping me awake for no discernible reason, and a baby in my bed, keeping me awake just because he doesn’t want to starve to death!
Together, the little leeches have stolen my sanctuary from me.
When you’re a parent, not only is your desperately needed sleep elusive and finite and never enough, the act of sleeping itself is compromised. Especially when you have a baby.
Let me break it down for you:
The Burieds have a baby. Mom and Buried breastfeeds baby. Baby likes breastfeeding! To ease Mom and Buried’s burden, Dad and Buried wakes up and uses bottle for middle-of-the-night feeding. But baby doesn’t like bottle-feeding. Dad and Buried keeps trying; Mom and Buried needs to rest. Baby keeps crying; baby needs the breast. Mom and Buried wakes up. Baby breastfeeds. Hooray, baby shall survive! Boo, both Burieds are up in the middle of the night. Dad and Buried’s burden-easing has failed. Both Burieds are exhausted forever and ever, repeat ad nauseam, etc., ibid, your honor, FML, the end.
Did I mention there’s also a five-year-old in the bed this whole time? (Seriously, I can’t remember. I barely know what day it is. Did I mention it?) Regardless, there was a five-year-old in the bed that whole time.
Let me break that down for you:
Every night, at about 1:30, my five-year-old makes his way from his room to ours, climbs into the bed, stretches out, kicks me repeatedly, wakes me up at 3:27 to remind me to do something totally insignificant for him in the morning, wakes me again at 4:11 to tell me why Iron Man has two suits, sniffles repeatedly from 4:43 to 4:49 until I ask him if he needs a tissue and he responds by screaming like I’ve thrown acid on his face, and then spends the fifty minutes from 5:26 to 6:16 asking me over and over again if we can get up.
The baby has no choice but to sleep near us or with us. He needs constant tending to. Detective Munch is perfectly capable of sleeping by himself, in his own bed, of course. He starts the night in it, because we learned our lesson when it comes to co-sleeping. But he’s smart. He knows that if he comes up in the middle of the night, there’s no way his zombie parents are going to bother escorting him back to his bed. He’s found a glitch in the Matrix.
There’s not much I can do. Even when the five-year-old outgrows co-sleeping, the Hammer will likely slide into his spot. Then, when they’re both older, I’m pretty sure I’ll be the type of dad who is up all night waiting for my teenager or college student or 39-year-old father of two to get home. It’s over for me.
Sleep deprivation is just part of the parenting package. I’ll never get enough sleep again, I can never get the sleep I’ve lost back, I’ll never have the recovery time necessary to even temporarily feel rested (that’s the real reason parents are always so tired), and I’ll probably never get a good night’s sleep ever again.
But no matter. Sleep is for the weak! Which probably explains why an infant and five-year-old keep stealing it from me.
In summary, having kids is fun! (I’m so tired, I don’t even know if I’m being sarcastic or not.) (Yeah right, of course I am.)