I Heart You Sleep

I am often a stranger to sleep.  Except when I actually want to wake up and stay alert.  Then, I am Captain Sleep. I sleep the kind of sleep that only a sleeping pill and Chardonnay can induce. And sadly, Ambien doesn’t work for me; I have tried to take it twice, and both times I have been in that horribly exhausted, yet still can’t sleep but-eyes-are-closing, restless state.  The first six weeks of my daughter’s life were spent in this state, and I can tell you that it is awful!

sleepy kitten 01 I Heart You Sleep

so so sleepy!

Why is it that the best sleep always starts ten minutes before your alarm goes off? I can toss and turn all night, but about an hour or so before the alarm is scheduled to go off, I am Sleeping Beauty. I am the “after” in a sleeping pill commercial. If I could figure out how to bottle that sleep, I would sell it.

pills I Heart You Sleep

Sadly, Thomas does not experience this kind of sleep. Thomas is the guy who lives in fear of his alarm NOT going off. My husband has an erratic (I am being very generous here) work schedule, so he is not a slave to the alarm clock the way most of us are.  Half of the time, the man doesn’t even know what day it is and on the occasion that he does have to wake up early, he sort of panics about it.  His panic is displayed by waking up every hour, usually on the hour, to check the time. This does not make for a restful night for anyone involved. If he has to get up on consecutive mornings, the sheer exhaustion from the constant time checks allows him to sleep more soundly. The worst thing ever is when his alarm fails him. Any tentative trust he set in his iPhone is totally violated, and we start the process twenty steps behind.

iphone alarm I Heart You Sleep

FAIL

When he oversleeps (which to be fair isn’t very often. It is ONLY on the mornings when I am also in a huge rush.), he is one of those people who leaps out of bed, heart racing, breathing heavily, and in complete hysteria.  He rushes out of the house in record time, cursing under his breath (rather loudly) the entire time.  I am about to make a bold statement: I don’t oversleep. Ever. I am way, way too Type A (read controlling) to let that happen. What I do instead is fall back asleep…. I shut off the alarm, and close my eyes for just one more minute, and suddenly its half an hour later.  This does not create any stress.  The extra sleep relaxes me so much that I am immune to the panic sweats. While this is good for my psyche, it greatly impedes my ability to get somewhere in a timely fashion.

overslept I Heart You Sleep

Luckily (not really), we have gotten into the habit of waking up around seven regardless of the previous evening’s activities. Kids will do that for you. It is just one of the many benefits of having one! And, as everyone knows, nothing civilized starts before 8 AM anyway!

7 am I Heart You Sleep

Very civilized

The Happiest Mommy On The Block, or How I Came To Truly Appreciate Sleep

I have never taken sleep for granted.  I have never been a good sleeper. Some of my earliest memories are of waking my father up to tell him I couldn’t sleep (I never woke up my mom because she was totally mean about it!)  Sleep has never come easily; I have had elaborate night time rituals for years. They are sort of effective, but as I am also ridiculously superstitious, I don’t dare not do them.

sleep cartoon The Happiest Mommy On The Block, or How I Came To Truly Appreciate Sleep

As I get older, I am finding myself needing more and more sleep.  At this rate, I fear my schedule will be similar to a newborn’s when I am in my mid-fifties.  (Also, mid-fifties used to seem SUPER old. Now, not so much…) There were times in my life when I needed almost no sleep.  College comes to mind. I can remember coming home at four am from the bars and having no problem making a 9am class.  Now even the thought makes me slightly nauseous and sweaty.   After Emma was born, sleep became a precious commodity.  If there was a sleep black market, I would have possibly parted with one of my kidneys for a full eight hours.  As everyone knows (and as parents of newborns REALLY know), the first couple of weeks are rough.  They are especially rough if your child decides to never sleep. Ever. Twelve hours of non sleeping in a row. The whole ‘sleep when your child sleeps’ didn’t apply here because Emma Never Napped. It was terrible.  After my friends Liz and Chris had their baby they kept asking me when the Non Sleeping Chaos would begin. I am happy to report that it never did, and that their daughter has remained much calmer and way less of a spaz than my daughter. Just when we were about to lose all hope (and sanity) we discovered the brilliance of a schedule (and formula), Emma slept ten hours straight. She was eight weeks old.  It was sort of like Jesus came into our house and cured the sick. It was one of the miracles, and had the Bible been written during that time this would have made it in there.

emma asleep 2 1 The Happiest Mommy On The Block, or How I Came To Truly Appreciate Sleep

emma asleep 3 1 The Happiest Mommy On The Block, or How I Came To Truly Appreciate Sleep

And, once we got the boat stable, we did everything in our control (and even imposed our control on others IF YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT ABOUT ME) to keep it from rocking (and swaying and shushing Happiest Baby on the Block style- which was so NOT my style...)

 

emma baby 1 The Happiest Mommy On The Block, or How I Came To Truly Appreciate Sleep

All photographs were taken by Karen Lawson (www.karenlawsonphotography.com). She is AMAZING and I highly HIGHLY recommend her!