Sleep. When you get enough of it, you don’t quite value it as you should. I saw a very funny skit a while back which illustrates the point perfectly. Ah Michael McIntyre you’ve done it again (the sleep part starts 5:27 but I recommend the entire skit). Before I had children, I was one of those people who would yawn and say “I think I’ve had so much sleep, I’m tired.”
Now I laugh ruefully at the memory. It’s not just luxury – it’s fantasy.
For a bit over a week I haven’t been to bed before midnight. I know, I know. Some of you regularly go to bed around that time. Or have children and babies who are actual ‘problem sleepers’. I know, and I tell myself I’m pretty lucky with sleep really. But by the end of the week, when the sleep debt accrues and accrues, I am bone tired and not feeling all that lucky.
Lack of sleep is a harsh reality when you have small children. I have an old school friend who once posted that she hadn’t had more than 2 – 3 hours uninterrupted sleep in 3 years. Sheesh. I wondered how she was getting through. But we do get through. Even if that means prioritising.
I load the dishwasher, wash some clothes, make the food. Maybe do some writing. Worrying about excessively hair styling, or hair brushing, wearing nice clothes and things like that go by the wayside. When I’ve had really terrible sleep I pick the kids up in my big grey trackies. Not activewear, baggy track suit pants (and I love them). Sweeping the floors is something which gets put into the ‘not necessary’ pile, jobs for later. (Jobs for my husband over the weekend – gotta share the load right).
We do the things that need to be done. We do strange sleep-deprived things. Like when you go to use the microwave and you find someone’s put a tub of sour yogurt in there. Then remember it was you, thinking you’d put it in the fridge. We keep operating vehicles when we probably shouldn’t. I know I’ve had days where I’ve seriously questioned my ability to drive safely, (wisely) cancelling appointments and other outings. People say, ‘Sleep while your baby sleeps’. Sage advice. What if they don’t sleep???
One good nights sleep doesn’t erase a week or more of sleep debt, but – my gosh – it is so, so, SO good. You bloody beauty! Because guess what. Today is a surprise pupil-free day at my children’s school. (Surprise, aka: I forgot – oops.)
Good night’s sleep, kids at home. A bit of a mixed blessing which will definitely hamper my plans of finding a dress to wear to a function tonight. But Mr 7 has just informed me that when I go dragon hunting – “which you probably shouldn’t” – to always carry a needle. Miss 5 showed me her ‘bread bracelet’ – her arm stuck through a hole she’s eaten in her slice of bread. Miss Nearly 1 is putting a small basket on her head.
So gratitude for the sleep. And my funny kids.
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