They say that parents with kids lose on average 750 hours of sleep in the first year alone. I was so looking forward to getting past the baby stage because I am someone who cherishes my sleep. And I get very irritated if I’m woken up in the middle of the night. I consider myself a great sleeper, but once I’m up I have a very hard timing falling back asleep. On Thursday night my daughter came in my room at 3:30 am. She said she didn’t feel good and sure enough, she was running a fever. I gave her some Motrin and let her lie in our bed for awhile before sending her off to her own room. I watched as the hours ticked by, fighting so hard for the sleep that would not come. Of course my husband was out like a light, his rhythmic breathing giving way to loud snores. I need absolute quiet, so a swift kick in the leg nipped that in the bud. It brought me back to the early days of waking up for night feedings. Once I was done I would close my eyes, feeling so tired, yet I’d toss and turn, trying to drown out the noise of my son chomping on his paci. I’d begin to stress myself out knowing I was due for another feeding in a few hours, which would bring on the panicked feeling of I. Need. To. Fall. Asleep. NOW.
It turns out my daughter had a fair excuse for waking me because she has the flu. Never mind that getting the flu shot was the most traumatic experience of her life (that’s a story for another time). So last night I put her to bed early and was determined to do the same. But then it got late and I had too much to do, so I got in bed at my now standard 11:00 pm bedtime. Like clockwork, at 3:30 am my son came in my room. He was scared of the rainstorm. Mind you, we’ve have two weeks of frigid temps, and the one night it gets above freezing it has to rain. I let him get in bed with us only to have him talk my ear off. Once I laid the ground rules about no talking he felt the need to lie right next to me—in my king size bed. I can’t sleep with anyone touching me let alone a toddler’s feet kicking my back. He then complained of a stomach ache and nausea. So of course I began to fret about him throwing up. I have an irrational fear of people getting sick. Then my husband’s snores began and I certainly couldn’t kick him with my son lying between us. Eventually I coaxed him back to his own bed. But I was wide awake, worrying that he in fact would in fact throw up and/or catch what my daughter has—and the fact that my dryer is broken. What an inopportune time.
At least I was productive in my restless state because I was able to map out this entire post in my head.
I finally drifted off to sleep somewhere after 5, but my daughter came in at 7:00 am this morning complaining of a stomach ache. I offered for her to come in our bed hoping I could put on a show and go back to sleep. But no, she wanted to go downstairs and it had to me who would take her.
So whoever came up with this figure of 750 hours needs to factor in the additional hours that come after the first year. I’m well past 750…and counting.