Its a cinch to complain about not sleeping when you have kids. In fact, in most cases, its expected and probably mandatory, especially when you’re talking to other parents. Admit it, you’ve found yourself talking to other members of the club over luke-warm coffee or over the phone with one ear plugged so you can hear them, and compared how much sleep you got the night before, secretly hoping you had the lower number of hours, because your functionality on literally minutes of sleep make you look like a badass.
“Wow, 17 minutes of sleep and you still managed to get your shoes on the right feet today? You’re a superhero!”
We’ve all done it, whether or not we’re willing to admit it.
Lately though, at least for the last few nights, I’ve been grateful for the baby’s periodic wakeups at night. Our household is on the cusp of going through a lot of changes due to my seeking to change professions, and there’s been a ton on my mind, professionally, personally, and to some extent, even spiritually. Of course, these things all come to mind at night when the body slows down. During the day, amid the flurry of job appointments, commutes, parenting-related demands, and trying to remember if I ate yet today….things get lost. Its one of the perks of a busy schedule, it keeps me from getting overwhelmed by things I have no control over.
But at night? Oh boy.
At night I’ll either lay awake for hours rolling around and worrying, or I’ll sleep fitfully with all kinds of things running through my head at speeds such that there’s no focusing on one of them. Trying to pin down one thought is like sitting at a railroad crossing and trying to read the graffiti on a specific freight car as it plows past you and the image is replaced by seven more almost immediately.
But, here again, we’ve all been there at one point in our lives, I’m certain that I don’t need to explain sleeplessness to you.
Here is where the baby comes in. I’ve already mentioned that he doesn’t like to go back to sleep on his own yet (a work in progress) – so I go in and help him. Sure, every now and then he’ll still catch me JUST as I’m drifting off, and I’ll get grumpy, but more often than not, when he starts his squall, I’m already awake. Taking the time to put him back to sleep gives me something to DO in the middle of the night, rather than focus on everything going on around me.
The baby not sleeping all night is what is getting me THROUGH the night, because there is no better way on earth to calm down than to lay with a snoring infant on your chest. The little booger has no idea, and may never have any idea just how much good he is doing me.
I know things are going to change someday- the circumstances we are facing will solidify, and the baby will learn to sleep and no longer need his daddy to put him back to rest at night.
But for now, the problems that he and I are facing individually, are being resolved by each other, and for that- I am very grateful. Thanks little man.