Before we had our 1st born, Luke, I had a bunch of preconceived ideas about sleep. Not mine. HIS. I knew that I liked my sleep (a lot), and I wanted to keep getting as much as possible even after I entered the new unchartered territory of motherhood.
Now some of you may be thinking, this girl needs a reality check. But here’s the thing. Luke turned out to be a really good sleeper and I thought it had everything to do with the books, magazines, and googling that Kevin and I did prior to his arrival.
It wasn’t until we had Charlie that I realized Luke’s sleep had nothing to do with me. He was just a sleeper and Charlie clearly was not. And unfortunately when baby #3, Jack, arrived 17 months later, he wasn’t a good sleeper either. I was desperate.
It was around this time that musical beds began. A typical night went like this:
-Luke in his bed (that was the only constant).
-Charlie in his crib. But at some point, he’d end up in bed with us.
-Jack in the co-sleeper.
-Kevin in our bed
-Me??? Oh, I was on the couch. And that’s where I've been since (gasp!). The kids all have their own beds now. Heck, we even have an extra bed in one room. But, on most nights, I still end up on the couch at some point.
The couch is neutral.
I don’t wake anyone up when I go to various rooms during the night for drinks, bathroom breaks, or nightmare patrol. There are mornings when I don’t even know where I am when I wake up because it changes so often…the couch, my bed, or one of the kids’ beds.
I know some of you must be saying, “just get those kids in their own beds and out yours!”
Yes, I know. That was my plan. But then I think back to when I was little. I was the 3rd kid. My parents were beat by the time I came around! When I went to their room to sleep, they were hard-core and brought me back to my room, put on the closet light, checked under the bed, and reassured me that I was fine.
I don't need therapy over it. I'm fine. Really.
Still fearful, I would cautiously tip toe into my big brother’s room where he’d throw me a pillow and make me sleep on the floor. It didn’t help much as I was cold and terrified of the freaky “Chucky” poster on his wall which just made matters worse.
My last option was to walk all the way downstairs to my older sister's room. I knew she’s let me sleep in her bed with her, but making it down the dark staircase and hallway was enough for me to reconsider the floor and Chucky.
For now my kids are welcome in our bed. Really, it is just Charlie. The others just need me in their beds occasionally. It won’t be this way forever even though it feels that way at times. Before I know it, I will miss that warm little body sleeping horizontally next to me. So I’ll live with the toes digging into my back, climbing up and down the bunk bed, and sleeping on the couch for now.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my sleep, but beggars can’t be choosers. Especially when you have kids.