Well let me clarify, I’m getting bored of talking about my (and my family’s) sleep. Or rather should I say lack of it?
I will always be happy to lend an ear to another ‘mombie’ who wishes to lament her difficult nights (especially someone with newborn twins as I know how tough that is) but I don’t particularly want to engage in conversation about my family’s sleeping habits any longer.
I hope that doesn’t sound too defensive or indeed ungrateful to all my friends who have listened to me moan over the years. It’s just I’m over it as a point of discussion. A good friend who has just had her third child recently said that she has resigned herself to feeling knackered for the next five years and that sounds reasonable to me. After all, this is the parent’s lot, is it not?
Even those parents who claim to have ‘fantastic sleepers’ must have some bumps in the road and we’re actually all tired, not just because of broken nights’ sleep but because of how much energy our days’ require anyway.
Anyway, when I really think about it I don’t think I was a great sleeper as a child either. I remember being susceptible to nightmares and being scared of the dark but I don’t remember my mum bemoaning the fact with all of her friends. I just have a vague recollection of her falling asleep at about 8 o’clock on the sofa every night absolutely knackered, but never complaining.
However, before I had children I was under the illusion that I would rear super sleepers due to my love of routine (which has actually lessened over the years) and my sheer bloody-mindedness. I WOULD make them sleep. I am now older and wiser and importantly have stopped seeing myself as a failure on the parenting front if my children don’t sleep as they ‘should’. I have toddlers who still sometimes have milk in the early hours and a 5 year old who is like a ninja at climbing into our bed in the middle of the night. Repeat after me – this is not bad parenting, it’s just not the ideal.
As with all things I know this will come to pass and no doubt there will be a time when I look back on these nighttime cuddles fondly. If I am feeling exhausted in the day, talking about it just seems to exacerbate the problem and adds to my lethargy, whereas doing a breathing space is much more beneficial and restorative.
I feel so much better now I have liberated myself from the supposed rule that my children ‘should’ sleep from 7pm to 7am every day. Yes, it’s an aim but I’m mindful that if it doesn’t happen (and I don’t think it has for all three of them on the same night ever!) then I am no longer allowing myself to use it as another metaphorical stick to beat myself with. The same applies to the rule that I ‘should’ have an immaculate home. Three young children enjoying life means this is nigh on impossible.
So if you want to talk about your night time wake-ups, I will be happy to listen, but don’t expect me to reciprocate, yes my children ‘should’ sleep through the night, but they don’t, end of story.