Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sleep. Precious Sleep.

Why is it that the later you put your kids to bed, the earlier they get up?

Or, on school days, they sleep in and on days there is no school, they are up at the break of day?

It happened this morning.  Last night, I remember excitedly thinking, "well, we're about 45 minutes behind on bed-time, so maybe that means they'll sleep 45 minutes later in the morning!"

Not so much.

6:45 a.m.  I heard sweet voice. 

"Mommy.  Come down here..." (the kids sleep downstairs, master bed is up.  i clearly didn't design this old 1930s remodeled house).

I waited a couple minutes, thinking she might slowly crawl up the steps, scamper across the wood floor, and climb in bed with me to cuddle for a few minutes.  Afterall, it was still half-way dark, rainy and foggy outside.  A perfect day to sleep in. 

Yeah, right.

"MommmmyyyYYY."  (louder this time, with whine attached).  "I'm ready eat breffast.." (some prepositions still missing from 2-year-old vocabulary, as are certain connected consonants-- like "k" next to "f," which, for her, turns into "ff")...

Arrrggggghhh... Ok.  You're the adult here, Dawn.  GET UP!

Then, about the time I sat up, rubbed eyes, and collected myself, she quietly creeped in..

And when she saw me, she ran straight into my arms, yelling, "mommy!"  Big hug!  Big kiss!  And then, in a near-whisper, she said,  "I want cuddle.." (note missing preposition)...

That's when I melted, and I realized I wouldn't have cared if she woke me up at 3 a.m.! 

But I did care when she woke me up at 3 a.m. when she was a newborn.  Fussy, hungry, sick, sad, wanting to be held-- whatever her instant need or want, I was right there.  Happily, yet oh-so-disappointed that it was another night without sleep.  It, of course, didn't last forever.  But geez, did sleep ever become a most precious commodity!

I got selfish with sleep when my first-born was 6 months and my baby was 5 months.  I never slept well at the end of my pregnancies.  And the first months were hellish.  My oldest was just a terrible sleeper to begin with, needing constant holding and shushing.  Baby girl was better, but I got selfish, because I think I was starting to lose it.   4-6 hours of sleep?  Not enough for this mama.  I let 'em cry it out, much to the chagrin of the moms out there who think that's cruel and unusual punishment.

Really?  Wasn't it more cruel and punishing to my children to be an irritable, sleep-deprived borderline-depressed mama who desperately needed rest?  Losing your temper for no good reason is... well, it's unacceptable.  I've been there.  Not proud.  But if I've learned anything at all, it's this:  a happy, well-rested mama-with-no-drama equals happy, well-adjusted cuties who wanna please, love, and play.

Back to this morning.  Precious girl and I were cuddling, on the verge of falling back asleep, when we were snowballed by sweet boy and rescue dog who licked our faces awake.   Two angels and a dog rolling all over me.  Did I really have anything to complain about? 

No, I didn't.

In fact, I'll take tired any day, when such treasured blessings greet my soul each morning of this life.


  1. The first grandchild was a not-so-good sleeper, but he was still perfect:) The second slept perfectly...and she's perfect as well. She just made her momma's life a little more rested:)

  2. I'll share a little bit about what lies down the road. You are so right about the well rested mama with no drama part. Get your rest so you can enjoy all those special morning cuddle times and the dog and son pouncing. As time goes by you will lose sleep because they are experiencing their first sleep over and you expect the phone to ring at any time with the news your little sweetie decided they want to sleep in their own bed and not at their friends house. Oh then comes the teenagers and its 15 minutes past curfew and your mind won't rest until they are safe and sound back in your "nest." Then brace yourself because before you blink you will be driving away and leaving them at college and thinking of a million things you hope they remember while the sheep you are counting are getting very wet because of your tears. Somehow and at some point sleep comes back and just about the time you think you're back in your comfy zone they surprise you with the news of marriage or a baby or some other life changing decision that throws you right back into the pasture and here come the sheep. It's be almost 2 years since my son left home to serve in the USAF. Some nights I sleep, some nights I don't, but every night I pray that God is watching over the one I love. Only then can my heart be at peace because He is the only one who never sleeps and He is perfectly fine with that. Enjoy every mama moment. :)