The answer to this inquiry seems simple, right? I have 2 kids. I just don’t believe that stating “I have kids” says it all.
Last night my husband dozed off while watching episode of The Walking Dead. I was in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner and tucking our oldest up for bed (as he calls it). I came in and put his phone on charge and turned his headphones off and put them away so he didn’t strangle himself in his sleep with them. A bottle was made for our youngest and he was laid down. I took a quick shower before cleaning up the bathroom. Around this time when I sat down to do some word searches (helps my anxiety) our 4-year-old came in the room complaining about who knows what and woke the baby back up. The oldest finally went to bed after being tucked up again. It was during this time I noticed the litter box needed to be cleaned out. I cleaned as our cat, Albus, stared in amazement as always. Two hours later the baby falls back asleep after another bottle. It is now 11:30pm. Everyone in the house is sleeping. Why aren’t I? Not only do I have an issue falling asleep, this time of peace and serenity is my only ME time.
I stayed up blogging and planning, searching for words and journaling. I played a few of my favorite games on my phone. The fridge and cabinet were at my disposal. I could eat without someone staring at me eyes wide in awe. There were no butts to be changed. No faces to be wiped. No floors to be swept. No books to be read. No tickle fights to be lost. This time of night I don’t have to be MOM. I can be ME again. I can relax and unwind. My thoughts can be my thoughts and not filled with questions, demands and cries from little ones. After I had some time to myself I finally laid down to sleep. Right at this EXACT moment our youngest woke up. I made him a bottle, but I was up again! My brain would not let me stop. I went ot the kitchen and did some organizing of the pantry and cabinets. I, once again tried to lay down and sleep.
It was a nice thought…. Our baby woke up yet again. Another bottle was made and he went back to sleep. I did a few more word searches to try to ease myself into a deep slumber. I drifted off to sleep somewhere around 3:45am.
I was woken to the lovely sound of my husband’s alarm at 4:30am. I got up and made his coffee and packed his lunch. Made yet another bottle for the baby and changed his diaper. Unable to fall back asleep I turned to my laptop for some reading. Now, here I sit at 6:41am. If I do fall asleep I will be grumpy and super tired and exhausted when our baby wakes up at 7-8am. If I don’t sleep, I will be exhausted later in the day.
Many people would say “Go to bed earlier.” or “Nap when the kids nap.” To clear one thing up, it is extremely rare for BOTH of my kids to be napping at the same time. These genuine moments are when I take the time to get tasks done that cannot be done when they are awake and clinging to my legs for dear life.
Our morning starts out with breakfast for both kids. After breakfast, teeth/gums are brushed. Then, we begin our learning. Each day we do different things. Some times we are outside, working in workbooks, using counting blocks, playing with play dough, lacing cards, etc. During this time, I practice sitting un-assisted with the baby or learning signs. We have a quick clean up session before lunch and then nap time. Usually the baby takes his nap first (he lives on his own schedule) and then the toddler finally gives up and naps. Rarely are they napping at the same time. I take this time to prep for dinner and do any cleaning needed for the day.
After nap time, we have a snack and read a few books and then I start dinner. When my husband gets home he takes a shower and then we all sit and eat dinner. Dinner time is always hectic in our household. Right after dinner we have some family time, tablet time for the 4-year-old and then both kids take a bathe. Our oldest brushes his teeth, uses the bathroom and then lays down for bed. As any mother knows, this is the time your child will all of a sudden become thirsty or still be hungry. They need to poop. They have a serious question to ask you. After you’ve read them 5 books, they request 10 more. They want to know what the plans are for tomorrow. How many legs does an elephant have? Why do we pay for electric? Who drives the fastest car? What happened to that toy that they left at the doctor’s office a year ago? (Usually this leads to lots of crying)
I begin cleaning the kitchen up from dinner and getting the baby ready for bed. Some time is spent with my husband with the help of some squealing and drool from the baby. Then my nightly routine begins all over again.
Between pregnancy back pain and a baby who wakes 5-6 times a night, I’d easily say I haven’t slept through the night in a good year.
“Just hire a baby sitter.”
We are on a budget. Babysitters are not within that budget. Even if we did, I cannot bring myself to be away from our baby just yet. He had many issues as a newborn and I fear that since he cries quite a bit someone will hurt him out of frustration. I have many fears and worries when it comes to this subject.
“Why doesn’t your husband help?”
My husband helps a lot even though he works full-time outside. There are some nights, mainly on the weekends, when he gets up once or twice with the baby. I don’t have to get up those times but I still hear him crying and wake up.
Until my next full night’s rest, I will live off of coffee and energy drinks!