Debbie Favell – Mommy Blogger
A small, simple yet beautiful word.
5 little letters that describe something all living things do. All living things, it seems except for my children and consequently my husband and myself.
The Oxford English Dictionary define sleep as “a condition of the body and mind which typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed and consciousness practically suspended”.
Do you remember those heady days of carefree weekends spent laying in bed until lunchtime? With restful dream filled nights? I think I do, but for me they were probably in the same era as back combed hair, fingerless gloves and leg warmers!
Realty now involves my children applying a tag team approach to who can wake mum and dad up the most at night.
The chorus of “I can’t sleep”, “can I have a drink please”, “he’s humming/singing/talking/reading/breathing too loudly and it’s disturbing me”, “I need a wee” and “wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” (thats the 18 month old, but sometimes me as well) is the nightly occurrence within my house. We have three boys, aged 9, 7 and 18 months.
Having moved to Canada and Saskatoon from England only in March, we expected some disruption to sleep patterns. Excitement, jet lag and new routines were all discussed by my husband and myself, we gave each other knowing looks the first week or so when it seemed that the sleep fairy had passed our house by.
Fast forward to now, we have had teething, baby constipation, colds, missing England, new school worries and a million other reasons why the nights have been long and punctuated by children wanting conversations, reassurance or the warmth of climbing into Mummy and daddy bed.
We have employed so many tactics to try to regain this prized night time shared family
Warm baths – tick
Bed time stories – tick
Subtly lit rooms – tick
Brightly lit rooms – tick
Rooms so dark you need night vision goggles to find your way in and out – tick
Lavender pillow spray – tick
Children sleep meditation apps – tick
Bribery – tick
The consequence of this is two old haggard looking adults operating on autopilot. Sleep deprivation has created a constant brain fog. The exercise of walking into a room and forgetting the purpose of the trip is a daily event, as is the loosing the point of a conversation or forgetting a word mid sentence, I made coffee the other morning, and as I watched the coffee dripping out onto the kitchen work top I slowly realized I was still holding the mug that I had forgotten to put under the flow.
However, yesterday after a weekend of the boys going swimming, us walking around downtown Saskatoon in the beautiful sunshine eating ice cream and a dinner that provided full tummies, we all slept.
And I mean really slept.
The boys awoke this morning all cheerful and smiling, there was no moaning or them being asked 50 times to brush their. teeth or comb their hair and although I actually overslept slightly I felt like (a somewhat older) Snow White with birds singing and the urge to high five everyone we met on the school run.
Now, I am under no illusion that this will happen again tonight, but it has restored my faith, and recharged y batteries enough to tackle today and to dare to dream that we could do this again…..hopefully before the boys are old enough for High school.