Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sleep Issues Disaster Area

I'm member of an online group for LDS women, and on that group, there was a link to an article posted about motherhood, mostly about the lack of a good night's sleep in motherhood. I read the link and laughed because my children wake up sometimes at night, and I finally didn't feel alone. I walk around in a blur day in and day out because I get up almost always at least once a night. If it's not for my children, it's because my husband climbs into bed around 3 am at least three times a week because of his job, and that also wakes me up.

I posted a comment about this article. I said that I felt better because I felt like someone could relate to me. I mentioned how the last time I complained about my lack of sleep to a certain friend, she simply said, "my kids always sleep all night long" and when she said that it seemed so "my kids are better than yours"-ish. Anyway, I wrote that and was immediately blasted by about four women saying their children ALWAYS sleep all night, every night (even young ages, under five), barring illnesses.

Not one of your children has ever suffered a nightmare? A night terror? An early-morning trip to the toilet (for the potty training child)? The need for a drink a couple hours after they've gone to bed (which technically doesn't interrupt my sleeping hours, but it is them out of bed once during their night)? Wet the bed? Not ONCE?

I really don't buy that. Even the best sleep-trained children have an occasional nightmare. Every night, ten to twelve hours, never waking from a non-sick reason, NOT ONCE!!!! Unbelievable.

Actually, it's probably more that these parents are heavy sleepers and I'm just not, so when my children get up just to use the toilet, I wake up because I hear them or the light on in the hallway wakes me up. I do want my children to know I'm available to them, even at night, if they need me.

So I guess it boils down to this--are you willing to deal with your children needing you at night, or do you prefer to let them handle their nighttime crises on their own so you can get a good night's rest?


swedemom said...

Well, Jenna, MY children ALL sleep through the night, except when they wake up and climb into bed with us, or have night terrors, or have ear infections, or just want to play with my hair.
That said, I am a heavy sleeper and do ignore my kids if I want to sleep. Now, I have no tolerance for the interruptions because I am so tired because of the pregnancy.
Brent is the light sleeper and is more inclined to get up with the kids. All the more power to him!

royalbird said...

At least you're admitting that you're the heavy sleeper, not that the children just never wake up!

I admit, I'm such a light sleeper that I would really prefer it if my husband and I had separate bedrooms, since any little move or noise he makes wakes me up also. And, if it's a night where I've had 2 or 3 moments where the children have needed me, I have a hard time sleeping at all after that because my body is way too tuned in to every little sound after that.

Good for your husband for helping you out with that! Mine probably would--he's very willing--but he's gone a lot late into the night for work and when he's home, he's so tired that I don't want the children to bother him!

The Bottjer Family said...

I COMPLETELY feel your pain. I have wanted to "mentally" slug people when they say their kids sleep through the night. I don't think I've had but 1-2 of those blessed nights since Landon was born. He has night terrors, even while on special medication for them, atleast once/night, and it's been as many as 8. Add a newborn on top of that and I'm definitely a walking zombie. I keep telling myself it's going to get better..... yeah.... when they're all out of the house! =)


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