Where for art thou sleep?

Free to a good home: Baby boy. Comes with built-in alarm clock guaranteed to go off every hour from 1am. Mute button faulty. Repair doubtful.

Sleep is one of my favourite past-times. I love curling up in fresh sheets, nuzzling into my over-priced chiropractor-approved pillow and dreaming about Colin Firth exiting the water in Pride and Prejudice the miniseries. Sleep is like finding out that a chocolate Tasti D-Lite contains only 70 calories. It’s like flipping through New Idea and discovering Heidi Klum has stretch marks, saddle bags and crows feet. It’s like being told your cheating ex ended up with an obese bogan who infected him with gonorrhea. Ultimate bliss.

Dear God how I miss it.

It’s ironic that I decorated Moo’s nursery in owls because he has proven to be a big fan of the nocturnal lifestyle. In eight months I can count the number of times he has ‘slept through’ on one hand which has left me feeling (and looking) like a pensioner who has lost their passion for the pokies.

This morning Moo was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 4.55am after calling for cuddles at 1, 2 and 3am. Boob used to get him back to sleep relatively quickly but now, after 30 minutes of hydration he looks at me as if to say, “Let’s get up and watch ads for the Ab Circle Pro”.

I’ve followed the books, introduced a strict routine and done the self-settling thing. I’ve Googled the gigs out of the issue, rung helplines, joined support groups and taken on every bit of ludicrous advice thrown at me from friends, relatives and the 60-year-old childless Italian lady I run into at the coffee shop every second day. Yes, I’ve cut out yoghurt and bumped up protein, added fifty layers of bamboo blankets and cranked up the oil heater, changed the mattress protector and sweated on a muslin cloth then placed it in his cot. I’ve patted his tummy while counting to 500, chanted Tibetan sleep inducing hymns and prayed to Morpheus, Buddha and the Easter Bunny.

I’d love to say I’ve coped with eight months of sleep deprivation with zen-like serenity but the truth is, I’ve oscillated between Ms Rational and a crazy, ranting “sterilise me now” psycho. I mourn the stamina of my twenties when I’d drink my bodyweight in cocktails till 4am, sleep for two hours and skip to work fuelled by caffeine and Tic Tacs. These days if I get any less than a four hour block of slumber, I get a lazy eye and can’t manage much more than shuffling through the day in my slippers and watching repeat episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.

On the opposite end of the strung-out spectrum is my husband who handles the lack of sleep with the patience of a celibate Christian looking for love. He just nods as I rant about the pros of China’s one child policy in the middle of the night and says, “Babe, he’s a baby. He’ll sleep eventually.” I’ve done extremely well marrying someone who is the calm to my crazy. Encouraging him to take on a new job that requires him to travel overseas a lot was probably not my finest decision. If he asks any of you where his passport is hiding, please don’t tell him it’s at the bottom of the nappy disposal bin.

People tell me Moo will sleep better once he turns one. Until then I’m going to try and cherish those early morning snuggles because I know I’ll miss them when he’s a sullen 16-year-old passed out on the couch stinking of UDLs. And let’s face it, sleep is a fair trade off when you peer into the cot and see your bub beaming at you with squeezy cheeks full of dimples…even if it is 4am.

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 Moo partaking in one of his least favourite activities

4 thoughts on “Where for art thou sleep?

  1. I hear your every word! And I have one for you, cosleep! Saved my sanity! (Not something I planned on, but necessity is the mother of all invention & this mother needed sleep!) As bubs got older the nights where he stayed all night in his cot got more frequent, and before I knew
    It I was missing his snuggly little body in our bed! Sweet dreams to you all xx

  2. Jacky you write so well, I laughed and laughed. He sounds but exactly like my little girl (and to a lesser extent son) was – I got absolutely no sleep and I hate to say it, she was 2 before she consistently slept through the night but now when I check on my soon to be 10 year old on my way to bed, she’s so big and growing up so quickly and those sleep deprived days feel so long ago – it really does go so quickly, but oh boy I do enjoy the fact I get a block of sleep nowadays – the joke is after four years of precious little sleep (both my kids did that to me), I now don’t sleep for longer than 5 hours ever and find myself awake when they are sleeping – seriously something wrong with that!!!!!

    • I never realised how much I needed sleep until I wasn’t getting any. Things are looking up over here though. Max is now sleeping from 7 till 4.30/5am. Still need to tackle the early rising but I’ll take the big improvement for now!

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