April 6, 2010

Mom sleep...or not

I don't have little babies anymore and I don't have any of the kids sleeping in my bed anymore so I really can not complain after the occasional "mom sleep night", like I got last night. Sure I spent majority of about 9 years living in a mom sleep stupor - functioning regularly on just about 4 hours of sleep when lucky. After I came out of that just about 2 years ago I realized how amazing sleep really is and how much better it is in my own very comfortable bed.

Through the years I have slept in some interesting positions and places all to make sure my kids were able to sleep and be comfortable. Many a night crammed into a small childs bed along with them and a zillion stuffed animals, night on the floor, couch, laying in bed holding the hand of the child laying on the floor next to me and of course with multiple children sleeping in my bed at a time leaving me just the smallest slice of bed possible so I am still "technically" in the bed. Of course I wake up sore all over the place I have gotten older and they have gotten bigger.

I know I could just send them back to bed after a nightmare, I know I could just roll over and bark "go back to bed" but my heart just does not let me do that. They look so small and so scared or sad and so I get up and begin the process of trying to comfort them back to bed and balance not being overly milked for more attention and time from them. As they have gotten older and this becomes less frequent it is both harder and easier to do at the same time. Harder because I am out of practice and my body tells me it really wants sleep and they can do this on their own. Easier because I know we are out of these days and when they come to me they must really need it and they will not come to me for this much longer so I need to help them out now while I still can.

Last night was one of those nights with Sirah. She has been struggling on and off with bad dreams recently. It seems all of my kids hit a stage right between 6 and 7 years old when the night was very scary and hard. They could fall asleep but stay asleep or get back to sleep after bad dreams became very difficult, we are there with her now. Last night she just wanted to be able to touch me so eventually we moved upstairs and laid on the side by side couches so we could both have space but she could still feel my touch.

I woke up this morning thankful I slept on the couch with her, reminding her I am here to help her with the scary things in life and to comfort her. Sure I will need an extra cup of coffee today and my back is not really happy with my choices but my little girl woke up happy and thankful and secure. That is worth another night of mom sleep or lack thereof in my mind.

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