I’ve always needed my sleep. A lot of sleep. I was an 8 or 9 hour a night kind of gal.
Then I had kids.
I’d always heard that once you become a mother, you never sleep well again. And I think those are true words. The type of sleep I get now is what I call “mommy sleep.”
I hear every noise, creak, groan, cough and snore that takes place in the house. Even with with my white noise sound machine. And I know plenty of mothers who sleep – and I use that term lightly – the same way. It’s like we sleep with one ear open to hear any problems with the kids in the night.
And somehow, “daddy sleep” is just the opposite. At least in this house.
Case in point: The night before last, my youngest son crept into our bed at 3am and promptly threw up all over me, my pillow and my side of the bed. (which of course woke up the dog and the cat and got them interested in the new smells in our bedroom). It was not a quiet event by any means, but all I got from the other side of the bed was snoring.
So I cleaned it all up, covered what I could with towels and settled back on my few inches of clean sheets with my poorly little boy next to me. Then 10 minutes later, another round of upset tummy, and then another, and another and so on until sunrise. Getting a 3 year old to tell you when he is about to throw up is a skill I still have not mastered – even after years of trying.
And the snoring on the other side of the bed continued. There was the occasional grunt, but never really one of consciousness.
Now I’m not knocking my husband at all. I couldn’t ask for a more involved father. He knows when this mom needs a break and is more than happy to give it to me. He’s fully engaged in parenting and I know I am very fortunate to have him.
But he can sleep through anything, even multiple rounds of vomiting. In his bed. Right next to him.
And I have no doubt that this mom will continue having “mommy sleep” for years to come. So maybe I should crank up the volume on my sound machine just a little bit more.