Sleep. Arguably the most important word in parenting. That might be dramatic but start losing sleep every night and you’ll be on board with my drama! If I could go back in time and tell my pre-baby self “bitch you ain’t that tired” every time I complained of being tired because I stayed out late drinking on a night before an 8am class, I would. That “tired” me wasn’t walking into door frames and throwing kettle bells at the gym because my hands couldn’t coordinate catching them.
The type of tired you experience when you have a child that does not sleep is the type that you could only understand if you went through it, its simply indescribable. I see now why it is used as a form of torture, it is very effective. I read an article stating that sleep deprivation costs Canada 21 billion dollars annually! As it turns out, people who don’t sleep enough undergo more physical and emotional stress and have compromised immune systems. Who would of thought, oh wait…..
Our journey started May 29, 2015, the day my son was born. He slept his first full night 10 months later after some tough love and sleep training (The Sleep Sense Program…incase anyone is looking!). It saved us. In the beginning of the book the author states that most couples contact her for help when they are on the brink of divorce, I get that. If my husband got 2 more hours of sleep than I did I would turn into a resentful, pissed off human. As if he did it on purpose Obviously that didn’t do much for our relationship but it was the best I could do at the time!
After this, I started to feel like a real human again, for 8 full months I was a more functional member of society. And then a cold hit, croup, and an ear infection. Cue the two worst weeks ever where there were no rules for sleep, just cuddles on demand. We fucked everything. From that point forward our son would not go to sleep alone and rarely would sleep the whole night alone. We moved him from a crib to a double bed since neither of us are small enough people to fit into a crib! I turned into a co-sleeper, the type of sleeper I absolutely dreaded and did not understand why any other parent did it. I get it now, they did it because they were desperate for sleep and sleeping with their child was their only hope.
Four months later, here I am, writing this article. This past week we have seen the light again. We went back to the basics and showed some tough love and it has been a rocking success. I hate to even say that out loud. Next week I will likely be back here trying to take back these words.
To all you parents and caregivers out there. I get it. I am sorry you aren’t sleeping, I really am. I can only hope that there is a light in your future somewhere that will be your time to get some sleep. Also, I am sorry to the guy who was trying to get me to sign up for a MasterCard at the grocery store a few weeks ago. I owe a roofer an apology too. And my husband. I was tired.