I would just like to kick this one off by noting that I started writing this post at 4:31 on Thursday morning.
Oddly enough, being up at 4:30 in the morning is not as big of a deal as it used to be. I think that after three kids you just get used to the fact that you will be woken up at least one night out of every week. Sometimes you will go for weeks without having to deal with nightmares, bathroom breaks, or fevers, while at other times you get woken up four nights in a row. (Incidentally, it is now 11:30 on Thursday night and I can hear John cooing to himself when he should be asleep.)
I am much more accustomed to these nighttime interruptions than I used to be. Ben was a pretty good sleeper from the time he was three months old and didn’t give us a lot of grief. When Cate was first born and we went from full night sleeps to multiple feedings every night my body cried “Noooooooo!!! I remember this and nooooo!!!!!”
By the time John showed up being up in the middle of the night was old hat, especially as Cate went through a phase when she was around 6-9 months old where she woke up for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night. I couldn’t just let her cry because she shared a room with us and, besides, she barfed if she cried for too long. Sorry, I should rephrase that. She vomited massively all over the place. Repeatedly. The clean up was just not worth the moral victory of letting her cry it out.
There is one very big change in midnight feedings with John that really made all the difference in the world: my iPhone. Smartphones light up and you can read them in the dark. They are small and fit into the palm of your hand so it is more difficult for the baby to swat it out of your grasp. You can download the Kindle App and read in the middle of the night to your heart’s content! Heck, when I heard John stirring I thought, “WooHoo! Now I get to finish that chapter of the Scarlett Pimpernel without interruption!” Legitimate alone time. Not too shabby. You do, however, need to be careful not to wake yourself up too much otherwise you won’t get back to sleep.
I think the thing about being a stay-at-home Mom that I struggle with the most is the general lack of sick days. You know when you get a cold and you really aren’t that sick yet, but if you just lie low for a day or two and watch TV and drink tea you should be okay? Well, you can’t do that with three kids. You can’t just take a day off and lie low because there is always someone to take care of or feed or pick up from school and all these little rugrats rightfully depend on you to meet their basic needs. You generally have to save the “big guns” (aka. asking your husband to take off sick days to take care of you or asking your parents to make the hour long commute to come out and watch the kids) for when you have things like appendicitis or a bad sinus infection that refuses to go away. And I know that I am one of the lucky ones who has a husband that actually gets paid sick days and has parents who are willing to come out and help out when I am totally thwacked.
Speaking of sleeping and struggling and being sick, thank you to Darren for taking care of the dishes so I could go to sleep early on Wednesday night. And thank you to my parents who came out this week thus allowing me to actually rest and relax during the day. And boo to my sinuses, which are veeerrrrryyyyy sloooooooowwwwwly getting better. And goodnight to you all, because now it is time for bed.