Sleep porn.

It’s 7:30pm and both kids are sound asleep in their beds. The baby didn’t even whimper when I placed him into his crib and our 3.5 year old happily closed her eyes after just one book and a kiss goodnight. Jose and I use our extra time together to unpack the day and have a quickie. Yay! Afterwards, I luxuriate in my bedtime skincare regimen (oh the indulgence!), brush and floss my teeth, write in my journal, meditate and read my book before falling asleep with complete ease at 10pm. I wake up around 6:30am feeling well-rested after sleeping solidly through the night. I had not woken to the sound of a crying baby or to the pitter patter of footsteps through the hall at 3am. I didn’t wake to pee or sip water to ease a parched throat. At no point did I find myself overheating or shivering after kicking off the sheets. I didn’t wake with a start in a cold sweat thinking of all the things I had neglected or the mistakes I had made with my kids the day before or some weird non-reality-based fears for their safety. None of the littles were up yet so I jump in the shower, get dressed, ingest some caffeine, feed the dog and make both kids their breakfasts. Once they wake up around 7am, we still have plenty of time to chat and get ready for the day without rushing.

Sound too good to be true? You could tell, right? What tipped you off? Was it the fact that I didn’t immediately turn on Netflix and grab snacks once the kids were down?

Yes, it’s true. This is just a fantasy of mine. My sleep porn, as my friend coined it. This here is what sleep deprivation does to you. Very basic things like a couple free evening hours become so damn sexy. Note there was no outing without children or sleep-ins in this fantasy. In fact, this is probably quite close to many people’s reality. I just want a “normal” average, person’s sleep. That’s it, that’s all. Thank you kindly.

There are days when one or five of these things work out, for sure. I can be incredibly productive with a few extra minutes and a bit more energy. As a mom, this is a skill I have mastered. Survival baby. Give me thirty minutes kid-free and I will give you a well-balanced meal for four and a clean kitchen. I mean I feed my family everyday, but i can do everything at record speed if I have my hands free. If that’s the battle I pick that day, the shit gets done. As a parent though, it’s generally at the expense of something else. But I digress. It’s that solid sleep in the middle that’s severely missed. And it requires many stars to align.

Sleep. It’s so hot right now. And so elusive.

I don’t even remember what sleeping through the night feels like. Is this just life now and forever? I feel strongly that if I could just get a solid eight hours a couple times a week, I would be a much better human. Hell one night a week would suffice! I’m fairly certain I haven’t had a truly solid night’s sleep since before I was pregnant with Leni. So that’s what? Over 4 years? I know we have “sleep cycles” and waking through the night is normal, but not like this, man. Not like this. Even after we got Leni in her crib and she was moving through her sleep cycles unassisted like a boss, I was monitor-obsessed and would find myself waking to check on her and starting at every sound. It probably didn’t help that in our old house she slept a floor below us. And you worry a bit more with your first kid, I think.

Then I was pregnant with Finn and I don’t sleep when I’m pregnant.

Then we had a newborn and even now, at nearly nine-months-old, I can’t seem to get him off the night time nursing. I know many parents are quite content with nursing or bottle feeding at night for way longer–you do you–but I’m ready to stop. Please?

Then recently Leni also started to wake up for an occasional 2am hang sesh.

And then and then and then.

Last week, I was having lunch with a friend of mine who doesn’t have children and I found myself coyly inquiring about how she sleeps. The semi-erotic delight I took from her answers might have blurred the lines of our friendship, frankly. Sorry Katie! Love you. Apparently the idea of a good night’s sleep is borderline titillating for me these days. I wanted all the details and found myself sighing as she shared. You slept ten hours, you say? You didn’t even get up to pee?? And how did you feel in the morning? Groggy, but well-rested? Swoon!

Maybe you parents out there with older kids can give us some hope? Is there a sleep light at the end of the tunnel or is your circadian rhythm all out of whack at that point?

My eldest sister has three boys (two of which are preteen) and they’ve been dealing their own sleep insanity so I guess I’ve got my answer there.

So I’ll take my sleep thrills where I can get ‘em. That rare and aggravating slogan “sleep when they sleep” does happen every once in awhile. Win! When I actually fall asleep for the entirety of my son’s first stretch aka 8pm-1am. Gold star! When I somehow get Finn back to sleep after he wakes up an hour before god wants him to (ok it’s me, I don’t want him to). Ten points! Those weird days I don’t actually get more sleep, but feel more rested anyway. Ding ding ding!

It’s the little things, right?

Here’s to a very average night’s sleep!

 

 

 

 

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