If you sleep like a baby, you don’t have one

So it occurred to me the other night how essential sleep has become – and how going to get bladdered is not important at all

My 20-something self is laughing at me I bet. You see tiredness has become the new legless.

It was 8pm on a Saturday night and I was fighting the urge to go to bed. Saturday night!

Because these days being awake early on a Sunday morning has taken on a whole new meaning.

It used to be that I would just be getting home from a night out – I would have my morning coffee before I went to bed. But now it’s the time the children wake up.


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It’s amazing how after you have children you talk about sleep the same way you used to talk about inebriates. It has become a main topic of conversation with my fellow parents – when chatting with friends, someone always ends up bragging “Oh man, I scored eight hours last night.” Sleep has become our new drug of choice.

My whole life now revolves around sleep and when I’ll be getting my next fix.

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It’s on my mind constantly to the point where if I’m not feeling tired, I’ll be thinking about the fact that I’m not feeling tired – so much that I end up feeling exhausted.

The problem with having children a bit ‘late’ is that you know that you will probably be dead before you get to sleep properly again. A friend asked me recently why I never warned her about how exhausted she would be with her newborn, to which I replied “I was too exhausted.”

It’s pretty true to say that once you have children, you never sleep the same way.

Even if they’re good sleepers, I guarantee you’ll always have one ear listening or they’ll have you up at 5am. The hardest part of being a parent is the disruption to your sleep.

Forget the tiger or panda – it’s sleep for parents that is in danger of extinction and the lie-in is already as dead as the Dodo.

If your other half does grant you a lie-in, I guarantee there will be a price to pay because, after all, a lie-in don’t come for free.

No matter what kind of a day I’m having with the kids, the worst part is when they wake up (usually before 7am) and the best part is when they go to bed (especially before 7pm).

I love my children, especially when they are asleep – it’s also when I’m at my very best as a parent.

Oh and don’t I know I’m a parent because all I want for Christmas is to stay in bed until 9am.

Most mornings I have the discussion with my husband over who had the worst night’s sleep.

I’ve trained him well because it’s usually him ever since I perfected the art of faking it. He doesn’t realise yet that you can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. This is the daily conversation:

Him: “I got up five times in the night.”

Me: “Well I got up seven times.”

Him: “But you were in bed at 9pm so you’ve actually had two hours more.”

Me: “Ahhh but you’re forgetting that I had to take her for a wee at 11pm.”

You get the gist. We love each other, but we love sleep more and we’ll do pretty much anything to get it. He, especially, is amazing at taking naps, which I find impossible – he can nap whilst watching telly with the kids, he can nap whenever it’s my turn to drive and he is particularly great at napping in the middle of bedtime stories. He could make millions by creating an App for A Nap and probably win the Nobel Prize For Parenting.

The best way to get my children’s attention is when I am sound asleep.

They also like to partake in that well-known party game Musical Beds.

There have been many times when we’ve all woken up in a different bed to the one we went to sleep in. And I never win because I’m always the one clinging to the precipice of the bed, as if I’m about to fall to my death. My toddler, who is the smallest, always of course ends up with the most room. His future wife is filing for divorce already.

I was in a chemist yesterday trying to buy cough medicine for my toddler and the pharmacist informed me that I couldn’t buy a certain product for a child under five. I hope it wasn’t because of the drowsy-making element because I’m all for that. It would be a cruel blow to parenthood if this mild sleeping aid was no longer available.

Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit outrageous now and not thinking straight – but, hey, in my defence, I’ve had a lack of sleep.

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