Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sleep - The precious thing of parents

Sleep.  One of the most cherished things for Mommies and Daddies.
At the beginning of parenthood there is hardly any of it.  It's all one big fog and blur. If I didn't have a blog to refer back to, I'm certain I wouldn't be able to recall much because of the massive lack of sleep as a beginning mom.  Matter of fact, I distinctly remember my husband professing in the first few weeks of Thomas' life that he has never been more tired in his entire life.  Ha-Ha... and then we went on to have two more kiddos. 

Over the course of the first few weeks and months, it slowly got better.  I'm pretty sure I was in utter shock when each of our little bundle of joys slept for 3, 5 or heck, even 8 hours straight without waking after so many months of not enjoying a "normal" night sleep.

During those toddler & preschool years, there was plenty of ups and downs with each of our kiddos.  What's coming to mind immediately is with Thomas - he went through a long stretch when he would get up in the middle of the night and come curl up on our bedroom floor.  We would find him fast asleep each morning at my feet.  Then there was the awful stretch of time that we had to deal with Abby screaming and fighting going to bed each night.  She hated when we said goodnight and closed her bedroom door.  Oy Vay... we took turns sleeping on her floor, rocking her to sleep, & letting her cry it out.  Man, that felt like it lasted F.O.R.E.V.E.R!  Of course, then there was the time, months endless times that my kiddos would get up at 5:30 in the morning - on the weekends - and I would think, "good God, why on earth is this happening to me on the weekends? Can't they just let me get some extra sleep?"

Did I mention that sleep is one of the most cherished things for Mommies and Daddies?

When it comes to sleep, I think it is the responsibility of parents to do two important things for our children: 1) train them to have good sleep patterns/routines which includes having them sleep in their own beds and 2) train them to get a "full" night sleep.  How parents go about doing this is completely different, but the earlier in their child's life they do this, the sooner kids will be less likely to fight bedtime/naptime, their body clocks will run on "normal" time, and of course, most importantly, parents will get a good, solid night sleep!  I say this all though with a tremendous amount of hindsight thinking.  Ha-ha, man did we struggle just like so many other parents.

Today, however, I feel like we are in a new place with sleep in our house.  We've been here for awhile (thank the sweet Lord), but now that Marilyn just got her big girl bed, it made me give pause and think about what sleep looks like in our house now with a 6-year, 4-year, & 2-year old.  The girls still take naps, no one fights bedtime, the kids sleep in on the weekends & even play together quietly while they let Mommy & Daddy sleep until well after 8 AM.  I'm pretty sure that we have turned a corner when it comes to parent sleep... that is until the kids become teenagers.  Oy Vay.

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