So it’s 4:00am and you have just spent the last hour trying to soothe your crying baby back into the land of nod. Whether it’s teething, snotty noses or just being wide awake for no apparent reason, you have sung, stroked and rocked and tried all the tricks in the book to settle them. All the while thinking of your nice warm, cosy and comfortable bed, wishing you had put your dressing gown on because you are now freezing, and wondering why this always happens on your shift and not your partners. Whilst you’ve worried in case it’s something serious you’ve also calculated with each passing minute how much more sleep you could get before the morning starts.
And when they finally drift off in your arms you admire their beautiful sleepy face and forgive the interrupted sleep. You hold them for 5 more minutes just to be sure they are asleep and when they murmur you start counting the 5 minutes again. Then you manage a successful transfer from cuddle to cot without waking the baby or getting your arm trapped under their head. You’ve done it. You are a thirty seconds away from slipping back into your bed. A mere walk away from sleep. What could possibly go wrong?
- Stubbing your toe on the cot. Oh the silent screams of agony and tirade of whispered cursing that have escaped my lips on many occasion.
- Sneezing. Your body decides that now would be the perfect time for a head shaking sneeze without any pre-warning.
- Creaky floorboards. It doesn’t matter that you know where it is because at 4 O’clock in the morning it moves!
- Car Alarm. Yes the universe is conspiring against you.
- “I need a wee”. Shouted really loudly by your eldest child. Despite the fact they are perfectly capable of going to the toilet by themselves.
If you have the good fortune to make the treacherous journey back to your room. If you manage to make it back into bed and not have the baby wake again as soon as your head touches the pillow. If you have breathed that sigh of relief. Then congratulations, you may sleep. And now will be the time that sleep deserts you.
Who needs sleep anyway, right?
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