Thoroughly Modern Mammy Maria describes her night-time ritual of 'sleep dancing'.
I love to dance.
I’ve been dancing since I could walk.
I’ve danced on stages and I’ve even choreographed a few shows.
My favourite dance since becoming a Mammy, is the Sleep Dance. And I’m brilliant at it.
Sleep is a currency…who knew?
Currently, in the bank of SLEEP, I’m broke, while Hubby is…well he’s richer than I am. He’s dancing the Sleep Dance too, but he doesn’t even know most of the time.
Here’s how it works:
In the world of new parents, the parent who tallies up the most Zzzz hours owes the other: Big time.
Before a Baby arrives, how much we sleep goes unnoticed. Pre-parents should really listen when told to “enjoy your sleep now”. Ok, so you can’t stock up on it, and how much you get before the arrival of your little bundle is not going to help when you’re knackered at 4am, but you can ENJOY it.
Enjoy the luxurious feeling of turning over in the bed without worrying about disturbing Baby. Enjoy being able to go to bed when YOU feel like it. Enjoy not giving a continental hoot how much sleep your partner gets, because once Baby arrives, you’ll moniter their sleep as carefully as you moniter the money in a bank account.
Every second of snoring that is greater than the seconds you spend snoring, is noted.
Every time he or she turns in the bed, oblivious to the demanding grunts from the cot, (and oblivious to your glares!), is stored in your memory.
Every time you have to haul your ass out of the bed to replace the dummy in your little Munchkin’s mouth, you jot it down in your mind.
Every innocent snore is transformed into the sound of coins being dropped in the piggy-bank of your mind.
Your mind becomes a ledger… how much do I have? How much did he/she get?
Every second your partner sleeps while you are awake between the hours of 11pm and 6am, becomes currency.
In other words… YOU OWE MEEEEEE!
And if he/she gets one hour more than you, you will want to make them pay.
As well as taking mental notes of how much more sleep your partner got, you’ll be taking notes of how little you got.
Yes, while Baby Brain might cause you to forget your own name, (or in my case, the Baby’s name…twice.), it strangely adds to your mathematical brilliance and your late night memory.
6 x out of bed to replace dummy
2 x thinking she was choking
3 x unnecessarily
2 x across the hall to Mini-me to scare off bad dreams
1 x across the hall to Mini-me to beg her to go back to sleep
1 x to the kitchen to heat Princess’s bottle
1 x to the kitchen to dump said bottle as said Princess was snoring again by the time I returned
1 x to get another bottle an hour later
1 x sitting on the edge of the bed for 20 minutes after feeding as she screams everytime I move, knowing that the snuggly Mammy is going to try to deposit her in the cold cot.
1 x your snoring
…and don’t even start me on the ten minutes between your alarm going off and the snooze button!
Do the math.
Just know that YOU OWE ME!
And of course the rational mind reminds me that Himself is working full-time.
And that of course he needs sleep with 5am-8pm working hours.
And that I was off work at the time.
And that this only lasts for such a short time.
I knew all of that, but sometimes, I’m not very rational. Because I’m shattered!
And of course, there are the nights when Daddy’s on Baby-duty and I can sleep, but I don’t usually. Not because I need to be awake, but because I’m programmed to be on my feet and functioning before my mind knows I’m awake.
So yes, be prepared for the Sleep Dance.
Be prepared to know exactly how much sleep your partner got and be prepared to know just how much you didn’t.
Be prepared that no matter how honest you usually are, you WILL lie about how many times you were out of bed, just to make sure that partner understands how much he/she OWES YOU!
Be prepared to feel utter resentment for the person you love in real life…because 4am isn’t real life really, is it?
And be prepared to get on with it and to get over it, because it’s worth every single second.
No matter how exhausted your body is, when you look into the cot at stupid o’ clock and see two big, beautiful eyes looking at you; when your finger is gripped by tiny hands, holding on to you for dear life; when you listen to the coos and noises as she drinks; tiredness disappears and is replaced by love.
But yes. He (or she) still owes you. How you make them pay, is completely up to you!
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