There was an IG post that caught my eye the other day. It said ‘No Sleep Club’ and ‘Who wants to join?’, followed by a load of emphatic Yeses. But then these yeses were followed by the likes of “It’s been 2 years now” and “Eighteen months in”, and the ever-hopeful “Hang in there, it gets better”.
Really?? Does it? It’s been over seven years since I last slept properly and it’s not much better yet!
This is how most nights look in our house:
Sometime between 9pm and midnight the boy comes padding into our bedroom, scrambles over The Husband to get into the middle of the bed, crawls under the covers and tells me to cuddle him. I do as I’m told, and he drifts back to sleep.
Approximately 5 minutes later his legs lift into a full shoulder stand and the entire super-king size duvet is flung to the end of the bed. If this is an early visitation, an iPad or two, a phone or two, and possibly a crochet project are thrown along with it.
“CUDDLE ME!!!” demands the boy.
“In a minute” I reply, trying to rescue yarn, i-devices, hooks and needles, simultaneously pulling up the covers and attempting to tuck them underneath the boy to keep him cool, while pulling them as high up as possible around me and The Husband so we don’t perish during the night.
With the bed calm and organised I turn to the child and cuddle him. One arm wrapped around his middle, the other tucked somewhere underneath myself, awaiting that moment where pins and needles has passed and there is simply no feeling left in the entire arm and it feels like it has been replaced with a withered balloon. The boy’s breathing steadies and settles, he’s sleeping and now I can too.
“I need some covers I’m cold!!”
The covers get pulled back up.
I turn over, enjoying my 3 inches of free space in this 6 foot bed.
My god the child sounds like he’s been abandoned with no idea as to when he will ever see his family again. I am right next to him. His face is in my back, his leg is over my hips, his hands round my neck like a tiny strangler.
“CUDDLE ME! TURN AROUND! FACE ME! CUDDLE MEEEEEEE!”
I turn around, face him, cuddle him.
“No a full cuddle. With 2 arms!”
I slide one arm under him and the other around him, I pull him close and kiss him.
He launches the duvet down the bed.
It stays there. I’m passed caring.
“Daddy? Where’s daddy?”
“I’m right here. Do you want a cuddle?”
“Noooooo!! No daddy! Go away!!!”
The boy and his father have an extremely close relationship during daylight hours, very often the boy is like a little shadow attached to his daddy. What daddy does, he does. After 7pm however, daddy becomes all that is terrible, and must under no circumstances touch the boy, or speak to the boy or approach the boy.
“Mummy? I’m cold”.
Boy is sleeping. I again turn to face the edge of the enormous bed I never get to fully enjoy (I cannot settle when facing into the bed, I have to face outwards to get to sleep properly. This is weird, I know, I have no idea what it’s about) and fall asleep.
Woken up being simultaneously smacked across the eye and karate chopped in the throat. The boy, not content being flattened against my back with his legs sandwiched between mine, now has to rub his hands over every part of my face, rubbing my nose like I’m an obedient dog. I move them and they immediately go down my top; the aftermath of breastfeeding until almost 5.
For the love of God what is he doing?? My nipples are being turned around like he can’t decide which wash-load to put on. Stop!! I move his hands, they find my face. He scrubs at my chin until I want to scream. I surrender and turn around to cuddle him.
Covers kicked off.
“Cuddle me mummy!”
“I AM cuddling you!!”
“Cuddle me more”.
“I have no idea what you want!”
“Just cuddle me, OK?”
“Is it morning mummy?”
“No. It’s the middle of the night. Close your eyes and..” alarm goes off.
“It IS morning!! I told you so!”
My head explodes.
“Mummy? I’m tired”.
This has been my life for the past 3 years. Before that it was no sleep because of constant (as in newborn cluster-feeding-constant) breastfeeding ALL NIGHT, before that it was no sleep because of pregnancy, before that it was no sleep because of a little girl who loathed sleep as much as I loathe being rubbed all over the face all night, before that it was no sleep because pregnant…before that everything is lost in the mists of time. I used to complain about a bad night’s sleep if it was less than 8 hours. Pahahahahaha, 6 hours solid sleep now sounds like the holy frickin grail! So yeah, I’m a fully signed-up member of the No Sleep Club and seven and a bit years in, I’m still hanging in there.
Please tell me there is someone out there with similar nighttime woes? Or at least give me hope that others experience this past the two year mark?