Thursday, April 14, 2011

Before Kids

As I was awakened for the third night in a row to the sound of Lily kicking her bed, I couldn't help but remember the days before my three lovely daughters came into my life.

I'm not exactly sure what all I did with my time, but I'm thinking it was something along these lines....

  • Read a book from start to finish uninterrupted.
  • Use the bathroom without having a conversation through the door.
  • Finish a phone call uninterrupted.
  • Sleep the whole night.
  • Take a long shower.
  • Cook any food item I wanted with no complaints from anyone.
  • Only do one head of hair in the morning - my own.
  • Stay up late, knowing I could sleep late in the morning.
  • Go to the movies or eat out on the spur of the moment.
  • Travel with one suitcase.
  • Go to the mall and actually try on clothes before buying them.
  • Watch a television show without interruption.
After giving birth to Ryley, I distinctly remember wondering if anyone had ever died from lack of sleep. That child simply refused to sleep.  I would rock her until she was absolutely zonked and then practically crawl in the crib trying to make the smoothest possible transition from my chest to the mattress.  As soon as her body touched the sheets, she was wide awake.  

And very unhappy.  

I even tried putting a heating pad on the sheets to warm them up before I laid her down, thinking the cold sheets might be "shocking" her awake.  

Nothing worked.

I have a vivid memory of being at my parent's house, Ryan pulling me into a back bedroom, shutting the door, grabbing me by my shoulders, and looking me directly in the eyeballs and saying, rather maniacally, "They lied to us.  They told us having kids was the best thing they'd ever done.  But they lied."

"They" referring to our parents.

This is what sleep deprivation does to you.  Not a pretty picture.

Thankfully, I was having a lucid moment and didn't take off down Crazy Lane with him.  I encouraged him to take a nap and a couple hours later, he had no memory of that conversation.  

A little sleep works wonders.

When Reagan joined our family, she must have decided to give ol' Mom and Dad a break.  That child was born sleeping through the night.

When I took her for her two week check-up, I told the doctor that if I didn't wake her up at night to give her a bottle, she would just keep sleeping.

He looked at me strangely and asked, "Let me get this straight.  You're waking her up to give her a bottle?"

To which I answered, "Well, duh.  Yes."

And he replied, "Duh back at you.  Are you crazy?  Let that baby sleep.  She'll wake up when she's hungry."

So I let her sleep.  And sleep she did. Other than that two week period where I force fed her at 2 AM, that little girl slept through the night.  It was UH-MAZING.

Of course, Lily came along and completely disrupted the whole family's sleep cycle but that's a story for another time.

Here's the bottom line:

Sleep is a good thing.  Sleep deprivation is not such a good thing.  But kids are worth missing out on a little.  I may not be able to sleep late or have some privacy in the bathroom, but I wouldn't trade being a mom to these three girls for all the sleep in the world.


  1. The timing of this message could not have been better. Jennifer and I just had the worst night with Sam that we've ever had. He's the worst sleeper of all of our kids. Woke up at midnight and cried for nearly 5 hours. When I finally get him quiet (to say "asleep" would be a stretch) and lay him back in the crib... I try to tiptoe away and don't even make it halfway to bed before he's wailing again. It's 9:30am and Sam finally is asleep, so Jennifer is sleeping as well...

    Good to know that Ryley was the same way. I'm assuming she sleeps through the night now?

  2. Isn't it interesting that when they are little, (Collin NEVER slept either), they seem to be awake forever, then , they turn into teenagers and You can't get them to wake up! I too, thankfully was blessed with a second child that couldn't get enough sleep! Ah, Gods' grace!

  3. Although both of my kiddos slept...they did turn into teenagers and they do sleep a lot! Then you become grandparents with a whole other side of "parenting"...LOL!

  4. Oh, one more thing...Miss that list myself, (although I wouldn't trade a thing for being a mom!)because even though your children grow up to have lives on their own....they do come back into your home (at least once...maybe more) and that is another great moment to look for...LOL! Scary being a parent with no handbook tell you what to expect being a parent of children. Then grandparenting brings on a whole new realm of its own! Thank goodness for the Lord, His Word, and lots of PRAYER!

  5. Curt - Don't you just hate nights like that??? The minutes just seem to crawl by.... Yes, Ryley does sleep through the night now! Sam will, too!

    Dannette - Ryley is definitely making up for lost sleep!

    Teresa - I agree. I'm loving this time now but know that lots of good stuff is coming up in the future, too. I have enjoyed my kids at every age and stage, though some a maybe a little bit more than others. :)


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