If you say something long enough with a big enough smile, you’ll finally take it to heart, right? Of course I don’t love being awake at 2:00 in the morning. . .it’s actually quite painful on some occasions, but I’m on a quest to find the humor and the bright spots that come from this part of parenthood.
Let me preface my list by saying my girls were up every 3 hours or so last night to nurse. Munchkin 2 has previously slept from 8:00 until 4:30 for several nights in a row, and Munchkin 1 has slept from 8:00 until 11:30 and then gone back to sleep to wake up to nurse with her sister around 4:30 am. Dustin and I thought this little schedule was established, and as soon as we discussed the pattern, it went out the window. I am convinced we jinxed it, so we no longer make predictions about what will happen from one night to the next. Once you have a few nights of extra sleep, it’s insanely hard to go back to the waking-every-few-hours stage. Maybe we should have seen the extra sleep nights as exceptions to the norm instead of the new norm. . .or maybe I’m over-analyzing this completely!!
We have learned the hard way not to ask other parents how long their baby is sleeping at night, because we inevitably hear, “10 to 12 hours–it’s great!” We give each other a longing glance as our shoulders slump forward as we remember how tired we are. “Oh, well, that must be nice!” is our forced reply through a fake smile, and I make a mental note to never ask anyone with an infant how long he or she sleeps ever again.
So, with a little history on the circumstances on the sleep patterns around our house, I give you my top 13 reasons why I LOVE being awake at 2:00 a.m.:
1. I am almost always the first one to wish someone a happy birthday on Facebook.
2. I have a new appreciation for my bed after sleeping on the nursery floor for a few hours.
3. I get to sneak a few extra smiles and snuggles from the cutest babies in the world.
4. I know without a doubt that I am needed and important!
5. I am learning patience and building more character than I ever dreamed I’d need. Especially when I crawl into my wonderful bed, snuggle down deep enough to warm up my spot, close my eyes and smile at the thought of the sleeping babies I just put down and am startled awake (if I had time to go back to sleep!) by a very sad cry on the baby monitor.
6. I can catch up on Words with Friends AND find 100 recipes I’ll never make to put on Pinterest.
7. If I’m lucky enough to make it until 3:00 a.m., I can catch back-to-back episodes of Married with Children, a rare diamond-in-the-rough among hundreds of infomercials. A little Al Bundy can be good for the soul!
8. I have a new appreciation for my mammary glands. They never have to be heated or run through the dishwasher, and they are truly a secret weapon in calming an unhappy baby. In fact, I think Dustin would be all for replacing the trusty dog as man’s best friend and giving the title to the breastaurant. They have saved him many hours of bottle feeding!!
9. I don’t feel the least bit guilty for taking a nap or sleeping in with the girls on the rare occasion this actually happens. I earned it!
10. From now on when I fill out one of those ice breaker type activities that asks for one person you’d like to meet and why, I’ll forever answer with the inventor of the baby swing with the sound machine attached. Whoever you are, you are my HERO!
11. I have learned new uses for every day items. For example, our $300 Dyson is an amazing sound machine and baby soother. In fact, Dustin and I are considering going garage saleing just to find a really loud vacuum to keep in the nursery. Who cares if it works or not as long as it’s nice and LOUD.
12. I get to go through my beautiful t-shirt collection a little more quickly thanks to an extra round or two of spit up.
13. I have more opportunities to laugh at myself. For example, last night while sleeping on the nursery floor in front of a previously sad and now sleeping baby, I was awaken by a cry and sat up to start pushing a swing and singing the millionth round of “Amazing Grace.” When the crying didn’t lessen, I opened my eyes to assess the situation and realized I was calming down the sleeping baby instead of the fussing one.
I am sure I will find many more reasons to love being awake at 2:00. I must say, though, having these little girls around make it worth it to be a little sleepy. I’d stay up all night every night to keep them smiling if I had to!
Parents out there, what humor have you found by being awake at all hours of the night?