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Have you seen NickMom.com? It’s a website from Nickelodeon that’s full of humor, wisdom and we’ve-all-been-there moments that bring the #Motherfunny. It’s a great place to go when you need a laugh and to be reminded that you’re not alone in this motherhood thing, even though you spend a lot of time feeling like you’re crazy and/or doing it wrong.
One of the things I love about the site is the cartoons about how life is before kids versus after them. For instance, What You Can Get Done in 30 Minutes Without the Kids Vs. With the Kids:
I know we’ve all had those moments where we think about the things we most miss from the time before we were parents. I usually think about sleep.
And, of course, the sleeping at night. Oh, the sleeping. How I loved sleep. The best thing about life before the kid was the sleep. As long and as often as I wanted. Sleep was beautiful.
There were other fun things that used to happen in bed, too. Our bed used to be the most exclusive club in town (maximum occupancy: two); now we have the cutest little 40-pound gate crasher who just last night tried to cross the velvet rope at 3:45 and 4:15 a.m.
She did it twice because the usual routine — get out of my beautiful, warm bed, take her back to her room, rock her, put in her her bed, rub her back, lie beside her for a while until I can’t take it any more or she tells me to leave — didn’t work, which meant I spent until 5 a.m. trying to get her to go back to sleep.
And which reminded me that trying to get a kid to sleep follows the exact same process as the stages of grief. Except you can get stuck in bargaining forever.
Before the kid, I took for granted that I’d be able to hang out in bed as much and as often as I wanted.
Then I got pregnant and spent a lot of time in bed. I was so tired. Little did I know I’d stay that tired for three years.
When the girl was born — six weeks early — I stayed out of my own bed for a whole week. Then the wee one came home and got her own little bed right next to mine. Then it was the madness of up and down all night long, again and again.
You expect that time to feel like it lasts for ever but not to actually last forever. The girl didn’t sleep through the night for two and a half years, so of course neither did I.
I missed bed so much then. I longed to stay in my own bed all night, cursed the sound of the opening of the door, silently bargained and vocally begged the girl to stay asleep. I even worked it into one of her bedtime songs.
Of course now at age four she is capable of sleeping through the night. She doesn’t always (see gate crashing scene, above), but she can. A new trick she’s picked up recently is waking up and starting to scream on the way to our room. That’s a sound that will separate you from an old friend fast.
But still, her definition of “through the night” and mine don’t always correspond. I still sometimes curse the sound of the opening door. But I also know that most days, instead of pulling on my arm until I get out of bed, she’ll climb in and snuggle with me. She often says that cuddling is her favorite part of the day.
It may not be as romantic as the cuddling that used to happen more often in that bed, but maybe it’s actually better than getting to sleep as long as I want.