When you’re about to be the mama of a new baby bundle, you hear a lot about how long, sleepless nights are just around the corner. “Better rest up now while you can” is a line you’ll probably hear from anyone who spies your burgeoning belly. While it’s true that newborns require long hours, I have actually discovered that there is an upside to having a baby around the house when it comes to the sleep department.
Before Jacob was born, I was a notoriously picky sleeper. I had to have umpteen pillows strategically placed, there couldn’t be a single bit of light in the room—even light from a charging computer or phone would keep me awake—and ditto for noise. In a nutshell, I was a seriously high-maintenance sleeper. My finicky sleep routine likely came from growing up in a household of four. My sister and I were the only kids, and so when it was bedtime everything was dark and quiet. For the next two-and-a-half decades this was the only way I could sleep. In college, my sleep routine was the bane of my existence, as I lived with roommates who didn’t have much of a concept of inside-only voices after-hours. (Then again, are there really any other kind of college roommates?)
Tom, on the other hand, had quite a different story. He grew up with eleven siblings, and as you can imagine, there was never a dull moment in his house. He learned to adapt and today can still sleep through a train wreck.
While it’s true that I’m not logging nearly as many z’s these days as I was before Jacob was born, the ones that I do get come easily and without a lot of hullabaloo. Now, when it’s time for lights out, I can be asleep in minutes, even if the lights aren’t out, things aren’t quiet and I only have one pillow—and the lumpiest, flattest one at that. (I can even fall asleep on the couch while Tom’s playing one of his shoot ‘em up war video games—and in case you don’t know, those things are far from quiet.)
When you have a little one in the house, you learn to sleep wherever you are, whenever you can. Of course, the whole thing about sheer exhaustion probably has a little something to do with sleep coming easy. And speaking of sleep, I think nap time is calling my name now….