If you are considering having kids with someone I offer you one piece of advice: Make sure one of you is a morning person.
The husband and I are both night owls. Before we had kids we’d sometimes sleep til 11am on the weekends and neither one of us saw a problem with that. Wiggles seems to have inherited this trait from us, so even after we had one kid life wasn’t too bad. If we kept him up late, he’d sleep til 9am and everybody was happy.
Then we got all these kids at once and thought we’d never sleep again. In the beginning it was rough, real rough. The Baby was nursing around the clock. The big kids were in a new environment and they were terrified. Bedtime was a fight every. single. night. Sometimes the kids would wake up in the middle of the night in addition to The Baby, and no matter what time we put them to bed we got an early wake up call.
You might remember that Diva refused to sleep by herself in those early days. We bribed Smiles to sleep with her and that worked for awhile, but it wasn’t a really great solution because Smiles hated it. One of our greatest joys throughout this whole journey has been watching shy scared little Diva come into her own. She has become so independent and we are in awe of how brave she is. One day this summer she made up her mind that she was going to sleep by herself, and that was it! We weren’t pressing the issue, she just randomly told me that she was going to do it and I wasn’t sure if I was understanding her correctly or not. But she’s slept by herself ever since and hasn’t looked back!
But we still got early wake up calls. Out of all the kids, Diva is the morning person. She’s almost always the first one up. She will eventually share a room with The Baby and we have a video monitor in there. Besides the week that she woke up singing “Let it Go” from Frozen, she would sit up, scream “MOMMY!” over and over and over again and if I didn’t awaken from a dead sleep and bound into her room in 2.5 seconds then she spent all morning mad at me. She doesn’t do it often anymore, but when she gets angry she almost hisses at you and it’s just not a thing you want to happen ever. So for months, bedtime had been going smoothly but mornings weren’t much fun.
Diva was so proud of her newfound independence that each night we started telling her that she could just wake up. She didn’t have to yell, she could just come into our room and lay in our bed. And it finally worked! A couple weeks ago she ran into our room and we got to lay in bed for 20 extra minutes. It was glorious. We praised her heavily and told her how much Mommy and Daddy LOVE to sleep in the morning. She beamed with pride.
We decided to try to take this one step further. Smiles is usually up shortly after her and we strongly encouraged him to help her in the morning. And for the last three days this is how our morning has gone:
- Diva wakes up, probably does something in her room for awhile, I become vaguely aware she’s laying outside our room on the floor.
- Smiles wakes up, goes downstairs and plays on the iPad.
- Diva follows and either watches TV or watches Smiles play.
- Diva fixes Smiles oatmeal, he hates it, I hear them arguing, one of them runs upstairs to tell on the other one, I half-listen and tell them to work it out, and they leave.
- I lay in bed 30 minutes longer and go downstairs to throw away oatmeal and I don’t even care that I’m wasting food BECAUSE I JUST SLEPT TIL 8:30.
I love my kids always but I really love them when they let me sleep late!