Sleep. Just when you think you’ve got it sussed, it all goes to pot. Sleep regression. A phase. Sheer defiance. Call it what you will. It all amounts to the same thing for you. Sleep deprivation. This is what a week in the life of a sleep deprived parent looks like.
Sleep regression phase #527
Day 1. The beginning of the end.
You’re feeling a bit smug. For the past few weeks, bedtime’s been ok. The kids have gone to bed on time(ish). And stayed in bed. ALL NIGHT.
You’ve made the most of feeling less zombie-like by sitting up. Too late. Watching crap TV and drinking wine. Why wouldn’t you? You don’t know that you should have been topping up your sleep reserves.
Because tonight is the night it is all going to go wrong.
Day 2. ‘The less they sleep, the less they sleep.’
There is a really irritating phrase that parents bat about.
‘The more they sleep, the more they sleep.’ No one has a clue how this actually works. We only know one thing. That it also works the other way too. ‘The less they sleep, the less they sleep.’
Yes, last night’s 3 AM showing of The Omen, where you woke to find your child standing at the side of your bed STARING at you, has started the ball rolling. They’ve got a taste for it.
And tonight? They’ll put into action the next part of their plan.
Going to bed on time. But coming down for the next three hours to nick your dinner, ask you irritating questions.
And generally ruin your life.
Day 3. Triple whammy.
This is where your world implodes. And you will start to unravel.
Because day 3 brings with it a triple whammy. Your kid(s) not wanting to go to bed.
So what with that battle, AND the coming down for three hours AND the nightly showing of The Omen, you are totally screwed.
And will spend approximately three hours in your bed, asleep.
If you’re lucky.
(Got a one year old that treats you to a 1.00 AM call? Then you’re probably down to two hours).
Day 4. Crisis point.
It is more likely than not, you will cry on day 4.
As you try to manage overtired children in your own exhausted state. Children who will not get up in the morning. Not get dressed. Not want to go to nursery or school.
You will say things like, ‘THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO GO TO BED AT NIGHT!’
But, of course, they’re still asleep and can’t hear your rant.
Day 5. The End.
Life is over.
Nothing good can happen on this day.
(And God help your other half if he chooses this day to work late/go out drinking/make a silly comment.)
Day 6. ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’
Billy Ocean did it. And you will too.
Day 6 is the day when you have HAD ENOUGH. When you will be forced to do one of two things. Sell your kids. Or do whatever it takes to make them go to bed and stay in bed.
This may involve bribery. Restraints. Or paying a 14 year old to sit outside their door. It doesn’t really matter which. What matters is you WILL break them.
Just like they’ve broken you.
Day 7. Getting your own back.
Your revenge will be putting the kids to bed at 6.00 PM. ‘That’ll teach them,‘ you think (it won’t).
You should go to bed. Catch up on all that sleep you’ve been lusting after. But instead, you will stay up late, watching crap TV and drinking wine. I mean, why not, you deserve it after such a hellish week, right?
And, anyway, this time? You’ve definitely cracked it.