As a teenager, I wasn’t one of those people who slept until noon on the weekends. Primarily because my mom would never allow such laziness, I’m sure. I don’t remember her ever letting me sleep past 10, and generally, I think she had me up around 9 or 9:30.
Consequently, I wasn’t generally a really late sleeper in college, save those nights when I didn’t make it in until the wee hours. Then, sleeping until noon happened for sure. (Kids, if you’re by chance reading this: if I was up until the wee hours, it was because I was studying at the library. Not drinking at The Library. Promise.)
When Matt and I were newly married, and up through the time we had Luke, I don’t really remember spending too many Saturdays asleep until much later than 9, much to Matt’s chagrin. That man could sleep for days, I think. I’m just the kind of person who has things to do, and too much sleeping makes me start to feel guilty.
Of course, all of that changes when a baby enters the picture.
Sleeping until 9am, unless you’ve spent many of the dark hours awake, is unheard of.
And then that newborn develops a routine of some sort, and then you have another baby, and endure mind-numbing sleep deprivation again, only to move into the “we’re slightly less sleep-deprived, but still too exhausted to adequately describe” phase, and then you have another baby, and think you may die of tired as you rock and feed that baby in the middle of the night, only to have to deal with his brothers who are up with or before the sun each day. And then that baby gets on a normal schedule, so that you can at least generally predict that someone will be up by 6am and beg for attention to some manner of bodily function or food intake need.
The time does come, some years down the road, when you roll over and look at the clock on a Saturday morning and the first number is an 8, and you can scarcely believe what you’re seeing.
We aren’t to the stage where our kids really enjoy sleeping in yet; rather, the two older boys are still usually up by 7 or so, and they head downstairs to read or play quietly. Jack Henry still comes in our room, and he sometimes climbs in bed with us and turns on the TV for a bit, or he’ll join his brothers and they all play nicely for a while.
And Matt and I don’t get out of bed until 8. IT. IS. GLORIOUS. It practically feels like I’m sleeping until noon.
Karen and I were talking last week, and we’ve decided we’ve earned this. Oh yes, we have. Spacing our kids like we did meant that no one ever totally got out of the wakeful toddler stage before there was another baby in the house to throw off the sleep schedule yet again. And on and on for a total of about 9 years, at which point they’re finally able to get up and and take care of themselves for a short time without any major catastrophes (and sometimes, when we’re really lucky, Luke even makes the other boys breakfast).
Just one amazing perk to surviving the first several years, I guess.