I have never been much of a coffee drinker, nor any energy drinks. I have never really needed anything to give me energy or keep me alert because I have always slept well. I have always been well rested and I have always loved sleep. Before coffee became my best friend, sleep was my best friend. I have always taken my sleep very seriously, and I have always gotten my 8 hours or more in. I love sleep so much that even when I was single and living alone and working, I would never meet anyone on a weekday for dinner or a drink. Everyone knew this, because I had to be in bed by 10pm. No one ever bothered calling me for any activity that was past 7pm. I have always been kind of set in my ways that way, I have always been a routine kind of person.
Friday was my party day, Friday I could meet anyone, anywhere, and this is because I knew I would catch up on my sleep on Saturday.
So why is coffee my best friend now??? Simple, motherhood….I am no longer the boss of me or the author of my routine, in almost 3 years now. From pregnancy, you start realizing you are no longer in control of what you can do, but while you are pregnant all you dream of is that little person coming out, you imagine how well you sleep once they get out, people say things like ‘’I miss sleeping on my tummy’’ and believe that once that person is out of you, you will finally get back to your favorite sleeping position.
When you have a newborn, you believe once the baby is 6months they will be sleeping through the night, in their own bed and room. You believe this because everyone convinces you that the reason they wake up a lot while they are newborns, is because they are on a liquid only diet. People tell you that once they start getting some solids in, they will be better sleepers. So some desperate mums even start substituting breast milk with formula or rice cereal believing that the reasons they are not sleeping is because they are not getting enough in their tummies.
After you get past the 6month mark, you believe once they get past the teething age they will sleep. They are up with teething pain and you wonder how long will you have to be up due to teething, you know it will be until at least till their 2nd birthday before they get all their teeth.
We are currently at this stage. She finally got all her teeth and I am thinking well at least we have crossed that hurdle, but now there is a new challenge. I don’t even know how to explain it or what to call it. I think it’s just terrible twos, but now saying goodnight, or going to bed has become a nightmare. LO has always had a loose kind of schedule. She has a bath, eats and plays for a little and then by 8.30 I would take her to bed, read her a story and she would start singing twinkle-twinkle as she drifted off to sleep. This reading and singing was introduced as a substitute to breast-feeding, after we weaned, this became our routine.
I would then get some me time, watch a little TV, hang out with my husband and go to bed at 10pm.
But the last month has become unpredictable to say the least, before I would tell her it’s time to go goodnight, she would run up to her dad, kiss him good night and then run into the bedroom. My husband even once asked, what do you give her when you go in there, because she so excited to go there. Now the word goodnight has become the trigger, once I say it’s time to go good night, its either am hungry, thirsty or just full on tantrum. It has now resulted in her falling asleep on the couch usually as late at 11pm then carrying her to bed, and please note she has to be up at 7am every morning. It’s such a struggle every night for her to finally give in to her sleep. She fights it with everything, and finally is reduced to tears before she actually falls asleep. Then even after she sleeps, she will sleep for about 4 hrs and then get up screaming, night terrors perhaps, I don’t know.
All I know is, I am no longer looking forward to any age or milestone to finally sleep, at this point am I starting to accept between sickness, milestones, nightmares, night terrors, heat, cold, thirst, climate change, seasons, the list is endless, being a mum means, I just might never get my best friend sleep back, I am just grateful that I enjoyed our relationship to the maximum while I could, for now coffee will have to do as a substitute, not my best friend by choice but out of necessity.