I’ve been struggling to get any form of decent sleep for the last 3 months. Fair enough, you might think, seeing as I have a baby. No, not fair enough. He’s almost 7 months old. I wholeheartedly thought I’d be getting some sleep by now and so, it would seem, does everyone else. Society at large expects that newborns keep you up all night but at 7 months they sleep, at least a bit.
When you have a newborn and you say you’re tired the response is a solemn nod in a respectful manner as if to say “The shear fact that you’re awake and talking to me now is a miracle, I commend you”. When you have a 7 month old and you say you’re tired the response is “How much sleep did you get?” This is no doubt a well-meaning question, but to the sleep deprived it can seem like you’re being set up for some sort of judgement (even the best of us are touchy when we’re tired!) If you answer truthfully that you had 4 hours sleep then your friend will be thinking “What is she complaining about? 4 hours? What I wouldn’t give for 4 hours. What a pansy.” But, and this is the point I want to make, there is a BIG difference between 4 hours all in one go and 2 lots of 2 hours. If you’ve been woken up and dragged out of bed every 2 hours you will not be as rested as someone who has slept for 4 straight hours. I don’t know the solution to this. Short of answering the question with a sum (2 + 2 + 1 + 0.5 + 3 hours) then you’re stuck with a friend wondering what all the fuss is about, a sense of guilt that you feel like your friend doesn’t understand you, and voice inside that wants to scream “Don’t you know how incredible it is that I’m out of the house with all my clothes on and that both my eyes are looking in the same direction?!”
Note – James slept for 4.5 hours IN ONE GO last night. It was heavenly.