I Want Sleep Parity and I Want It Now!

If you have small kids, how do you and your Sig O share the load when it comes to night time and early morning wakings?

For Hubby and me, it has never been even a little bit close to equal.  If one of the kids wakes during the night or before we’re up in the morning, I’m the default caretaker. This drives me nuts.  I know it’s not healthy to keep score, but it’s kind of hard not to when I’m basically batting one thousand.

Biology is part of the problem.  I breastfed both kids and so the assumption is that they are waking to eat, and I’m the food.  I’d be curious to know, though, what the division of labor is for families where there is not a breastfeeding parent.  Is it any more equal?  And, needless to say, it’s not like Hubby started taking half the K-Man wakings when I weaned him.

Another count against biology: I’m apparently wired to wake up to the sounds of baby cries, and Hubby is not.  Or at least that’s what he would like me to believe.  I’m not entirely convinced he hasn’t been pretending to be asleep all this time.  Either way, unless I roll over and physically wake him up to help out, I’m on my own.  It is exhausting — and feels selfish — to have to always beg him to do his share.

To be fair, Hubby’s work schedule makes it impossible for him to wake up with the kids most days.  That’s because on the days that he works, he’s usually leaving the house before they even get up.  (And this is the part where you lose all sympathy for me, right?  But the petty part of me has to point out that when I was working and Hubby was in school, I was still always the one getting up with K-Man, even on the weekends.)

I’m not asking for anything unreasonable.  Here’s what I want: on the days that Hubby gets off, I want an even split between who gets to sleep in.  And I don’t want to have to remind him or ask for it.  I want it to be the default.

These days, if I want the chance to sleep in, we have to discuss it the night before.  I have to make an appointment.  And sometimes, come morning, Hubby doesn’t honor the appointment.  Nothing makes me more grumpy than waking up with the kids when I was led to believe I was going to get an extra hour of glorious sleep.

Last week, Hubby randomly had three mornings off in a row.  Great, I thought, I’ll get to sleep in at least once this week!  We didn’t discuss anything before the first morning off, so Hubby slept in.  I was fine with that, he works hard and deserves his time off.  That night, though, we talked and Hubby volunteered that he would let me sleep in on the second morning.  However, when Ell-Bell woke for the day with her cranky cries, Hubby opened his eyes for a few seconds, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  After I gave him a thorough reaming when he finally did get up, Hubby promised I could sleep in on the third morning.  Well, needless to say, Ell-Bell woke up on Day 3 and Hubby wasn’t budging.  So I passive-aggressively brought her in to bed with us.  She grunted and screeched, but Hubby still snored on.  Finally, I swore loudly and stormed out of bed.  Hubby woke for a few seconds to ask “What’s wrong?” but he didn’t follow up when I didn’t answer and left the room.  I came back up a few minutes later to get K-Man’s monitor, and Hubby was like, “leave it, I got him.”  Seething, I told him it didn’t fucking matter and stomped away.  Another five minutes later, I heard Hubby coming down the stairs, and I instantly felt regret and guilt.  Why am I such a monster about this stuff?  Why can’t I just act like an adult and calmly resolve these issues with my Hubby? Halp!

So yeah, I have some work to do on coming to terms with my current sleep situation.  You know what else would solve this problem, though?  Kids who don’t wake up in the middle of the night!  And kids who don’t wake up at the butt crack of dawn!  Little turds.

Until next time,

Vee

8 thoughts on “I Want Sleep Parity and I Want It Now!

  1. It’s always all me. I am the food source when they are babies, and when they get older, I’m the one who hears them and knows what they need. DH stepped in for morning wake ups the 2 weeks following Zane’s birth, but otherwise, it’s me. Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t breastfeed and we both worked full time with an infant. So our nights were much more evenly split – when little mpb was just a baby we each did 2 nights on, 2 nights off and just rotated. Then as I kept getting sick Mr. MPB did more nights because we realized I needed more sleep just to stay functionally healthy. But I did way more early mornings. I would say on the whole, not breastfeeding really made us more equal partners then everyone we know who did breastfeed.
    All this said, Little MPB didn’t sleep last night and I’m currently a walking zombie and it’s taking every ounce of my being not to lash out at Mr. MPB.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting, thanks for your input! That division of labor definitely sounds much more reasonable to me, but I guess different circumstances call for different realities? At any rate, I’m sorry for the zombie status today! I hope you get tons of rest tonight.

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  3. I’ll be honest, if I didn’t know your husband was doing his residency, I’d be giving him the virtual stink eye. My mom is a nurse though and I know how hard it is for residents, especially that first year. Working those hours is no joke, but neither is momming! When husband and I are tired, stressed, sniping at each other and just at the end, our thing is we try to stop and remind ourselves that we’re both working our hardest. I think a lot of marital discord comes from the perception that the other party has it “better” or “easier” in some way, so checking in with the fact that we’re BOTH exhausted and giving it everything we’ve got helps – not so much with the exhaustion or irrational anger at the non-sleeping children, but at least being less aholes to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes he deserves a virtual (and actual) stink eye, but for the most part he really is doing the best he can in an amazingly stressful job. That doesn’t always make my tired brain resent him any less in the moment, but it definitely helps to look at things in the bigger picture when I can.

      Liked by 1 person

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