Sleep Makes Me Anxious


We all have those little “mom” things that we obsess over and keep us up at night. Sleep is mine. I know it sounds funny.

When Harry Potter was born he didn’t sleep.

He just never got tired.

He would fight sleep at all costs.

We would try and put him to bed at a normal time, but hours and hours later he was still awake.

Mr. Spreadsheets and I many a night lying on his floor singing Chicka Chicka Boom Boom until after 10pm.

He didn’t nap, he rarely slept through the night, and he almost always woke up HOURS before sunrise.

By his third birthday I was pretty desperate. By his fourth birthday, I was almost hysterical.

We tried everything to get him to sleep.

I read every sleep book, tried every method, and nothing worked.

You name a method and we did it. Cry it out, bribes, songs, a new bed, new room, co-sleeping, melatonin, and even anti-anxiety medicine.

At one point, as we approached his fifth birthday, I was sitting in the pediatrician’s office crying and pleading for a solution. Our pediatrician suggested removing his tonsils. At that point, surgery didn’t seem like a drastic solution, that’s how bad it was.

At 4 years, 8 months, and two weeks (yep I remember the day), he got his tonsils and adenoids removed. Best day of my life.

Waiting for surgery

He started to sleep! He still woke up hours before I wanted him to, didn’t nap, and fought going to sleep, but he slept through the night!!! And I started to breathe a little bit easier.

When AsthmaMan was born, we were in the thick of sleep deprivation.  I was terrified he would have the same sleep issues as his older brother.

He didn’t.

He napped like a champ, and slept awesome from day one.

Waking AsthmaMan up from his nap to go get Harry Potter from school.

He still naps some days, doesn’t object to “quiet alone time” on the days when he doesn’t nap, and sleeps the through the night unless there’s a serious issue… or we are on vacation.

The Princess was a bit more high maintenance, she is after all a Princess. But she naps well, and sleeps through the night.

As the third child, she’s learned to nap where she can.

Out of necessity the younger two were left with simplified bedtime routines. They want stories, but then they want to work things out on their own. When we are home and they’re alone in their own rooms this is blissful.

Even though Harry Potter sleeps through the night now, thinking about lost sleep keeps me up at night!

Our initial experiences with sleep deprivation turned me into one of those “crazy moms”.

I will NOT miss nap time unless there is an emergency. No playdate, shopping trip, doctor’s appointment, carpool, or activity is worth the screaming that results from missed sleep.

I start planning for bedtime around 4pm. My kids go to bed, with very few exceptions, at 7pm. Life ends after 7:30pm… there is no reason for the small people to be awake after that.

I know some flexibility needs to enter the equation.

I know I need to relax my death grip on sleep a little bit.

An extra fifteen minutes probably won’t kill us, but after years of  constantly thinking about sleep, strateging ways to trick Harry Potter into getting an extra 10 minutes, and working naps and bedtime into every facet of my life, I just can’t let it go quite yet.

Until I change my thinking, bedtime will remain at 7pm.  And… we will be all the more rested and pleasant for it.


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