My children have never been the best of sleepers. In fact it won't surprise you that I have written of their night-time habits in previous posts.
Six year old now usually sleeps through though and has done so for about a year now. Three year old has been coming in to sleep with me pretty much every night since she was a baby though.... until.... now I was not really sure if I should write about this as it may jinx things but here goes.... since the last half-term holiday three weeks ago she has been staying in her bed until at least 6am most nights.
I can't possibly explain to anyone else how amazing this is. At times I have been so wretched with tiredness I could barely function. It has at times made me feel depressed and most definitely made me 'grumpy mummy' on and off. I am fairly certain that my inability to focus, remember or communicate contributed to my employers' recent decision to 'let me go' - although they are of course far too British to say so. In recent months I have questioned over and over whether I can continue to bring up two wonderful people alone in such a state - particularly in the early hours of the mornings. Of course if you read other posts you will also know that I also enjoy the time with my girls and the love they give me and that is one of the things that gets me through.
But now I am beginning to feel like a real person again. I know I shouldn't count my chickens and there are always going to be times when I am woken in the night - I live alone with two young children so there is never a 'this is it' time, things are constantly changing and evolving. But it does feel as though we are turning an important corner.
Usually when I get up for my shower - always the first thing I do as it helps to wake me and often means the girls are still sleeping while I collect my thoughts for the day - I either leave at least one child in my bed or return to my room to find both snuggled up in there. As I came out of the bathroom to get dressed this morning I found my bed still empty and could hear chatting voices from the girls' bedroom.
It took a great deal of willpower to prevent myself from sneaking to the door to listen in to their private conversation. It was so lovely to hear them talking to each other without needing to refer to me.
Of course it does mean I missed out on my morning cuddle! Extra cuddles tonight I think.