At Home Mums' Blog

Take a light hearted look at the issues faced by mums home with the kids. Read some personal views on the challenges of raising children today, and the pressures mums face. My website - - has some more serious and hopefully useful stuff on all these topics. I'd love to get your comments and advice. If anyone out there can help this mum maintain her sanity, it would be much appreciated!

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Sleep or sex - Can we have both??

I was just reading an article that said that 56 % of Aussies interviewed would rather have a good night's sleep than sex. And I have to say, right now, I'm with them. It didn't say how many men or women were surveyed, how old they were, whether they had kids, were in a relationship or gagging for it (sorry!), so my suspicions are that the figures might be over stated. But, I have to say, that if you surveyed a group of mums and dads with two or more pre-schoolers, the sleep might win out.

We have been saying for the last 2 1/2 years that it'll get easier when they sleep through. And that doesn't just apply to sex, but also to our social lives, watching a TV program after 9:30 without snoozing on the sofa, having the energy to talk to each other of an evening, waking up full of the joys of spring, or at least with half the energy of the children, and basically functioning like we used to pre-kids.

Michael is coming up for 3 and we still haven't cracked it. We live in hope that when he drops his day sleep, he'll sleep better, but for now we are almost resigned to the nightly wake up calls. We have tried control crying, and threats and bribery, and I honestly think he tries, but he just can't do it. Earlier in the year he seemed to be waking with nightmares, and I took to lying down with him until he fell asleep. This was not a wise move, as he loves sleeping with his mummy and it soon became a regular occurrence. And for me, I was taking the easy option, avoiding the tears and tantrums and getting as much shut eye as possible even if it was squashed on one side of a single bed with a toddler who has a habit of sleeping sideways.

When the other half took some time off work between contracts, we decided to tackle the sleep issue head on. For two months, mummy didn't get up when Michael cried. Instead, daddy went in, and daddy was much firmer and stricter, and refused to be a softy like mum. The plan was that Michael would get no benefit from waking up (or waking us up) so he'd eventually stop doing it. Three months on and with daddy about to go back to work and therefore stop being on call over night for the kids, we are only marginally better off. I can now go in, tuck him back in and return to my own bed, but I still have to get up.

We have tried lights on, lights off, night lights, music at bed time, different pjs in case he's getting cold, or hot, a new doona and talk, lots of talk about how impressed mummy and daddy would be if he didn't wake us up. We even tried moving Holly into the same room, but that meant evenings were a disaster as well, so that didn't last long.

So a full night's sleep, with no interruptions would be heaven, although I suspect I'll have forgotten how if I ever get the chance. And yes, given the choice, sex or a full night's sleep, I'll go for the sleep. After all we can always have a quicky while the kids are glued to the television, so long as we lock the door, forget any ideas of foreplay and don't fall asleep before we get started!

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Anonymous Lelah said...

At the moment sleep is what I covert too! With our first baby, we had a brilliant start to sleeping, but with her brother's arrival, things have got complicated. Her bed is in our room at the moment until her brother manages to sleep through the night. As a mother I hear EVERYTHING, so I'm awake way too much!!!!

28 March 2011 at 9:11 pm  

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