Family Magazine

Sleeping Like a Husband… and Other Perks of the Working Dad

By Morander @notreadbooks

Sleeping like husband!

Hellooooooooooo sleep!

Yes, my dear friends sleepy and bobo are back in the house and I am welcoming them with open arms. The fog is clearing as I swap 40 minute cat naps for solid bouts of sleep. Deep, peaceful sleep!

People are commenting on my returned ability to string sentences together, the black bags under my eyes that have turned a more smokey-grey and noted the reduction in coffee consumption. I’m bright-eyed, motivated and feeling something very mojo-like returning. I’m walking around doing air pistols, high-fiving the boss and even went out for drinks with work colleagues (I was hilarious). The other day I did exercise and I might just do some more tomorrow. Life has, in large, returned to normal.

I’ve just got to remember not to show off about it.

You see my returned zest for life has not come without casualties. As I sit here tapping away there’s a crumpled, exhausted mom lying on the couch staring vacantly at the TV. She might be asleep or it maybe her eye lids have finally stopped bothering to open. Yes we’re through the first torturous weeks but now its the tough bit, when we (who am I kidding – she) spends 30 – 45 minutes about 2am every night waking, stumbling, feeding, patting, stumbling back into bed, where she will spend the next three hours before waking again, this time for the rest of the day.

Add to this a Miss-nearly-three requiring just as much energy to manage as she did before her sister arrived and it’s not hard to understand the hollowed out shell that remains of my wife come 10pm at night.

My situation is the result of an agreement made between many parents when one works out of the home full-time and the other stays with the children. The belief being that I, as a full-time working Dad require my full faculties to do my job whereas my wife, only needs one eye, three-quarters open to do hers.

But is this really fair? Or is it even right? Or, should I listen to that little voice, in the back of my head that’s saying “when you’re on to a good thing… shut up about it!” You see sleep is just one of the perks that I get. The fact I go to work means that I am spending a considerable amount of time with grown ups, talking about grown up things in grown up places like meeting rooms, kitchens and cafes.

There’s also the reduced amount of tantrums that I deal with, and I very rarely have to wrestle a colleague into the naughty corner. Most of the people I work with can wash their own hands and have long since mastered the art of blowing their own nose. I rarely need to stop what I’m doing because someone is bored and wants to make a cubby under my desk and, with the exception of the odd team building exercise, I don’t need to wear sparkly princess crowns (because today we are all princesses Daddy) or worry about the location of baby teddy.

So I’m going to continue to be very thankful for the side of the arrangement I fell on and remind myself when my wife accidentally wakes me at 2:45am that it could be much worse.

So what’s the agreement in your house? How did you handle the sleeping and settling when your little ones were, well, little? Is it right that the working parent (in this case the Dad) gets all the rest?

Sharing my Friday with Grace from who not only runs Flog your blog Friday but also the occasional half marathon! (Good luck Ms G!)

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Sleeping like a husband… and other perks of the working Dad

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