This comes as a shock to most people, but my husband and I have been on a strict schedule for the last 15 months. An “arrangement,” if you will. And since I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on the need for this agreement (please, God), I thought maybe I should share our experience.
You see, we take turns.
Before Dorothy was born, we planned that I would breastfeed. This meant that I planned to wake up with the baby all night, every night. That’s what mommy’s are supposed to do, right? I was as ready as any naive new mother for the lack of sleep I was about to see in my life – meaning, I wasn’t prepared in the slightest.
And then, three days into this motherhood gig, it became very apparent that breastfeeding was just not going to happen for us. Before my husband could even peer through the haze of exhaustion, I had already assigned feeding “shifts.” And being the smart man that my husband is, he didn’t argue with the crazy, hormone-driven, sleep deprived new mom who just had her gut cut open.
At the beginning, we broke up the night. I would take first and third shifts, and he would take second and fourth (And yes, you childless readers, there are really that many shifts or more each night. Proceed with caution.). The next night we would rotate. As Dorothy got older, our schedule lessened to one person taking the night shift and the other waking up for the day in the wee morning hours. Now that she sleeps through the night, most nights, we alternate.
If she sleeps 14 hours on my night? Hallelujah. If she wakes up five times on my husband’s night? Sorry ’bout ya.
I live for Courtny’s night.
When my husband goes away for a week for work, he already knows he gets night shift the whole next week when he gets home. Conveniently, our daughter knows when daddy’s away and sleeps terribly the whole time. If it’s his birthday? I’ll cover his shift. Is one of us sick? Then they’re off the hook. Wake me up on my morning to sleep past 6 a.m.? Prepare to die.
It really is like our bargaining chip. “Happy Valentine’s Day, honey! For your gift, I’ll wake up with the baby tomorrow!” This is married life, people.
What’s funny to us is how many people find our arrangement odd. Yes, my husband works and I stay at home, but both of us need our sleep to function in our designated roles. Maybe our self-imposed schedule makes me a bad SAHM, or makes Courtny look like a saint – regardless, it works for us.
And if momma’s
happy rested, everyone’s happy.
Does anyone else alternate nights with their husband? Do you wake up with the baby every single time (God bless you, if you do)? What sleep arrangement works for your family?