I remember when this phrase meant something completely different before children then it does now. It used to mean you slept extremely well, that you were “out like a light”, or “slept like a rock.” It basically implies that you’ve had a great night sleep and never felt better.
Now I know that the only people who use that term are people who have never had children! Once you become a mother, sleeping like a baby is not exactly considered a good thing. A baby, depending on what stage of babyhood they are in, wakes every few hours to eat, or get a diaper change, or just need to be snuggled, hugged, and loved (my personal favorite!). The longest that my children slept during the night when they were itty bitty babies was for 3-4 hour stretches at a time if I was lucky, and I was pretty happy with that. As they grew, it of course got longer and longer which is great right? Well, wait…we haven’t factored in the colds that they get which always seem to happen right when they learn to fall asleep on their own…why is that? Or the ear infections that will keep them (and of course you), up all night long the poor dears. Or the teething, night terrors, and gas pains.
No, when you are a mother and someone says “I slept like a baby” your first thought is “I’m so very sorry” because it implies something completely opposite from a good nights sleep.
Now, “sleeping like a teenager” that is something dreams are made of. Don’t you remember sleeping in until 11am and thinking it was still too “early” to get up? When you were able to sleep through something nobody should be able to sleep through like an extremely loud and violent thunder and lightning storm, or better yet…an earthquake?
As a mom, I now “sleep like a baby” almost every night. I have a baby monitor next to my bed to hear the baby if he needs something. The two older boys are across the hall, so I sleep with my bedroom door open slightly so in case they need something I will be able to hear them. That’s just what a mom does, and I want to be there for them. Usually I will have to get up with one of them for something. So if I get a 4 hour stretch of sleep one night…I’m doing pretty darn well. My husband, well that lucky guy is one of those…those…PEOPLE who sleeps through just about anything. If we have a night where more than one child is up at the same time, I have to wake my husband up to help out (which he is always willing to do…bless him). Yep, he’s that guy who could sleep through an earthquake. <insert nasty expletive here>
Then I remind myself how fast the years are going by. How pretty soon my baby will be where my oldest son is. At an age where he still needs me for some things, but not for all things and usually never during the night. I try to cherish the late night hours of snuggling and holding and comforting the younger boys because I know all too soon the tables will turn and I will be battling with them to get up, because it’s noon already!!
But if I could just get in a few nights here and there where I was “sleeping like a teenager” that would be perfection! Dreams to dream!