Hard to Share?

As you may know if you’ve ever once read this blog previously in the last two years, we don’t always get the best sleep in our house. (Ha! Reading over that sentence just now made me snort. OK, it made me smirk, but I’m tired, so my sense of humor is functioning on a sliding scale on which a smirk equals a snort – trust me). I mean, someone in our house usually gets some good sleep but it never seems to happen at the same time or to the same someone for very long and therefore there is also always someone who is a little bit sleepy and little bit cranky among us. And yes, by someone I often mean me! But, as always, I keep trying to not let my sleep acquisition (or lack thereof) determine my mood/behavior, while constantly and forever searching for ways to get more sleep (for all of us). In fact, I believe that More Sleep has become the greatest quest and confusion in my life as a mama.

Luckily, as you may also remember, our newest sleeper Lincoln is actually doing pretty well. Much better than his older brother or sister ever did at this age, I believe. And yet, he is a noisy little guy, especially when he sleeps; and since he’s in our room, those noises have bothered me and my sleep/mood/behavior quite a bit. So after my last post about all this, several of you asked about moving him out of our room or at least not having him quite so close at night. And trust me, I heard you. I agreed with you! I just didn’t know how to follow through with what you said.

Part of my reservation for moving Lincoln is that it requires moving the other two, too. Actually, that is my only reservation. I would be totally cool with Lincoln having his own little space where he can be Mr. Night Noise all he wants and all I’ll hear is when he’s actually awake enough/wanting milk. That would be lovely. What I’m less than convinced on, though, is how it will be to have Harrison and Raegan in the same room as that is our only solution given the bedroom arrangement in our house.

We are in love with many elements of our house. Moving last year was total chaos but totally worth it, especially now that we’ve had have our third Little join us. But what is less than ideal is that our house has two bedrooms on the main floor and two (plus a window nook) on the half-story upstairs. Our kids are just young enough and still potentially needing us during the night enough that I hate to split up with anyone on a different level than the others. As a result, we are cozy and close at night and the only way to get Lincoln out of our room is to put Raegan in with Harrison.

Thanks to all of our hard work last summer with the Sleep Shuffle, I don’t think the going to bed part would be too hard. I’m sure there would be shenanigans at first but our trip to South Dakota showed us (and by us I totally mean Ben because he is the rock star who puts the older two to bed every night) that HD & RL can actually go to sleep pretty easily in the same space. They did it well at both my parent’s and the hotel, so certainly they could manage it in their own house, right?

What concerns me is the potential for early morning wakings. Although he occasionally sleeps all the way through to Good Mornings, Harrison often comes in our room sometime after 5 to go to the bathroom. Why he feels the need to come through our room instead of just through the hallway is beyond me, but so it goes. We can often send him right back to bed until it is actually time to get up and a lot of the time, he actually stays. The problem we had at my folks’ house, though, was that when he got up at 4:30 to pee, he woke up his sweet sleeping sister roommate (not to mention, the rest of us!) and that was it. There was no going back to bed for either of them (not to mention, the rest of us!). And that, my friends, was awful. I don’t want to go back to the land of pre-5 wake ups. I am tired and cranky enough as it is and I don’t think my psyche can handle starting our days any earlier than we already do.

So what do we do? Our current solution is to have Lincoln’s sleep spot in the corner of our room, as far from our bed as he can be, and a pillow on my head. Yes, you read that right. A pillow on my head. I discovered this trick last weekend when a big thunder storm rolled through just as I was trying to go to sleep. It was soft rolling thunder which I would normally find pretty but at that point was just annoying, so I grabbed a small pillow, plopped it over my ear and feel asleep. And wouldn’t you know it? I didn’t hear Lincoln until after 6 the next morning! I’m sure he made noise, of course, but he was fine without nursing the whole night. It was wonderful and thanks to the same pillow-on-the-head routine, we’ve actually had a few nights in the last week of the same big stretch of sleep.

Somehow, though, I don’t think I’m going to be able to keep sleeping with a pillow balanced on my head for the next three-four months, which is when we thought we’d move the kids around, so really, how do we do this? Do you have experience with kiddos sharing the same bedroom? How did you make it happen? What did you learn from the transition? Any advice you have to share would be greatly appreciated. We are a busy bunch these days, so we’ll take any and all help we can get!

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