When our second daughter was born nearly five years after our first, my husband and I were mentally prepared for months of sleep deprivation. Our firstborn had been colicky, and didn’t sleep through the night for nearly a year.
There was a large age gap for a reason, people.
One night, when our baby daughter was four weeks old, we both woke in a panic in the wee hours of the morning, having slept through the night. We jumped out of bed to the cradle in the corner, hearts in our throats -- and there she lay, sleeping peacefully. Confused, we looked at each other and one of us said, “Maybe she’s our consolation prize.”
Granted, we’ve had many sleepless nights for one reason or another with both children, and I’ve never met a parent of young children that claims to get enough sleep. If they do, they’re probably lying … or Gwyneth Paltrow, but that’s a rant for another day.
Even during spells when our kids are sleeping, we tend to fall into insomniac patterns. Sometimes it’s because we’re on edge for that cry we know is just around the corner, sometimes we just want to enjoy some me-time before finally crashing, and sometimes it’s, “One sheep, two sheep, cow, turtle, duck, Old McDonald had a farm, HEEY Macarena!”
Sleep deprivation among parents has become such a phenomenon that Sleep Vacations has become a thing. A five-star resort in Europe is offering a ‘Week of Sleep for Exhausted Parents’ package, claiming to “restore balance to frazzled parents by providing the right conditions for healthy sleep.”
While staying at the beachfront, boutique hotel, you’ll be fed meals full of tryptophan (that sleepy amino acid found in turkey that’s responsible for many a Thanksgiving day nap), participate in relaxing yoga sessions, and be massaged into snooze-ville. Most importantly, you’ll work with psychologists who will teach you tips and tricks for relaxing at home, so that you can fall into sleep, sweet sleep, even after you arrive back home.
Unfortunately, the staff at Hotel Sleepy won’t accompany you home to get up with your hungry baby, cranky toddler, or sick kiddo at 2A.M. But hopefully you’ll be rested enough that it won’t be as big a deal as it was before.
Does a sleep vacation sound like heaven to you?