We have reclaimed our bedroom. At least for a part of the night.

 

My husband has been sleeping in the spare room so much in the last few months that our three-year-old has taken to calling it 'Daddy's room'. Oh, how pre-baby me would have judged the state of a relationship which involved separate bedrooms. (Pre-baby me would have done a lot of things differently. Like not let their baby eat from the floor).

 

Reclaiming the bedroom. In 10 easy steps:

 

  1. Move cot from bedroom into spare room/daddy's room/laundry room, banging cot off the door frame/your knee/chest of drawers as necessary.
  2. Now that said cot is out of the way, push your bed back into the middle of the room, so that the en-suite door doesn't collide with the bed frame every time you open it.
  3. Note that curtains in spare room are much lighter than in your bedroom. Spend 20 minutes sticking and re-sticking a blanket to the window with crappy masking tape to discourage a 5 am morning waking from baby.
  4. Ensure sufficient pillows in spare room to make you comfy on the bed when you (inevitably) have to go to baby during the night for a feed.
  5. Put baby to bed.
  6. Feel a panic rising in your chest, comprised of equal parts sadness for the new physical night-time distance between you and your baby, and fear that you'll get even less sleep going between two rooms. Shed a tear for how quickly time has passed and continues to pass. How yesterday this baby was lying in bed beside you for the first time and tomorrow he'll be painting his room black and his space will be entirely off-limits to you. Sit on the floor for a bit beside the cot and surrender to the floods of tears ponder the mystery of life
  7. Move cot back into your room. Make a cup of tea to calm your nerves. And some chocolate. Or a whiskey. Whatever your fancy.
  8. Make your (new) old bedroom a haven. Light a candle. Get out the fancy bed linen. To wind down before bedtime, Read a chapter of a book, write in your journal. Resist the urge to scroll through social media before bedtime. Resist! Or give in and promise yourself that you'll resist tomorrow.
  9. Try to sleep but fail because it's so weird that baby's not there beside you. Get up and tiptoe to his door. Freeze with your hand on the door handle as you hear him cough in his sleep. Retreat on tiptoe back to your own bed. Lie there awake. Wonder if he misses you, if he's warm enough. Check multiple times that the baby monitor is on.
  10. Finally sleep.. only to be woken after (what feels like) 5 minutes by crying baby. Rush to him immediately, scoop him up into your arms, feed him to sleep and then go to sleep yourself in the bed beside his cot, soothed by the sound of his snoring.

I'm a mum of two small boys and I write to make sense of this thing called motherhood. Former world traveller, in recent years I divide my time between the beaches, forests and hills of the Northwest and the cafes of Dublin 7.

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