As long as I can remember, I have wanted a little family of my own. I always knew I wanted to have children. Even when I was still a child myself, I was always drawn to little ones. I started babysitting when I was nine years old. By 15, I was babysitting for neighbors who had three girls, newborn to age six, and I loved it. I was ecstatic when I became pregnant with my first child, ecstatic again for the second pregnancy. My husband and I have planned and prioritized for me to be able to stay home with them until they are well-established in school. In so very many ways, I have everything I have ever wanted.
No one prepared me for the sleep deprivation. Sure, I knew about sleep deprivation with a newborn. Really, sleep deprivation with a newborn was no big deal (although my wee one tested that by waking every 45 minutes during the night for three months after our international move). That age and phase (while seemingly endless at the time) pass in a blink. But here I am, nearly five years into full-fledged mama-hood, and I have been blessed with two beautiful, sweet, healthy early risers. I myself am a night owl, in no way to be confused with "morning person". This in itself is not so problematic, except I am also one of those difficult people who need at least 8 (preferably 9) hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and ready for the day...and that just isn't going to happen unless I go to bed shortly after the kids do.
I'm just putting this out there as a parental warning label for any readers who might be ripening their way to parenthood anytime soon. Those assurances from well-meaning grandparents that you will adapt and won't notice the sleep loss? NOT TRUE. Enjoy sleeping now! Cultivate relationships with your parents and in-laws so they will happily take your precious darlings overnight so you can revel in waking up to your own rhythm once in a while. Heaven, I'm telling you! As for adapting, I'm sure this will happen over time. I've been in the trenches for five years, and I'm still waiting for it, but I'm sure it will come. I'm thinking that by the time my girls are pre-teens or so, I should be much more ready to greet the day at the crack of dawn. And then it will be payback time!