There were a number of nights in a row where my baby slept relatively well. Would it last? What was the magic elixir that solved, even temporarily, our two month sleep “regression” (can it be a regression if she had never slept that badly before)? It was amazing and scary all at once.
Amazing because, well, that meant we could sleep for more than 45 minute increments.
Scary because suddenly our excuse was gone.
Why was our house a mess? Because the baby doesn’t sleep. Why are we having the same not-so-healthy meal for the third day in a row? Because the baby doesn’t sleep. Why have we not started that workout program we agreed to over a month ago? Because the baby won’t sleep.
So after the second night of getting what seemed like enough sleep to regain functioning as a human, I knew I had kick our life back into gear. That day, we tidied the house. I say “we” because there was always a two year old sidekick asking me if it was time to read a book yet. Pro tip here: if you need a way to stay motivated for a fast paced clean, tell your toddler that you’ll read them a book after each room you clean.
But we’ve been through that process before. We’ve spent many Saturday mornings picking up toys, clothes and who knows what else and returning them to their rightful place. But this was different. This was a Wednesday. The toddler wasn’t climbing up her dad’s leg all day, begging him to play with her because she missed him so much when he was at work. There wasn’t the nagging feeling that we should be out doing something fun as a family because it’s the weekend. And most importantly, it meant that by the time Saturday did roll around, we could get to the actual cleaning. Carpets were vacuumed, floors were washed and shelves were dusted with enough time we could head out after the baby’s morning nap to get some stuff done before lunch time.
Getting out the door was smoother. We knew where jackets were. We knew where keys were. We even knew where soothers were. And that last glance through the kitchen as I locked the door wasn’t met with the overwhelming sense of dread of the work that would await us when we got home.
There may have even been an inkling of pride.
And that pride continued through the day as we remembered to do little things like wipe the table after a snack. Put a load of laundry through so we didn’t need to scramble for the “good” socks when putting on M’s boots the next day. Take 2 minutes to tidy before C&M’s uncle came to visit. I finally felt like I was starting to have it all together.
You know the baby’s sleep is going to fall apart again the minute that I hit publish. But I’m hopeful that the secret to keeping this grip on life isn’t a certain number of hours of sleep but rather a certain amount of pride in how good our house looks and our life flows when it is clean.