For a while now I have been doing the night duty with the kids. They wake up occasionally between once and 4 times a night. I get to be the one who calms them down, tucks them back in bed if they leave it and come to our room etc. As a result I am really exhausted and not restful in the morning. I basically assumed I have the right to sleep in in the morning. When the kids wake up early in the morning they are looked after by my wife, she prepares breakfast and starts the morning routine. On regular basis I am generally woken up to a grumpy wife and whining kids.
The thought pattern every morning is like this: “didn’t I do enough over the night, waking up multiple times?”, “don’t I deserve a bit of rest to make up for the interrupted sleep?”, “don’t I deserve to wake up to a happy family?” and the resentment builds up.
Yesterday I did something slightly different. Kids came into our bed around 6 am as per the usual routine, then the whining started, and I could see the cycle starting with my wife about to snap at my daughter. I got up and started giving my wife a shoulder rub. It distracted her from the snapping at our daughter, but the little girl kept crying. After a minute of quick rub, I took my daughter and got out of the room, calmed her down and started making her breakfast. Shortly after, my son got out and joined in the breakfast fun.
This gave my wife a chance to get up with ease and get dressed and ready for work without a rush. She had a restful face and she greeted me with a smile and a kiss, thanking me for the shoulder rub. I certainly missed the extra hour of sleep I used to get but I didn’t miss the whining and grumpiness, I also didn’t miss the resentful me I manifested every morning.
Let’s see how often I can keep that going.