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My four children are between the ages of 18 and 9 now. And would you believe it? I still get up at night and make sure their rooms are neither too hot nor too cold, and there are no spiders or cockroaches preying on my darlings, and my nine years old still has a bad dream from time to time. My sleeping patterns have been wrecked for eternity it seems, I no longer wait to have it return to "normal" or whatever I thought that was.

When my big children go out to parties I WAIT for them. And if they come back at three o'clock at night I can't sleep before that. I have to get rid of that annoying habit, the big boys hate it.


(But when they were small, my husband was just the same like me. Often he took over and let me sleep. He has a very light sleep.)

oh, I used to RUN into my second's room at the sound of a dropped pacifier. How can one come to hear the sound of a dropped pacifier?? And how did I beat him waking up to put it back in. Talk about wrecked sleep...but like you said, postnatal depression is a bitch.

When my daughter(5yrs) has a bad dream or wakes during the night and I go running... when I get there she asks for her dad. She is really close to dad at this stage. So when I hear her now, dad gets woken to go! I have been 'caught' too many times rushing there and not being needed! :( [I had my time in the beginning, now it is dad's turn]...for now.

My husband is just like that. Once, when our oldest was a baby, I got so frustrated with it, I turned the baby monitor on high and held it right next to his ear the next time the baby cried. It was so satisfying to watch him jump.

I don't have kids (yet) but my "mom" instinct was in high gear when I was a counsellor at a sleep over camp. I always seemed to be the first to wake up when one of the kids knocked in the night.

The setup was a cabin with three rooms in a row: 12 kids on each end, 6 counsellors in the middle. However, I got up in the night with kids from either cabin group because I never had the heart to tell a sad child that I would wake her counsellor for her.

This was very tough with one homesick girl, I stood by her bunk for at least an hour each night to get her to sleep. The bathrooms at camp were kybo's (out houses) about 30 m from the cabin, so sometimes we were up with escort duty with kids and a flashlight ... in the rain :)

It was still a great experience.

Last night, Rosebud and I were snuggling in my bed. This was well before bedtime, but after dinner. She was flipping through a picture book, and I had my eyes closed.

D'you know? When she's literally pressed up against my side - that's the *only* time that mommy alertness is completely switched off. I can see the appeal of co-sleeping, if for no other reason than that relief.

Flip side? I sincerely doubt Buddy would sleep as well as he does now. ;-}

A train could go throw our house and dh wouldn't hear it. I think it's just the way we're made since it seems that most men are like this and most women are up with the kids.

I think I am going to have to be the first to admit then when I am asleep, I am as good as dead. It wasn't so when my kids were tiny babies. But my youngest is only 21 mos and I hear nothing once I am asleep.

Actually, that is only partly true. My husband works very late nights and I will eventually get up if he isn't here but I don't know if its just that he is faster than me or if I just know he's home, when he is, I don't hear a thing.

But just last week, my husband came in at 2am, woke me up (which was when I heard my 5 year old crying in the bathroom, he'd had an accident). He said he could hear my son from outside. I never heard a thing or maybe heard it as background noise to my dream but never woke from it.

I'll take my worst mother of the year award now.

Tertia, I'm right there with you. Last night Joseph was up so many times I lost count and Emily was up once.

My husband saw me stumble out of our bedroom this morning and said "so, did he let you sleep much last night?" And he truly had NO clue, despite the fact every time I came to bed I had to get right back out of it a few minutes later.

And we DO have the king sized bed.

My DH is the same. Our daughter comes into our room in the middle of the night when she's sick or had a bad dream. She'll be laying there crying or talking to me - right next to him - and he'll have no knowledge. Funny thing is she won't bother him either at night. She goes right for the Mommy. She knows where her bread is buttered.

That feeling never goes away. My kids are in their 20's and don't live at home anymore, but when they're upset about something & call home, I can tell from the first "hello" that something is wrong. I instantly feel upset myself & on high alert.

I'm a teacher, and hear lots of teenaged weeping (usually accompanying explanations of why homework didn't get done), but the same stories from my own daughters make me feel "anxious, hyper alert, and distressed." Just as you describe.

I guess if nature didn't program us to care so much, the species wouldn't have survived...

I wouldn't put up with that for one minute. You work a day job just like he does. Give him a little kick in the shins and wake him up, especially when it's his fault one of the kids is awake. My husband and I have alway split nighttime duty (traded nights). Use earplugs on his nights...he will wake up eventually if the kids really need something.

All these pleasant comments after this pleasant post - doesn't this situation make ANY of you angry? I'm very angry that I'm the only one with disturbed sleep, but then again, I'm also angry that I'm the only one feeding, bathing, diapering - not to mention cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, so maybe it's just part of a bigger picture.

I will admit to having several meltdowns over this very issue. Any time my daughter is teething or has a cold, we have literally weeks of interrupted sleep. The screaming darling has been laid right beside him, and more doors have been slammed shut than during all the daylight hours put together.

I'm glad to see most of you handle it better than I.

You described my nights exactly. Sometimes I get annoyed, place a good kick in husbands side and make him get up. But not usually. The fact is, he really does not hear them! He wonders how I can hear a weak cry from the bedroom while I am in the kitchen, while the hood is on and the tv is on and someone is talking. All other mothers I know are pretty much the same, with superman sense of hearing for children in need! Isn't it amazing?

Our little one has had a high temp for the last two nights. Last night hubby got up with me at 2am, we went downstairs and had a cup of tea together whilst watching Sky news and soothing unhappy baby. We crawled back into bed at 4am and at 7am he woke the boys for school, got them ready and then took them to school before starting his work day.

I told him that he mustn't get up tonight because there's no point in both of us being tired. I'll do the night shift if he takes the boys to school.

No-you can't have him, I'm keeping this one!!!

It's the flip side in our house. Hubby always gets up for the twins as I am in charge during the day. Only if it's something he can't handle, like one unable to stop crying, does he come and get me.

My husband rarely wake up when our kids cry at night. Sometimes I get up for them, sometimes I wake him up so he can check on them.

our daughter amelia has her dad's number - she (13 months) CALLS FOR HIM early in the morning . . . dad dad dadadadad . . . he can't resist. when she was sick a couple of days ago, i brought her back into bed to breastfeed and comfort her while sponging her down to reduce her fever. she slapped her dad's face and yelled at him until he woke up and gave her some attention - and he wasn't allowed to go back to sleep until she was good and ready!

he sleeps through almost everything, so i tend to be the one up if she is sick, but when she was between 5 and 10 months, he would hear her before me, and be up to get her and bring her back to bed for a feed. i put the kibosh on that tho, telling him that he was welcome to get her up at 1am and 4am, but that he was on his own until at least 6am, as i would die if i had to keep waking (at 47, sleep seems far more essential than 20 years ago) during the night. three nights later she was sleeping 10 - 12 hours - he wasn't game to manage her without my nipples as a backstop.

when she is unwell or teething, we take turns at patting or rocking her if needed, which means i have to wake him at times, but he is fair-minded about it!

the ultimatum re me needing sleep worked, and i was prepared to move into another room to make it happen if he had really struggled with letting her settle herself without being picked up. he is the most giving person ever, so this wasnt a case of him being lazy or neglectful just me needing to set limits on myself. if you are feeling overworked and resentful because it always falls on you to deal with the kids at night - perhaps you could figure out a way to make a similar ultimatum, or even take the child to daddy in the night, then go and get back int the kids bed yourself and leave him to it . . . lock the door if needs be. he will sort it soon enough.

Are you certain that you are not me, and Marko is not my husband? My darling hubby works the night shift, 5 nights a week, so I am the only one to get up with our 5 month old. On his two nights off he tells me to turn the baby monitor up extra high and he will get up with the baby. Sounds nice, except that by the time I hear the baby, push, kick, shake, and finally scream "Tom, the baby's awake!!!!!" I am beyond sleep myself. So guess who gets up? And more infuriating, guess who gets up the next morning and says "So, the little guy slept through the night, huh?"

This is one irritating husband habit mine does not have. (There are others to make up for it) He is a SUPER light sleeper and I could sleep through a train wreck next to my ear. He gets up for everything now. If he can't find a particular medicine or thinks maybe someone is sick enough to go to the doctor then he will wake me up but 99% of the time he deals with the nighttime bad dreams and illnesses and has since the kids were out of infancy. Even when they were babies, he helped with the nighttime feedings. He always said, "I'm awake, I might as well help."

Of course it also helps that I am a psycho bitch until I've had coffee. When the twins were three or four they would wake him up by whispering "Baba...please wake up and make coffee for Mama."

I am a lucky bitch in this respect. Now lets not discuss the hoarding scrap lumber husband habit...

My husband it also annoying in this way. He will ask in the morning how Jake did and when I say terrible. He says "I thought he did better." That was because you were SLEEPING! He also likes to go on about how tired he is even knowing that I may have gotten up 4 or 5 times the night before... I do think I will keep him though as we have three little boys five and under and he is very good at playing boy stuff.

Sounds like you need more wine or sleep meds ;) Husband said dogs were up barking their heads off around 2 am I heard NOTHING. :)

If you wanted a man to get up with the children during the night, you should have married a firefighter. My dear husband is accustomed to getting up during the night for work and takes his fair share (if not more than his share) of the night wakings at our house! Of course, he is at the firehouse one night out of three and on those nights I am on my own.

Oh my god, I'm with you. I can't even sleep in the same room as the girls. If Latara so much as rolls over, I am awake and sitting up, completely alert. Tylah on the other hand kicks me in the head while I am sleeping, so really, she wakes me up.

I couldn't resist commenting on this post! That is exactly how things were in our house until about 4 months ago. I would always get up with the kids and hubby would barely remember the night before. Sometimes he would even roll over and say something like the kids are calling you. Of course they are callin me. You haven't gotten up with them more than 5 times in the last 6 years.

Anyway, I started working insane hours and I stopped hearing the kids. I would sleep right through their bad dreams and cries in the night. The hubby actually started getting up with them. It helps that we moved our bed so now his side is near the door and when the kids come into our room they have to go through him to get to me. They have even been calling out to him in the middle of the night. I kind of like this tables turned stuff that has happened!

"This is all part of our biological makeup as human babies are dependant on adults for their survival and the only way a baby knows how to communicate is by crying."

I have heard recently how babies are being taught sign language, they can learn it earlier than they can speak. That really excites me as we have 2 grandchildren to be born in the next few months. (Ian's daughter and mine are pregnant). The girls are intrigued as well.

That is so funny. When my 1st child was born, he would just go "ah" and I would be awake. The fact that we lived in a matchbox in London probably also helped! No need for baby monitors in that house!
When my daughter was born 2 and a half years later, its like my body tuned out to my sons cries! Only my husband heard him, and got up to sort him out! I was always up with little madam, so thats how it worked for us! Also the fact that madam was a very difficuilt little baby, so I was surviving on minimal sleep, probably meant that I was comatose and not even a bomb would arouse me when I finally got some shut eye!! But when madam went "ah" - eyes open, heart pounding, wide awake - you know the drill...

My husband is the same way. He hears NOTHING, despite the fact that there's a baby monitor in the bedroom so he can hear me in there dealing with whatever problem woke the kid up. What if I ever need to take an overnight trip and leave him in charge of the kid? Sheesh.

I swear, if I had a do-over, I would have entered this marriage with the facts on the table: 1 - I don't like to cook and refuse to do so. 2- I don't like to clean and refuse to do so. 3 - Sleep is my favorite thing in the whole world, so you will be expected to get up with the kids.

It's all about managing expectations, which clearly I failed to do.

Ya gotta give Marco a shove in the middle of the night and tell him to take a turn, or you can't go to work in the morning and bring home that nice paycheck at the end of the week. It's the only way to get a heavy sleeper to get up with the kids -- the prospect of a spouse losing a job combined with a heavy "reminder" push.

I bet he's just got used to how things are and has adjusted accordingly. He knows you will get up for them and that you can hear everything. He probably thinks you don't mind it and so he has gotten used to sleeping through it. He probably does hear some of it but just rolls over as he knows you'll get up. I'd be willing to bet that some of it is learned behaviour. You will have to re-teach him if you're not happy about it.

If the cry isn't alarming... I pretend I'm dead asleep and I can't hear our daughter, so my husband gets up! But, if I have to get up.. you can guarantee my husband won't get any sleep. I bring our two year old to bed with us... which in the end results in my hubby getting up and taking her back to bed to settle her down! Of course, if she's not feeling well, mommy is there to make her feel better!

Laura, hubby is a Fire Fighter too. Didn't seem to respond to the calls of our children when they were younger though! Maybe I should have had a cry activated ALARM BELLS go off in his ear ;)

Had to share this one: daughter (4.5 yrs at the time) had thrown up twice in the middle of the night. Husband slept through the ordeal although she is very brave and quiet about it. After she felt better, she wanted to sleep in our bed. Why not. Husband hadn't budged and I knew I wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon. Daughter snuggled in our bed, fell asleep quickly and I went to first floor to work. Few hours later, dog comes to get me. Stares at me in her dog way of being irritated at her humans, dog turns to return upstairs and I follow her, as she clearly instructed. Daughter is awake, crying since she got sick again but this time, while in our bed (and thankfully in the towel I had left). So I got her settled again... and the entire time, my husband slept peacefully, inches from the action. Even the dog - THE DOG - responded to my daughter's needs while my husband slept. In the morning, my husband wondered why our daughter was in our bed.

I was like that until this past month or so. I always check my 4 year old out before I go to bed, but apparently I sometimes do not hear her in the night. I remember when she was a baby she didn't want ANYONE except me. Even if he took her for awhile so I could sleep and she started to cry I would wake instantly. My whole body knew she needed me and wouldn't ALLOW me to sleep.

I just had a thought: What do two gay men with children do? Hmmmm....

Hi Tertia

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Seems you can never win.

When my kids were small my late husband said to me one day: "It's a man's prerogative to sleep through the night. I work." Well at the time I worked too! But, him being an adamant and strong-willed individual, that pretty much set the tone!

Now that the kids are in their teens, I don't get up for them anymore. I now have a new husband, and he's the one keeping me awake. No, not for amorous adventures - with his snoring. I have to wake up, nudge him in the side, saying "Darling, could you turn over please". And he turns over, falls asleep and starts all over again. By that time I need to wee...

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