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My Sleep Bank

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Zzzzzz. What’s that? Oh that’s right, it’s when I’m suppose to drift off to la-la land for the first couple of hours, then enter REM sleep for the next couple of hours, then sleep until I wake up for a couple more hours … wait, that’s only six hours of sleep. What about adding two more hours to this gala? In my dreams … which I don’t seem to be achieving because there’s just not enough time in our day to get enough sleep.


Five years ago, I made a choice—change my life in exchange for zero “stranger care” for the newest member of our family. Not quite getting my story? Follow me closely.


Two people meet working at the same company. They have the same shift, having the same days off, and accumulating six weeks of highly-deserved vacation for each person. There’s a Bonus for carpooling, best for the sleep bank, better for our relationship. It’s only natural to spawn an heir from such blissfullness, and spawn we did.


Ah-ha! But there’s more … what to do about child-care? No relatives to rely on, there really is no such thing as “night-care” for anyone who doesn’t have the affordable luxury of getting driven to work in a limo everyday, and I was never really into the idea of having someone else raise our child if I didn’t have to have that happen. My husband wasn’t hip to that idea either.


Then, a door swung open. It swung open so hard it practically whacked me in the face and knocked my sandwich out of my hand! A part-time employee on the dayshift was transferring to another department and I basically could slip right in their chair and voila! Baby now has twenty-four-hour parental care, no strangers to monitor on my webcam, and no instructions to tediously write up. Oh wait … but what about me?


Well, the way I see it, there are always two sides to a story, you know, ying and yang, black and white, dumb and dumber. I guess you could say the one guy who is benefiting from this insanely absurd schedule I have, is not my husband … it’s our dear child. There is always a parent to eat breakfast with and walk to school with. There is always a parent to eat dinner with and go through the nightly ritual of bathing, doing homework, and reading a book before bedtime with. And, there is always a parent present when there is a function at school that requires a parent to attend.


So what if I have to get up before all the breadmakers of the world do? There is no traffic to compete with at 2:30 a.m. in the morning! So what if I have to come home and tend to the housework and the yard work even though my body nags me to climb into bed to try to meet Mr. REM for just one more date. And so what if I no longer have weekends off with my husband and no carpooling bonuses because I have the comfort of knowing our child is happy, well-adjusted, and seems to be enjoying each and every day that comes our way.


Besides, who needs six weeks of paid vacation when only three weeks of paid vacation will do? Who am I kidding?


As I yawn for the umpteenth time and glance at that annoying clock that seems to always have the last laugh, I know that even though my sleep bank is deprived for the moment, our child’s sleep bank is wealthy beyond measure. This is a sweet consolation as I tuck myself into bed knowing that tomorrow I get to arrive at work at 8:30 a.m.! See, there are blessings everywhere!

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