‘Three’, was the answer we gave people when asked how many children we would like. We were still young and naïve. Thinking we could do it all: three perfect kids, an interesting fulltime job and a passionate relationship. Those days we slept nine hours a night. Nine!
‘Two, without a doubt’, we told everyone after the first year with our son, Gust. The average amount of sleep was four hours a night. For a whole year. A very dark year, with some black-outs, a lot of doctor appointments, a total lack of sleep and only a few happy moments. With a ‘sudden reflux diagnose’ after 8 months and the right medication, the sky became a little clearer, but still not bright enough. With a maternity leave of only 3 months, I was more asleep then awake at work. Trying to focus, but often just wanting to take a nap. It was also a year where our relationship suffered. Because little or no sleep makes you irritated, and makes sure you’re not very good at putting things in perspective anymore. With a lot of big fights, without knowing why. We decided to search for a balance again before thinking of a second child. After two years we could enjoy each other again. After three years and a miscarriage, Kamiel was born.
Kamiel was easier. Or maybe we were. He didn’t sleep very well either, but we were more relaxed, we knew it would get better. In the past five years we slept a lot of times apart, so at least one of us could sleep. According to the doctor each two nights in a row was the best solution. There were a lot of mornings that we were mad at each other, just because we were too tired to get up. We bought a bigger bed, that helped. And complaining once in a while. However. There are people who don’t have a relationship, who are not healthy or don’t have children. So I mostly kept my mouth shut. Since we moved to London, it all changed. They both sleep through the night, at least most of the time. They even slept until 7.30 once, both of them! And it will only get better, we’re starting to enjoy them even so much more. But a third child will never be discussed. Not an option. Not only because of ecological, financial or practical reasons. But mostly because we just love to sleep.