14 months ago, I became a mother, and the sleepless nights began. Every other baby I know has gone on to sleep through the night, but not my son. He gets up at least 3 or 4 times a night, and frequently gets up 5 or 6 or even 7 or 8 times a night. He wakes screaming and it can take more than an hour for him to go back to sleep. (I learned the hard way that if you leave him in the crib, he’ll just keep crying.) And sometimes he’ll just be awake–wide-awake–for a long time, like last night, when he was up for close to two hours.
I’m not writing to complain. Though I’ve noticed the perpetually dark circles under my eyes, and though some mornings I have to drag myself out of bed, and though some nights I get super mad at him (like last night, where I finally said, in a firm, almost cruel voice, ”Play time is over, my friend,”), I’ve learned to deal.
In fact, recently, I decided to use that time to write. Obviously, I can’t write write. But I can write in my head. I can think about my current novel-in-progress and work out plot problems. Or think about my dreams (which are dramatic and spell-binding and memorable, especially since they get interrupted in media res) and how they could translate into a story. I’ve never been the type of writer who would drag myself out of bed at 3 a.m. to write because I had to get an idea down, but now I’m dragged out of bed most nights at 3 a.m. so at least I can think about things, and then take notes come morning.
I’ll let you know if it works.