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No Sleep... Or Why My Daughter Has a Foxhole Behind the Couch

I haven't slept in about four months, now. 

The irony of this never ceases to astound me, as each and every time my husband deploys there never fails to be a well meaning person who tries to find the silver lining of the deployment cloud by telling me, "Well, at least you can get some peace and quiet and rest while he's gone."

Well.  Rest.  Right.

Aside from the four children I get to raise all by myself while hubby is off saving the world, the lack of another adult in the house makes me jumpy.  Even when my kids are asleep, the house is clean, the dishes are done, the dog has been let out and in, the doors are all locked, and the stove is off (and all of this has been accomplished maybe ONCE), I still find it hard to fall into a deep and replenishing sleep.

I wake up at every little noise; for instance, the heater clicking on and off.  If the heater is on when I fall asleep, I wake up as soon as it clicks off.  It's too quiet, and no mother is comfortable when there's too much quiet.  I have to get up and check the house.  And since I'm up, I have to check all the locks.  Then I need to get a drink.  I figure I should probably make sure all the kids are still breathing, too. 

It's like the military wife version of "If You Give a Moose a Muffin..." 

If a deployed spouse wakes up, they're going to want to check the doors.  And if they check the doors, they're going to want to check the stove, too.  The stove will remind them that they are craving Oreo cookies.  And if they have an Oreo cookie, they're going to want to have a glass of milk to go with it...

After about a month, you start to recognize all the regulars on the infomercials.

If the planets align and I actually do fall asleep at a decent hour, I seem to sleep with one eye open.  My 14 year old daughter witnessed this in action about a week and a half ago when she opened the door to my room unexpectedly while I was dozing next to my son at about 10:00 at night.

Just the soft sound of a door opening caused the adrenalin to suddenly flood my system.  I was immediately awake and apparently catapulted out of bed in a perfectly executed combat dive.  Twisting in the air, I landed on the balls of my feet, knees slightly bent (one leg behind the other), with my arms ready at a forty five degree angle - a perfect Krav Maga fighting stance.

And I've never taken Krav Maga instruction.

It took about half an hour for me to convince my daughter to come out from her foxhole behind the couch.

I've spoken to other military spouses, and apparently insomnia is quite normal during deployments, even when there are no children involved.  I'm actually a bit surprised that we haven't been targeted as a group by Rozerem and Lunesta as an unsaturated market.

But we do what we have to do; and it gets done, right?  Just a few more months and I'll spend 30 days in jammies taking naps and sleeping 12 hour stretches.

As soon as hubby gets home.  

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