Let me count the ways. . . Despite all the research I did before we moved to Saudi Arabia, I completely missed the memo on jet lag. Obviously I knew that traveling any significant distance involves some, but jet lag + kids is a whole different ball game! Traveling 30 to 36 hours with kids is no party, but sadly in many ways that's actually the easy part of traveling long distances.
Night #1 We arrived late at night and were tired from many, many hours of traveling, so we all slept well. I was thinking, great, we'll transition to the new time schedule easily this time. Silly me.
Night #2 The night was a blur of the two older children coming into my room and me walking them back to bed. And Emily calling from her bed "It's breakfast time!" and "I want to get dressed." Or my personal favorite, "Mommy, my eyes are stuck open!" I think I got out of bed around 12 to 15 times. The kids kept saying things like "I can't sleep" and "But I'm not tired." And I kept saying things like "Just lay in your bed and rest. . . .with your eyes closed." It felt like I had 3 newborn babies, all on different schedules.
Night #3 Basically a repeat night #2, but fortunately I only got out of bed about 6-8 times. The kids are sufficiently over-tired now so they want to sleep during the day. I keep pulling kids out of bed and off of couches where they are trying to sneak naps. And of course over-tired kids = grumpy kids = grumpy mommy.
Night #4 All 3 kids sleep until 1:30am. Hallelujah! I've actually gotten a few hours of sleep all in a row! I wake up to the sounds of children in the kitchen and go out to find a breakfast party. Feeling awesome-ish from my couple hours of continuous sleep, my children momentarily convince me that it is morning. All 3 are eating breakfast and Elizabeth has even dressed herself and fixed her own hair.
Finally my semi-conscious, totally sleep-deprived brain realizes it is still very dark outside. I look at the clock:
Ok everyone, back to bed!! (Well, after I take pictures that is. . . )
Night #5 The girls only wake up once or twice each, but Erik wakes up around 3am and never goes back to sleep. Fortunately he is old enough to mostly take care of himself. Unfortunately for me, I have a hard time getting back to sleep after the kids wake me up.
Night #6 The kids all sleep through the night! But sadly I can't sleep. Ugg. I really hate not being able to sleep, especially when my kids are sleeping and my brain is so tired that it is barely capable of forming a coherent thought.
Night #7 Everyone finally sleeps. Or maybe I'm finally so tired that I just don't hear anyone wake up. At this point I think the kids could come jump on me and I wouldn't notice. I'm finally starting to feel like a normal, not-quite-so-grumpy person again. And we're glad that daddy is back in town now too--he missed all the fun this week since he was on a business trip in Korea.
One more round of jet lag conquered!