Men, on the other hand do not get the same must-stay-alert-at-all-times instinct because somehow they know that the women will take care of everything. My husband is no different, and he comes from a family of great man-sleepers. The men in his family could happily sleep through a tornado going down the street. And, I must say it's both a gift and a curse, but it certainly depends on whose perspective you are talking about. My husband can get up at 7am, turn on the tv for the kids, give them some cereal and happily return to bed and fall back asleep for a couple hours. I'm actually jealous. If the baby coughs really loud at 5:45 or 6am, and it's light outside then I'm up and there's no chance of me falling back to sleep, much to my dismay. Once my brain starts working, there's no chance of falling back to sleep even if I was up all night with a sick baby.
So, the other day while I was lying there at 5am trying to convince myself to go back to sleep I started calculating. I seem to always be tired (warning: having three kids may cause drowsiness), but the husband isn't as much. Well, if the old ball and chain gets to sleep just one hour longer than me each day for a week, he is getting a minimum of 7 extra hours of sleep. That equals ONE WHOLE NIGHT of sleep more than me!!! NO WONDER I'm exhausted all the time!!! And, it's not like recovering after not sleeping for a night in college because there is nothing particularly fun or unforgettable about changing poopy diapers, making oatmeal and monitoring early morning battles over who's turn it is to pick the TV show.
I am sure this phenomenon occurs in many households where there are married couples raising children, and this is why most Moms can relate to Tina Fey's ultimate fanasy in Date Night - sitting alone in silence in a hotel room for an evening. This is also why it is mandatory to have ear plugs next to the bed in the event that you get to take a nap or just decide that it's time for your spouse to take night duty. He'll wake up eventually, right?