Happiness Challenge Day 4

Now, this is a task I can get behind. Have an early night. Does this mean I can go to bed whenever I want and just stay there?

No. I’m a mom. I have three kids. If I were to try and catch up on all the sleep I’ve missed over the years, I would be in a decades long coma.

My oldest was a great sleeper as a baby. She went to bed on time. Slept through the night. And was awake at the butt crack of dawn. School days, weekends, holidays. My Bunny was a rooster, often times awake before the sun came up. Now she’s a teenager. The same cannot be said for her. This child can and has slept from five o’clock Friday to Monday morning just before the school bus arrived. Brief moments of consciousness occurred only for bathroom and food.

My youngest has never voluntarily slept a day in his life. Even when he sleeps he still talks and moves around. The child cannot hold still. I’m convinced by his second week in kindergarten, we’re going to be asked to have him tested for ADHD. This is the child I decided to cosleep with. Because I’m that smart.

For those who don’t know, cosleeping is sometimes known as bedsharing. At first we had my son’s crib next to my side of the bed. That evolved into him sharing the bed with my husband and me. Now, I sleep in my son’s bedroom in a full sized bed. My husband sleeps alone.

Why?

He snores. Everyone snores, right? Yes. However, this is the kind of snore that jars you out of sleep. It is unrelenting. I have tried waking him up. I have poked him to get him to roll over. He snores no matter which position he’s in. He could be standing up and still snore.

Its nothing like my ex, at least. I have never met any other person who has had hotel staff and police called because of their snoring. But my ex has. When we lived in an apartment the neighbors called the police for a noise disturbance. All for his snoring. Could that have been because the walls were thin like school bathroom paper towels? Possibly. But that doesn’t explain the Boardwalk at Walt Disney World. If you’ve ever been (you should go) you know Disney doesn’t do cheap. The hotel walls are not standard hotel walls. You’re not going to sneeze and have someone next door say bless you. So when hotel staff was dispatched to our room in the wee hours of the morning you can bet there was a good reason why. Well, it wasn’t a good reason. It was snoring.

And it’s my husband’s snoring that has led me to sleep in a separate room with a five year old that yells at and wrestles dinosaurs in his sleep. So, I suppose, by cosleeping I actually mean my son sleeps and I lie there and get punched and kicked throughout the night.

I get real tired of being told I look tired. I have kids. This is just how I look now.

And for as much as I love coffee there just never seems to be enough of it anymore. If I could just get an IV of Starbucks to follow me around, that would be great. My blood type is French roast.

With motherhood comes an expectation that we are supposed to with stay up later or wake up before the rest of the family. In most cases it’s both. There’s a saying that moms are awake from son up to son down. In my case I go to bed at nine and wake up at five. I wake up and do laundry, run my Roomba, write, and drink coffee.

As a mom we need moments of peace. We need those moments of quiet to remember who we are. We get so wrapped up in being wives or partners and mommies that we forget we are women. We forget the basics of self care. It’s not unusual to hear mothers talk about eating what’s left on their kids’ plates. Sometimes, going days without a shower.

And then there’s the sleep issue. Sleep deprivation is real. In small batches it causes us to put the remote control in the freezer or put pizza in the oven without turning the oven on. And those can be the humorous moments you get to embarrass your kids with later.

In large doses, sleep deprivation can lead to depression. You start screwing up and forgetting things. Youre not able to function and because you’re a mom you layer guilt on top of everything. That guilt eats at you. Particularly at night when you should be sleeping. It’s a vicious cycle that just spirals downward.

It goes back to the thought that no one listens to Mom until she’s a stark raving lunatic.

So, today I will take a stand against maternal exhaustion. I will say no more moments of falling asleep on the toilet. I will say no more to being so tired I can’t tell if I put toothpaste or diaper cream on my toothbrush.

Tonight I will go to bed early and actually sleep. Today, I will have an early night.

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