The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Sleepy Mom

on May 9, 2012

  Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I’ve been pondering a subject near and dear to every mother’s heart: Sleep Deprivation.  I’ve been pondering it because I’ve been experiencing it lately.  I’ve been experiencing it for quite some time now.  On Mother’s Day 21 years ago I was 8 months pregnant, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first child.  I had no idea the little bugger was going to keep me awake from the moment of his birth forward.  Well maybe that isn’t fair.  His sisters and brother have helped too.


I am not a person who does well on little sleep or interrupted sleep.  I can go okay for a few days but by about day three my body goes into shut down mode and I have to get a solid eight hours sleep or things start getting ugly.  My husband is one of those amazing people who can go days and days on 5 hours sleep a night and be fully functional.  I really think he should have been the mother in our family.


I will never forget bringing home our little bundle of joy from the hospital. We were excited to embark on our new adventure.  What we didn’t realize was that for the first few weeks (month) the adventure was going to happen in the middle of the night.  We had no idea that just because we were ready to go to sleep our son wasn’t so inclined.  He didn’t know the difference between night and day and he seemed to prefer nighttime. (He’s in college now and he still likes to stay up all night. I probably should have seen that coming.)   I’ve always said that the child has an innate sense of self-preservation, however, so he started sleeping through the night (most of the time) by 6 weeks.  Now every mother knows that when your kids are little there are going to be nights here and there when they are sick or scared or have a bad dream and you have to get up.  I can live with occasional nights and for the most part we were humming along nicely.  Three years later we had our daughter.  Then another daughter. Then another son.  Over the course of nearly eleven years we went back and forth from periods of sleep to periods of no sleep.  When our youngest son was finally sleeping through the night consistently I figured we were home free – I could sleep again.  HA! Our oldest son child became a teenager.


Here’s what I’ve discovered about teenagers:

1 – They start driving which means they control when they come home.  I’m a mom. I don’t fall asleep until all my chicks are in the nest for the night. This means late nights waiting up.

2 –  They don’t like to go to bed at night.  I’m ok with that. As long as they are home I can go to bed.  I prefer 9:30pm (when did I turn into my mother??)  It’s all good except for:

3 – Teenagers are noisy.  They don’t mean to be, but they are. I’m a mom.  I hear every little thing that goes on in my house.  I could sleep through the fiercest of thunderstorms, but if one of my kids walks into the bathroom I’m wide awake.  I hear every door open, every footstep taken as long as it is made by one of my children. I believe it’s called “Momdar”.  A robber could come in and take everything but my bed and I’d probably sleep right through it, but if one of my kids creaks a floorboard I hear it.  So much for consistent sleep!


Last night my husband patted me on the head and told me to go to bed because I was so tired I was rambling.  As I was drifting off our oldest daughter walked into the bathroom to start her nighttime ritual.  Sigh….   I know I should be relishing this time with my kids.  They’ll all be gone before we know it. A little loss of sleep is no big deal in the scheme of life.  I can sleep when they have all moved out. Of course by that time we will probably be grandparents.

That’s ok.  I can send grandbabies home at bedtime.


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