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Motherhood, Young Married Mom

June 23, 2012

Motherhood Means No Sleep–and That’s Okay

When I was a teenager and I’d come home late (mind you, my driving curfew was midnight, so it was rarely very late), I knew that even if my mom was in bed, she wasn’t asleep. I’d whisper, “Good night” when I passed her room at the top of the stairs and get a “Good night”—not groggy at all—right back. She couldn’t sleep until my brother and I were home, she’d tell me. I’d think, “We’re fine! Just go to sleep!” But she simply couldn’t, and now I understand why. Not because Jacob’s been out watching harmless movies at his friends’ houses, but because motherhood wreaks havoc on a woman’s ability to sleep.

 

First, there’s pregnancy, when you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, and/or wonder how no one has yet to come up with a quick solution for a Charlie horse.

 

Then there’s the newborn stage, when your infant is figuring out when it’s daytime and when it’s nighttime, and you are failing to figure out how your seemingly sleeping child can tell when you’re sitting and when you’re standing (preferring, of course, the latter).

 

 

Finally, the child begins to sleep through the night. But every now and then, he’ll sleep later in the morning or longer during a nap than the norm. Instead of enjoying the quiet or the chance to sleep in, you will be at his door, listening for sounds of his breathing, wishing for the hundredth time you’d put a video monitor on your registry, despite the expense.

 

If you, like me, lose a child, it will be difficult to find rest at the appropriate times. Like a newborn, you’ll find yourself crying at night and wanting to sleep during the day. Like the parent of a newborn, you know that some good rest would make everyone involved feel a whole lot better, but you also know that it’s just not that easy.

 

If, again like me, you are blessed with another child shortly thereafter, you will lose sleep until you know this child has lived longer than the last. Then the joy, the excitement, and the planning will take over your mind, making sleep nearly impossible yet again.

 

I am tired, yes, but then, I am a mother. And if that is what it takes to call these three wonderful children ours, I’ll take it all, no questions asked.

 

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