Right now you’re in the trenches. The days are so long, and if a genie popped out of your coffee cup, your only wish would be more sleep. Blessed uninterrupted sleep. It feels like that day will never come.
Whether it’s a colicky infant or a toddler who climbs in your bed at 5 am every morning (doesn’t he know it’s Sunday?!), there’s always a reason that you’re forced to face the day before you’re ready. You read about people who wake up at 4:30 in the morning each day to exercise – on purpose – and you wonder how anyone is ever well rested after they become parents.
When Will It End?
When many finally emerge depleted from the toddler stage there’s another baby on the way and the cycle starts all over again. For others, that toddler is now school aged and is required to be at the soccer field at zero dark thirty every Saturday morning.
No matter how exhausted you are, you trudge forward with a smile. The grandmothers at the soccer field flash a sympathetic smile and remind you that while the days are long, the years are short. While your sleep-deprived brain may make you want to roll your eyes, I’m here to tell you she’s right.
I’m no grandmother, but long gone are my days of nighttime feedings and tiny toddler feet in my bed. While we still have the occasional early wake up for a tournament or competition or school function, our weekends remain mostly our own. The pandemic gave us no choice but to slow down and take a step back and even though many activities have resumed, we are in no way spread as thin as we once were.
A Light at the End of the Tunnel
I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but my husband and I slept until 9:15 last Saturday. 9:15 am!!! Scratch that – I’m not ashamed at all – it was glorious! After all those years we finally got our rest back. It felt strangely similar to that first time the baby slept through the night and you woke up panicked and ran to check their breathing. (I suppose saying that dates me since new moms now have fancy breathing monitors for their infants, but I digress.)
It’s become a lazy weekend tradition to sleep in and cook brunch together. And while we certainly don’t sleep that late most weekends, it’s nice to have the option again. There’s a comfort in knowing that if the kids are up before us it’s unlikely they’ll burn the house down.
So don’t despair! As much as it may seem like these days of sleep deprivation and always being on call will never end, one day you’ll wake up and glance at the clock to see it’s past 9 am and the world kept turning. And the best part: teens sleep all day so take a little payback and wake them up early, mom. You’ve earned it!