I’m currently sitting slumped against my MacBook fighting the tears back. I’m writing this with one eye shut, because the other is refusing to open. You know me mama, because you’ve been me. Maybe it was 15-20 years ago when you were tired and cradling your fussy newborn during the long hours of the night. Maybe, this is you now. Maybe this is still you. We’ve all been to that deep and dark place of pure and utter exhaustion… we can all admit it is an ugly place. It isn’t the “I tried” hairstyles that I now own on a daily basis that get to me the most. Sleep deprivation reveals your worst character traits to your family and friends. It goes deeper than pouring your coffee into your cereal bowl. I know this because I’m going on about 15 months solid of no solid sleep. This of course doesn’t count the times I literally dumped my kids off on my parents or in-laws front porch for a sleepover with no hesitation or ran away to a new city for a mini getaway because… I. Just. Can’t Do. This.
We admitted we were powerless over our toddlers in the deep hours of the night. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory over ourselves… a few extra midnight snacks were included.
Sometimes it’s okay to admit we can’t be it all. I can’t do everything and do everything supermom does. I can’t even do what her sidekick does. It takes courage to admit when we fall. Sometimes I crash too. It’s okay to “couch parent” after the rough nights, and have the extra latte to get you through the day. People ask me “How do you function?”. I barely do… I stay caffeinated. I stay hydrated. I eat. I exercise. I’m addicted to exercising because it gives me the energy fix I need without waiting time for the fix to kick in. I do everything a person is recommended to do by general doctors to stay healthy because I have to. I want to be around to see my sleepless, teething, snot covered minions grow old and I need to take care of myself first to do so. I love them so, even when they make me feel new depths of “tired” that I never thought I could feel. I even manage to kiss them and tell them I love them in the morning after they have kept me up all night. Oh, parenthood and the hurdles that it contains…the funny thing is that sleep deprivation is nothing compared to what some families have to deal with in terms of health.
We made the decision to turn our will, and our lives over. We admitted the sleeplessness to ourselves. The motherhood is real. We ask for forgiveness over our shortcomings.
After my dad passed away of a sudden heart attack I promised myself I would do everything I could to control my health in a positive way. I do all of this because I don’t have a choice, really. Not with our family history of poor heart health. The moment you find out that you will one day be bringing a helpless little human being into your household under your roof, you instantly decide to give up all of your needs and dos to take care of theirs first. So yes, sometimes my kids are in matching or coordinated outfits, bathed, fed, and terrorizing the city of Duluth while my hair is less than fortunate and the clothes I wear might be the ones I slept in. There may or may not be a stain lingering. I’m known for my clothes being inside out. My hope for the day may rely on how many cups of coffee I’ve drowned my sleep deprivation sorrows in. Some people may think I may have a small I.Q. but really I’m just exhausted. I’m just another mom trying to survive the undiagnosable disease known as “Team No Sleep”.
We came to believe that a higher power could restore us to sanity. We are entirely ready to have all these defects of character removed. Including the bags underneath our eyes.
Fellow mom friends keep telling me that glorious undisturbed sleep would eventually come upon my household, but months went by and we were still arguing about whose turn it was to get up. Months turned into a year. A year turned into 15 months. Nada. Nope. Nothing. We are still hanging in there, and I am still apologizing for anything my sleepless self might say or do. If you have a friend that relates to this, reach out to her. Ask her if she could use a cup of coffee on you. Tell her better days are ahead even if that means sixteen years from now. Pull her away from her family for a girl’s night. Get her out to sweat even if that means a short walk. Connect her with someone that might be going through the same situation.
Made a list of amends, that included making a list of all persons we had wronged or lashed out at, and willingly sent Starbucks gift cards to them.
We’ve been praying for patience after it’s been run thin trailing long nights for whatever reasons that kept our babies up… and we’ve stopped trying to figure out what those reasons are. Because, life. Because, parenthood. Life is moving on and we have to move with it. We don’t have the option to sleep in until noon anymore because we have little ones that depend on us. We have to adult. So tired mama, I’m with you. We are in the thick of it. We are zombies covered in crumbs and we own the title “Mom”. Virtual hugs to you.