Did anyone ever warn you before you had your babies that you would be giving up a lot of things…..one of them being sleep? Sleep is beneficial to our health and our sanity so says the doctors. Getting less sleep than required can cause (yes I looked this up):
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
- Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
- Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
- Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information
Okay….so since I was 18 I have lived on between 3-5 hours of sleep a night…that is it. Since that time I have been in 10 (I know right?!) auto accidents, I have gained 70lbs (whoooaaa mama), I take a medicine daily for heart problems (to make my heart beat correctly), I take an antidepressant everyday (because I cry for days on end for no apparent reason), I drink a bottle of wine a week (okay so maybe a day), and I can’t remember my kids names correctly(sometimes I even call them by the dog’s name)!! Yep, I would say the scientists are right on track with this sleep deprivation thing. So, what is the answer for moms? Not only do we lose sleep but when we actually do get to sleep it is interrupted by the right jab or the kick to the head….even an occasional poke in the eyeball. Even when you manage to get them into their own bed (at age 11) you still can’t sleep because those motherly worries are always kicking in during the middle of the night. You find yourself getting up, sneaking in their room, and putting your finger under their nose or watching the up and down pattern of their chest just to make sure they are breathing. Once they are older you can’t sleep because you worry about them being out and driving. You can’t go to bed until they are home safe and sound. So when you do ever get a good nights rest again? I don’t know….I for one cannot answer that question. I am not only a mom to five kids age 21 down to 18 months but I am also now a granna to a 2 month old little man whom I worry about from sun up to sun down. However, I will be the first to tell you that I think the sleepless nights are an excellent trade off for the many rewards of being a mommy. For those nights you toss and turn or find yourself sitting up kissing the hot forehead of a little one, for those days you walk around in a zombiefied state of delusion, or the days you find yourself with noodles in your hair and spit up stains on your freshly washed flannel pj’s that you wear from dawn til dusk there are many trade offs! Trade offs such as unlimited hugs and kisses, the sweet sound of “I love you Mommy”, the sweet interlocking of little fingers into yours, and more than anything the unconditional love of a little human being that you created out of love and gave the gift of life to. Yes, sleeping beauty is merely a fairy tale and the most we can hope for is a fairy godmother who will wave her magic wand at some point in our life and give us 8 hours of sleep again….yea right who I am kidding? I guess I will sleep when I am dead….cause that little face below is worth all of my sleepless nights.