I’m So Tired

Who needs sleep? Well you’re never gonna get it. Who needs sleep? Tell me what that’s for. Who needs sleep? Be happy with what you’re getting. There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war.  – Who Needs Sleep by the BareNaked Ladies

I’m tired. Oh so very tired. The kind of bone tired exhaustion that only parents can truly feel and understand.

When you’re pregnant, people makes jokes that you, as a first time mom, can’t truly understand. “Catch up on your sleep now, girlfriend! It ain’t happening once the baby is born!” You, the first time mother, roll your eyes and think “Duh. I know I am going to sleep less. But I’ll be fine.”

Haha. Hahahahaha.

You don’t understand. You can’t understand. If you did understand, you would never get pregnant in the first place.

I had my first child in January of 2010, and  my husband got to take almost 3 weeks of paternity leave. While I was the one physically feeding the baby, my husband got up each feeding to help me and support me. We were high on Johnson’s Baby Lotion and sweet baby snuggles. Sure, we were tired. But those first three weeks were an absolute wonder of new experiences and love.

Then my husband went back to work. Suddenly the concept of “napping when the baby naps” didn’t quite work anymore. When are you supposed to get things done? I don’t know about you, but my baby had some super radar that seemed to tell him when I was about to drift off to sleep and BOOM! He was suddenly awake.

To top things off, I suffered from extreme anxiety after my first child was born. During the night, I would get up multiple times – while he was sleeping – just to make sure that he was breathing. I glued myself to his baby monitor. One night I got up, laid my hands on the baby, and swore I couldn’t feel his chest move. I started screaming and hysterically crying, and my husband jumped out of bed like Chuck Norris. He was quite displeased to find it was a false alarm.

Around 10 weeks, I began to emerge from the fog that comes from too many nights of too little sleep. The night before I was scheduled to return to work my son started sleeping through the night. Hallelujah! God heard my prayers.

There’s quite an age difference between my two boys. My first born is now 4 years old and my baby is 8 months old. I like to joke and say there is enough of a gap between the two that I forgot everything about taking care of a newborn.

Except it’s not really a joke.

You know how “they” say that after you give birth there is a hormone that makes you forget what you just experienced so you will get pregnant again? Well, I’m convinced there is something similar for the newborn period. You remember the sweet snuggles and how precious they look while they sleep. You don’t remember how terrible you look when you don’t sleep.

I forgot. I forgot how bad it was. If by some stretch of the imagination I did remember how bad it was, I did not take into account how different it would be when you had another child you had to take care of on so little sleep. Nap when the baby naps? Not so much. Your other child is awake and wants attention.

It is hard, no doubt about it. I am very much a “tell it like it is” person and so when new moms ask for advice I always tell them the first 8 weeks are brutal. It’s like boot camp, only the Sergeant barking orders in your face is your tiny infant. The lack of sleep is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. No – it isn’t like all nighters in college. It’s like all nighters spent listening to the same Justin Bieber (“Baby”) song on repeat while you sit in a small confined space and cry “why won’t you sleep? For the love, WHY WON’T YOU GO TO SLEEP?”

But I promise – it does get better. Your baby will eventually start to sleep through the night. You will eventually get 6 unbroken hours of sleep and you will feel like a rock star. You will take a shower, shave your legs, put on makeup, and wear something other than pajama pants. You will make it, mama.

Hang in there. And get yourself this t-shirt.

I’m So Tired (Adult) T-Shirt

 

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  1. […] think I’ve mentioned I’m a bit of a zombie mom. I’m tired. I need sleep. I live for naps, and coffee is my best friend. My 9 month old still gets up two times […]

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