Insomnia-the Mommy Curse

It’s 4:45 am, so why I am laying here looking at the dark ceiling wide awake but totally exhausted at the same time? The kids are asleep, my husband is asleep, even the dog is asleep (I know because I can here him yipping in his dreams-must be chasing the neighbors cat again). Yet I am wide awake thinking about all sorts of things. Why do problems seem to grow the darker the night?

I know I should be sleeping and I have a full day that starts in 2 hours. But I lay here tossing and turning from side to side, wondering if I will have the energy to make it through tomorrow since I am now losing hours of sleep. Sigh. And the more I stress about not getting enough sleep, the more wide awake I become. Ok. I will lay here and make a list of all the things I need to do so maybe I can stop worrying about them all and fall asleep. Here goes with my INSOMNIA THOUGHT LOOP:

  • There is no time to make dinner before I leave for meetings in the morning-I wonder if Ryan will cook anything for the kids? Well maybe I can thaw out some chicken and put in the crockpot before I go?
  • I have to wear a skirt today and dang it, I haven’t shaved my legs since Wednesday, ok maybe Tuesday- I can just tuck my feet under the chair and maybe nobody will notice? I mean seriously, like it’s their business if I have a bit of hair on my legs.
  • Oh no, I’m going to see Julie tomorrow and it was her birthday last week-I got nothin-but wait, I think I’ve got a bath bomb somewhere that isn’t opened. Re-gifting is totally ok. Except for that one time I forgot to take the tag off that had my name on it…that was embarrassing.
  • Sierra was awfully grumpy today-I need to spend more time with her–aww shoot- I forgot to switch out the laundry and now the wet towels are molding in the washer. Maybe nobody would wake up if I threw them in the dryer really fast. Scratch that, bad idea.
  • Ok, now I am officially starving. I think there are some chocolate chips in the cupboard hidden behind the spices. I could get a big bite of peanut butter with a few chocolate chips…No! Stop it! You are not eating chocolate chips at 5am.

And so it goes….

I thought once my kids were out of the toddler phase I would get a full nights sleep–THATS A LIE. All those years of being woken up every few hours have ruined me forever. I can see it now, even into my old age I will never again get a full nights sleep. The bags under my eyes will grow, I’ll get fatter each year (because you know if you don’t get enough sleep then your stress hormone cortisol levels rise which leads to fat storage-I studied it out online one night when I couldn’t sleep), and my brain-or what’s left of it after 15 years of mommying-will cease to function beyond the basic necessities. Doomed to a life of no rest and limited brain capacity. I love being a mom.

And yet, at 2pm if you hand me a kids story book and a snuggly 4 year old I can barely make it through the first 3 pages without nodding off and receiving a huge scolding from the story listener. So maybe the trick is to wake up my kids in the middle of the night and try to read them stories-that’s a sure ticket to dreamland.

And another thing-why is my husband not cursed with this parent insomnia? He can lay there happily snuffling away (he insists he does not snore-LOL) and sleep through everything. Kid crying, restless dog action, his wife tossing and turning. I’ll admit some times in the early years when the kids woke every few hours I would pretend I didn’t hear them and lay there waiting, testing him, seeing how long he would ‘pretend’ to be sleeping. You know what I realized after 4 kids? He is ACTUALLY SLEEPING through the late night sick tummies, scary monsters under the bed and sleepwalking chats!! (3 out of 4 of my kids sleepwalks-used to freak me out, but now I use that time to ask them funny questions and try to get the insider scoop on their friends) How unfair is that, and no wonder why I am finding more gray hairs than him, even though he is 3 years older.

Some moms seem to wear their tired as a badge of honor. Like, well look how little sleep I got last night, or look how early I got my day started today. But I just want a solid 8 hours, is that too much to ask? I used to daydream about going away to a hotel for an entire night to do nothing but sleep. But guess what happened when I got the chance? I lay awake most of the night worrying that my family forgot to lock all the doors, the house was broken into and they were all murdered in their sleep. So much for a peaceful night away.

Maybe this is the curse of being a mom. If this is the side effect of having 4 amazing, creative, and fantastic kids I’ll guess I’ll take it-and the bloodshot eyes to go with it. Happy sleeping fellow moms-hope you get a nap today:)


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