Ladies, let’s talk about what happens between the sheets- or rather what doesn’t happen between the sheets. That’s right! I’m talking about SLEEP! More specifically the lack of sleep we mommas get.
I was at the Doctor’s recently and he asked me if I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start my day in the morning. I didn’t know how to answer that. What kind of question is that?? I’m a mom of two young boys (4yo and 1yo)! I get up at 5am! I cannot remember what it was like to “feel refreshed” when waking up in the morning. I’m exhausted all the time. I don’t know a parent out there, whether they are a stay-at-home parent or working parent, who isn’t overly tired. Sleep is always on my mind but it’s just one of those things I can’t get enough of.
Let me give you a rundown of my day and maybe you can relate:
Why so early
Get up at 5am just so I can fit a workout in before all hell breaks loose. 5:30am eat breakfast and really savor my coffee, because it’s the only hot meal I get to eat without getting disturbed. Then take 5 minutes to work on my appearance. That involves leaving my workout tights on, throwing on a new shirt, brushing teeth, and mixing concealer into my face lotion, because I don’t have time to apply real makeup. Then it is time for the inevitable- I must wake up the kids. I fight the 4yo to get him dressed and I change the 1yo’s diaper (leave him in his pj’s because he takes an early morning nap). I quickly give my little ones breakfast and we hop in the car to babysit (another little boy) for two hours.
Oh, the messes they make
8:45am we arrive back home just in time to see my husband before he leaves for work. Then I put the 1yo down for his morning nap. Thirty minutes later I come downstairs to find a mess that my 4yo created. I make a second breakfast for the two of us, and then spend some time playing with him. I put him down for nap and try to clean whatever I can in the ten minutes I have before the 1yo wakes up. Then I run around the house like a chicken with its head cut off, waiting for my little ticking time bomb to go off. Sometimes I accomplish a lot, and other times I just manage to throw a piece of trash away before he starts whining for me to come get him.
What’s that smell…it’s dinner
3pm we head back over to the little boy’s house to babysit for an hour or so. Then, we arrive back home around 4:45pm. The kids run around the house screaming while I attempt to cook a crappy dinner for my husband. Every five minutes I have to yell at the 4yo to stop touching the 1yo. Then I get tired of yelling and make the 4yo take a timeout. While he’s in timeout I manage to overcook my dinner.
The kids and I do a 5 minute cleanup of the toys before we eat, and by that I mean the 4yo tells me where the mess is and I pick it all up. I then spend a few minutes with him while waiting for my alarm to go off to wake the 4yo up from nap. Once I have him up we’ll do our activity for the day, such as go to the grocery store or the library or the park, or make a craft. Or we will clean together, and by clean I mean I clean one room and they destroy another.
We finally sit down at the dining room table and say a prayer. My 1yo throws half his food on the floor and the 4yo doesn’t even touch his. I get a phone call from my husband saying he’s working late and won’t be eating dinner at home. Then I eat my now cold, burnt, tasteless dinner.
The baby starts getting fussy at this point, so I take the boys upstairs for bath time. They fail again at keeping the water in the tub. I manage to get them in their pj’s and have enough energy to enthusiastically read them stories. I nurse the 1yo to sleep and then tuck the 4yo into his bed.
At this point I’m almost home free. My back is on fire, my feet are aching, and I struggle to keep my eyes open. But the kitchen is a mess and must be cleaned. I use whatever strength I have left to do the dishes and straighten up the downstairs.
Finally I finish and I begin to walk up the stairs to take a nice relaxing shower…and then my husband walks through the door. He wants to tell me about his long day. And I listen because I love him, even though I’m exhausted and I get up in the morning long before he does.
Now I notice it’s almost 9pm and I am finally able to shower. I take 30 minutes to shower and get ready for bed and prepare for the next day. I give my husband a kiss and tell him I’m going to bed. Then he looks at me with sad eyes and asks me to spend time with him. So I sit with him for a while because this is the only time with have together (he travels for work frequently).
Bed Sweet Bed
Next thing I know it is 10:30/11pm and I have nothing left in me. I lie down in bed and think about how every day is a juggling act. I have all these balls I’m trying to keep up in the air (husband, 4yo, 1yo, dog, cleaning, babysitting, bills, cooking, workout, etc.) and every day I end up dropping at least one or two balls. Sometimes I’m a bad wife, sometimes I’m a bad mom, sometimes I’m a poor housekeeper, sometimes I can’t manage to cook dinner, sometimes I can’t make it to the store. I am just so exhausted. I try to think of how I can improve for the next day, and then I fall asleep.
When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, then I have to get up to nurse him back to sleep. At night if the 4yo falls out of bed, I have to calm him down and put him back to bed. If the kids are sick I have to take care of them. If my husband is sick, I take care of him. However, if I’m sick, I have to take care of myself as well as everyone else. It is just so exhausting.
So when the doctor asked me if I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, what do you think I said?? Well, at the risk of sounding over dramatic, I simply said it depends on the day. Haha!
Don’t let my day fool you. It may not sound that bad but it truly is draining. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and my family. But sometimes it can feel like Groundhog’s day. I’m living the same day over and over again (but somehow look older and older every time I look in the mirror), and I yell at my kids about the same things over and over again.