Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sleep Deprivation and Me

I have never been one to handle sleep deprivation well. I become cranky. I drink a lot of caffeine. Probably unsafe levels. I eat a lot of cookies. And I make very little sense. So good luck following this post.

You see I have always placed high value on my sleep. In college, when other students who crammed all night before an exam, I'd go to bed early even if I hadn't finished my preparations. As an adult I have never been a night owl and usually had to drag Jeramy away from parties so I could get some sleep. As a parent, I have always made it a priority to get my kids on a bedtime routine so that I could go to bed at a reasonable hour. (Well and I guess to help instill good sleeping habits in my children...it's not always about me).

So when illness strikes like this past week and I only get a few hours of sleep each night for a week...well...I feel like I morph into some kind of psychopathic bitch. My sole life's purpose becomes finding a way to someway, somehow increase hours of sleep. Preferably consecutive hours.

Sometimes I really feel like I'm alone in this. That if I were a perfect mom, sleep would be unnecessary. I despise reading Facebook posts of new moms that go like this:

"It's so amazing how little sleep I can function on and still be a super, fantabulous mommy. Who needs sleep when I have this darling munchkin in my life!"

In my assessment, these moms are either:

A: Infinitely superior to me

B: Superheroes with the ability to function with no sleep

C: Lying to themselves in hopes that if they say it, it's true

D: Trying to live up to the unattainable perfect mom persona

For the record...I really hate D.

I mean can't we just be honest sometimes? Losing sleep sucks. Changing diaper blow outs sucks. Taking care of sick children sucks. Diffusing a new temper tantrum every 30 minutes sucks. Having your hair pulled by a 10 month old with the strength of Superman sucks.

So when I'm tired and hear other moms drone on and on about their amazing lives, I get cranky. I guess that there are just times that I look around and feel like all I see are perfect moms on FB...perfect moms on blogs...perfect moms on message boards. You know the ones. Skinny. Glowing complexions. Fashionable. With beautifully dressed well-behaved children. Their lives captured in pristine photographs. No worries about money. Whip up gourmet meals every night. Have perfect relationships with their gorgeous and appreciative husbands. Amazingly talented. And always well rested on just one hour of sleep.


It's times like these that I remember that I'm am just not one of those moms. I can't do it all. And right now all I can really manage to do is work on getting these sick kids better and squeeze in a couple hours of sleep. Perfection, it seems, will have to wait.


BigP's Heather said...

I hate those bitches.
I get cranky and impatient when I have no sleep. It isn't pretty. I had a really hard time after K was born with that. It scares me to try for another- how will I handle a toddler and a newborn with no sleep?

Barb said...

Oh my sweetie, I am RIGHT THERE with ya! Every word! I am a HORRIBLE person on no sleep! It's one of the reasons my anxiety was so bad in the beginning after giving birth. You obviously weren't on MY FB b/c you would have seriously worried for my sanity and been afraid of/for me just like most of my other friends. I was a wreck. I'm a wreck still when he's really sick, but things are getting easier. (and he hasn't been sick in a long time... ssshhh. knock on wood).

And you know damn well those women cover up a lot of the ugly.


Jessie said...

Hear, hear! Gracie is a howler and I am not happy about the lack of sleep...glad I'm not the only mom out there that wants more than 2 hours of sleep in a row!

Beth Kyle said...

Oh yeah, I am a cranky bitch when I don't get sleep. Everything seems even more annoying than it would be. And, usually it is my husband that gets to deal with me.

I hate it when people act like their lives are perfect. I am totally imperfect and mostly insecure. I figure they probably are too, they just won't admit it. ;)

Cece said...

I need sleep too! And I think that some people dono't need as much -and I do amit to being surprised at how little I lived on when Maggie was a baby - but It. Was. Awful.

I think those women lie and/or are trying to seem perfect when they aren't. has the sickness passed? Mine are also FINALLY better. Sick babies are rough.

Bud2400 said...

Perfection is all a mask. There's always a lot more to people and their families than what they want / allow you to see. I think you know that. :P I'd imagine presenting themselves in that manner makes them feel as though they are living that "perfect" life in their heads.

Good luck with the sleep though.

Nicky said...

Yeah, those people are all candy-coating the truth. Maybe it's to make themselves look better, but in a lot of cases (um, like me) it's just because they don't want to sound whiny all the time. On my blog, to anonymous people, yes, I whine a lot. But to people on Facebook who actually know me? I try to avoid continuously complaining about how tired I am, so I put on a bit of a happy face.

But yes, let's all admit: sleep deprivation *really* *really* sucks. A lot.

jenn said...

I am pretty sure if I go back over my facebook posts for 2009 to early 2010 the majority will be dealing with lack of sleep! I am terrified of dealing with no sleep + newborn + toddler regression + having to go back to work all hormonal at 6 weeks + no money. And I have about 12 more weeks to go before that happens!!!
Those beyotches are liars or on some sort of special drugs. Moms get tired- bone tired, delirious, cranky & miserable. But- what makes us moms is that we are also rock stars that ~still~ get done what we need to in such a state. I can not even begin to imagine the hub functioning after a single sleep deprived night. From vast historical data- he is incapable of soldiering through- no matter how much caffeine he drinks & how little is actually on his plate! So- I hope you get some good decent restful sleep soon & don't you even pay attention to the rest! (ps- word verification is 'resto' - wow!)

Barb said...

Love your comment Jenn!

And thanks for your comment Jen. I left you an answer. :)

Kelly said...

Those moms are in a fantasy world or have nannys. It's just not realistic and they are being delusional.
There's no way I could be perky or even nice with no sleep. I.AM.A.BITCH. when sleep deprived. So much so that Lance would much rather take the night shift when M's sick then have to deal with me in the morning or anytime really;) lol
Hang in there!! Maybe take a day off but really tell the fam you are going to work and just sleep in your car all day;)

Ludicrous Mama said...

You forgot E: One-uppity LIARS! (Did I spell that right? I'm so tired they all look wrong!)
I'm more of an "It's amazing I haven't killed anyone on how little sleep I'm getting... But she's SO worth it! For now." mom.

Jamie said...

I know just what you mean. Being a mom is hard. And I imagine it will just get harder. But there are certain types that make me feel guilty and/or selfish for enjoying the time I have to myself.

They also make me feel bad for getting cranky if I get less than 8 hours of sleep at night. If I get less than 6, all I can think about ALL DAY is going to bed that night.

You're not alone, sister.

Katie said...

Those moms are a myth. Or chugging down bottles of wine with xanax chasers.