Being a homemaker is nice. I like it. Except for the dishes. And folding laundry. Overall, I like it. Being half of an US is great. I like it. It’s more work than people tell you. It’s more work than you think. It’s definitely more work than you’re prepared for by your parents or school or life.
Being a mother is grand. If you have a uterus I highly recommend using it. If yours doesn’t work, you can adopt. No problem. Mothering is great. Motherhood is a blessing. Being a mom is…
…tiring and I want to lie down.
I had my daughter Abigail when I was forty. Well, forty and a half. Don’t laugh. That half matters. I was that much older. I can’t speak for all women, but at that age I totally underestimated the effects of sleep deprivation. I hadn’t even considered the effects of endless nights of interrupted sleep. I also hadn’t counted on receiving an angel from Heaven who disliked sleep. I mean…who knew?
Of course I knew I’d be waking up with the baby. We’ve heard stores about those three o’clock feedings for years. I mean, even with a puppy you have to wake up every two hours. I get it.
I thought I got it.
After a few weeks with Abigail in our nest even Matt said “They tell you babies sleep eighteen hours a day, but they don’t tell you it’s in fifteen minute increments!”
Seriously? Oh. My. God.
I pressed onward, night after interrupted night, day after no sleep for me day, telling myself that soon she’ll sleep through the night; her naps would be longer during the day. I’d be able to lie down. Or wash dishes. Or shower. Or pee.
But as the months wore on the only one in our house getting any sleep was Matt. He used to joke about knowing how many times Abby was up at night by how many piles of formula were on the kitchen counter. When I stumbled into bed just as his alarm clock rang in the morning, he’d look at my mussed hair, my closed eyes and laugh. I was a living zombie.
I was about as cute and dressed just as well.
Months went past and I told myself to hang in there because she’s got to sleep through the night eventually, right? Any minute now….
But we had gotten Angel Abigail, Anti-Sleeper of her Mother’s Demise. She was just over sixteen months old when she slept all night. SIXTEEN MONTHS! And even then it was hit or miss for another four or five months. Just before her second birthday she was sleeping all night every night. Finally….
in OUR bed.
She’s three years, two months old now. She’s still sleeping in our bed. (She will sleep in her bed sometimes, but come in with us before morning, but mostly we just all pile in bed together and go to sleep.) And it’s been so long since I’ve had a solid nights sleep that I can’t sleep all night…even if no one needs me. Even if left to my own devices, I am awake every few hours.
I’m over forty-three and a half now…and I’m so tired. There are a few nights that I might have been able to sleep all night…but Abby had a bad dream…or called me in her sleep…or (now) the puppy barks.
Some of my friends are fantasizing about cruises, second honeymoons or the young guy who helped them with their groceries or who cleans their pool. Me? I just want some quiet, a big fluffy bed, and a world without alarm clocks, puppies, and “Whatcha doin? You sleepin;?”
Did I mention I just want to lie down?