Was it the 5 cups of coffee I drank at noon while out to lunch with a friend? The 3 beers or spicy pasta while out to dinner with my mom friends? The ab pain from all the workouts I’ve been doing lately? The lifetime of anxiety that flares up at the WORST POSSIBLE TIMES (like days I know I’ll be home with Potamus for 15-16 hours solo). A husband who can’t stop coughing at night so I’m unable to even drift to sleep. Maybe it’s a combination of all of those, but man, the other night…yeah…I fell asleep at 5am. Whoa. That meant I got a whopping 1.5 hours total, half of which was spent spooning a sweaty toddler.
But somehow I was able to grasp this thought, I can be a good mom, even though I didn’t get any sleep.
Sure, I’ve managed to limp along while being tired, but there is this storyline that I have been saying in my head since…before time (certainly before I had kids) that a good night’s sleep = me being happy/adjusted/able to do xyz. Sleep is very important to me. While I’ve managed to dial back me “I need 10 hours asleep a night” storyline, I still had this going on and was believing it. A good night sleep with Potamus meant a good mama the next day. And a bad night sleep meant CERTAIN grumpypants mama.
So there I was, with 16 hours stretching ahead of me, solo, with a toddler who hates naps. I didn’t have the energy to go out and do fun things, so we stayed home, doing quiet activities, and even rested together a little bit in the afternoon. I managed to hold myself together, even finding the energy to have a conversation with a good friend, do some gardening, and read. I’m not sure where the insomnia-anxiety came from, but I didn’t let it get the best of me. And, it felt really good.
Now, wouldn’t it be fabulous if I was able to remember this all the time? Now THAT would be revolutionary! Or, a good night’s sleep would be pretty revolutionary, too. Ammiright?
Oh girl, I was thinkin’ of you today…I only got 3 hours of sleep last night because I couldn’t stop processing my physics class! It was weird! It was like some process I wasn’t supposed to be privy to — I could practically feel my neurons connecting new thoughts — but I didn’t reach deep sleep tip almost 5 a.m. I saw it as motherhood training….
YES to motherhood training. Hoping you’ll get some sleep on your big adventure!
That is such a beautiful photo.
Awe, thanks! It was a pretty sweet moment…not sure why my chin is such a comfort to him, but it was really sweet.
I LOVE this post. It is such a simple concept, yet so difficult to execute in real life in real time with real children needing real stuff from us. . . You captured perfectly a belief that I too have had about sleep, how I am only fit for human consumption when I’ve had 10 hours. . . what we tell ourselves is so important in relation to how we feel and behave (yay CBT!) Great, great post. And lovely picture. Big love sister!
THANKS! Yeah, that sleep myth is one I really need to combat. Sure there are times when I NEED TO SLEEP, but having this belief, since I was a kid, that in order to function I need XYZ amount…super not helpful, and actually makes my day crankier than if I just accept that I might have low energy (because that’s a physical thing), but can still be a sweet mom.