As If Moms Need More Proof Sleep Deprivation Is Real

A lot of people say they never understood exhaustion until they became a parent. That wasn’t the case with me.  I’ve dealt with exhaustion from sleep issues, and depression/anxiety, so after Baby Grouch Number One was born I think I actually felt better in the mornings than I used to.  I was tired, of course, but I was always tired and honestly having a kid just gave me an excuse to get up and keep moving, and I didn’t feel any worse, most of the time, so I just focused on the gift that is motherhood and welcomed the fact that I felt like shit, on most days. I felt the same amount of tiredness that I used to, but at least I was being productive, and I had newfound happiness.

But, once Baby Grouch Number Two came along, I began to understand how those other people felt. I hit the ground running.  With two, there was not much time for resting postpartum, and I had to keep moving.  I still do.  There is no down time.  The house is constantly a mess, my arms are constantly carrying my little ones, along with bags, bottles, books, baby dolls, diapers, wipes, sippy cups and peanut butter crackers.

So, there’s coffee.

But holy hell, I am TIRED. And even though people always ask, “is the baby sleeping?”  it doesn’t really matter if the kids sleep through the night or not, it’s the cumulative effect of sporadic mid-night wake ups, waking up to pee, hearing phantom baby cries, hormonal changes (hello night sweats!?! ugh) and Mom Ears – supersonic hearing that cause me to wake up when my husband rolls over, or my daughter coughs, or when the tree branch scratches the window outside the dining room, downstairs, on the other side of the house (we’re getting that tree cut down soon).

There is not enough coffee in the world.

Recently there was a study about how moms are sleep deprived, even several months after giving birth.  So, there’s the scientific proof.  But we moms don’t fucking need it, do we?  No. We don’t.  We know it’s real based on the stupid shit we do when we’re in such a state. Here’s my latest:

1) I went jogging with a pal the other day.  Which sounds good, until you hear the rest.  We meet at a local gym (that neither of us is a member at), park our cars and jog from there.  We are typically gone for about an hour or so.  On our last jaunt, I was exhausted (shocker) and had to walk the last half mile.  I got back to the parking lot and my pal was still there.  I thought maybe I wasn’t that slow, since she was still there stretching, but NO.  She was there to tell me, “um, your car door was open this whole time”.  I left my car door open, for an hour, while we jogged.  She looked concerned.  I was embarrassed, since this was one of those friends who you really don’t want your crazy to show, you know? But, she’s seen it, that’s for sure, so oh well. Thank goodness I live in freaking suburbia because my wallet was in my trunk, safe and sound.

1b) I was reminded that I was also pretty loopy after having just one kid.  I went jogging once and didn’t realize until about two miles in that I was wearing two different shoes.

mommy brain

2.  I drink coffee all. day. long.  I have to or I will stop moving.  So I turned on the Keurig the other day and turn around and see this:

mommy brain 3

I forgot to put coffee cup under the spout.  Eff.

3.  I have to pee a lot, from all that coffee, but I’m even screwing up peeing.  I went to the doctor and was supposed to pee in a cup before heading to the room.  I went in, peed, came out, and realiized I forgot to pee in the cup.  The nurse came in the room and gave me a quizzical look.  I gave her a head shake, and a shoulder shrug while saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I forgot”.  I had to laugh becacuse it feels like there is literally nothing I can do about this kind of crap. I accepted it, chugged some water and tried again later (I had to focus, but I was able to complete the task)

toilet

4.  I got in a fight with my husband, I forget about what (of course). We were arguing and then went to the grocery store and then was so tired I forgot I was even mad at him.  Probably for the best, but still.  You know how annoying spouses can be.  So that’s some serious tiredness to completely forget that shit.  And then, I remembered what I was mad about later, and I didn’t even care.  So tired.

5. I’ve lost two car keys in the last few months.  Those fuckers are expensive.  Did Toddler Grouch toss them in the trash?  Are they in the basket they should be, I just can’t see them through my exhausted glassy-eyed gaze?  It’s a modern day mystery.

mommy brain 2

I’m all about scientific studies, so YAY SCIENCE for discovering we’re all sleep-deprived.  Even though we already knew.

Quite frankly, it makes me feel better when I hear that I’m not alone.  It’s things like this (it’s HILARIOUS – click it!) from Momastery‘s Facebook page, that make me smile and think that what I’m going through is perfectly normal and perfectly fine.  I can laugh at myself, (and let’s be honest, a little harder at the other acts of sleep-deprivation that are not my own) and keep on truckin’.  Peace out, fellow Mamas, who do so much, with working brain cells so few.

Any sleep-deprivation stories you want to share with me, so I feel less alone?!

Benefits to Having Just Squeezed Out A Baby

Parenting is hard.  Especially during the newborn phase.  Just ask your stay at home mom friends or take a scan through your social media news feed if you need a refresher about how difficult life is for new parents.

The good news is there is always a silver lining.  Other than the more serious and sappy list – the best things about being the parent of a newborn, this list highlights the hidden perks that reside parallel to the stretch marks and saggy skin and unwashed hair of a new mom.

1.  You don’t have to get dolled up for company.  In fact, it’s expected that you will look atrocious, which is even better.  If you do manage to brush your hair or slap on some rouge, people will fawn over how marvelous you look.  It doesn’t matter if that mascara you applied makes you look less like a Maybelline model and more like the old hag offering Snow White the apple.  If you enjoy fishing for compliments, this is a classic no-brainer.

2.  You don’t have to be skinny.  In fact, it’s impossible to be.  If you don’t look any worse than Jabba the Hutt, people will rave about how quickly your body is bouncing back.  Even though your back hurts because your core abdominal muscles are now located next to your vagina (flopped over on top of it, to be exact) you might even feel sort of amazing, in a disheveled, lumpy sort of way.  You’ll appreciate that you no longer have teeny tiny elbows poking you in the ribs or a bobbly baby head crushing your bladder  You might enjoy, even more disgustingly, that you can feel the gallons of water you’ve been retaining steadily seeping out through the bottoms of your feet, thus relieving the pressure from your bulbous cankles.

3.  You can get out of doing crap you don’t want to do.  In fact, I’m quite sure this one is required.  You can get out of bridal showers and dinner dates with your husband’s boss (and his alcoholic wife) and, if you’re lucky, your nephew’s 4th birthday party at Chucky Cheese.  You can blame it on being too tired from staying up with the baby, or having to feed the baby or not wanting to screw up the baby’s schedule.  Bonus:  You can use this excuse for a looooong time to come.

4.  You don’t have to go to work.  At least for a little while, and this has it’s  perks.  I never acted more like a domestic goddess than during those 12 weeks of maternity leave.  My house was relatively sparkly and I cooked so much my husband actually told me I needed to not cook so often, something I never thought I’d hear him say.  I SWEAR it was not because everything I made tasted like broasted feet, but had more to do with the fact that he didn’t want to gain 20 pounds.  I manically cooked enough for a family of 6 every day.  He shouldn’t have feared though – once I returned to work I went back to my usual routine of eating popcorn and string cheese for dinner and he was sent back into starvation mode.  Oh, and you also don’t have to worry about WORKING.

5.  You don’t have to work out.  In fact, you’re explicitly instructed not to.  At least for awhile.  Enjoy the lapse in the training schedule.  Don’t worry, you will be back in the saddle in no time, happily getting screamed at by your trainer, Hans, telling you not be such a wimp and keep doing those reps.

6.  You get drugs.  Even if you don’t need them, you will get the prescription filled.  You never know when those suckers might come in handy.  Especially washed down with a glass of red.  You c-section mamas might even be able to sell your hardcore shit and make a buck (this is of added bonus if you are one of those SAHMs who could use the extra cash).

Any brand-new-mom perks I missed?

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Mom-with-baby

Mom-with-baby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)