The 13 Ways All Moms Get Woken Up (Hint: It's Never An Internal Clock)

They say sleep is for the weak. Moms know that’s true. And likewise, moms know that sleeping in is for people without kids. No lingering in bed for the mamas among us, no languid mornings of waking up at that splendid hour called “whenever.” Nope. When that first little one enters the picture, moms give away the right to be lazy lie-abeds.

Now, every morning’s a surprise: mothers go to bed never knowing what will wake them up. It’s certainly not an internal clock -- and, chances are, it’s not an alarm clock, either. We partnered with Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream to list many of the culprits responsible for dragging Mom out of her (very) precious slumber.

kids jumping in bed sleeping parent

The Catapult: Often your morning begins with children launching themselves at you in various ways, from various distances, and landing on the more vulnerable parts of your body. The double-bed-bounce and flump is a popular tactic. Pray they don’t land on your stomach and/or throat.

The Beating: Subtly different from The Catapult, this involves a child hitting you repeatedly in order to awaken you, amuse himself, or exercise his burgeoning sadism. Just hope he doesn’t go for the throat punch. If he’s actually trying to awaken you, each slap will be punctuated with a “Mom!” Over. And over. And over.

kid stares while mom sleeps

The Creeper: Every mama knows kids can wake you up without making a sound. The creeper doesn’t yell, or bounce, or even whisper. He wakes you only with the power of his weird, intent stare somehow reminiscent of “The Shining.” Try not to scream when you open your eyes and find his face approximately three inches from yours.

The Scream: It might be “Mommmmmmmmyyyyyy!” Or it might be directed at a sibling, or even the dog. But it’s a scream, and it’s your job to haul your exhausted carcass out of bed and figure out what the heck the scream’s about.

The Hunger Cry: This isn’t the peep-peep-peeping of baby birds, or the adorable whine of a puppy. Human children signal morning hunger with a demanding shriek, usually right in your ear, usually for something which you ate the last of yesterday and haven’t restocked yet. The Hunger Cry swiftly transforms into The Scream.

The Potty Problem: Either they need your help to pee, or they’ve already peed -- all over their sheets. Usually it’s a plaintive “Mom, I wet the bed!” You can only pray this one happens after sunrise. Will you be a diligent parent and change the bed sheets, or will you throw down a towel and stumble back into sleep?

The Post Barfer: Among the saddest of all wake-ups, this one pathetically reports, “Mo-om, I threw up.” You pray they made it to the toilet (they didn’t). Start the coffee machine before you start the cleanup. It’s going to be a long night.

The Mid-Barfer: Your reflexes have never been more cat-like. You hear, “Mo-om, I think I’m going to …” and you somehow, half-consciously, manage to catch the vomit in your cupped hands. (Hey, at least the cleanup only involves your hands.) Again, crank up that coffee machine while you stumble to the kitchen for the barf bucket. You ain’t going back to bed.

sibling fighting in bed

The Sibling Squabble: If you have more than one child, this is generally how you awaken: an all-out brawl is taking place in your home, and it requires your referee skills before you’ve even rubbed the sleep from your eyes. Remember: when they wake you up, it’s everyone’s fault.

The Dog: Because a lot of the time, the dog is worse than the kids. At least they don’t pee on the rug quite so often.

The Deadly Intuition: Another one of the silent wake-ups, this comes down only to mommy intuition. You wake suddenly to a deafening silence. You know they’re up to something, and it’s bad. Go downstairs and hope they didn’t get the bright idea to cook their own breakfast.

The Door Shutting: Do the kids sleep in your bed? Then you know well the sleep-canceling sound of the bedroom door shutting as they go off to destroy the house without you. Ratchet yourself out of bed, woman, and go save the toilet from getting clogged with action figures.

night baby crying crib

The Baby Crying: Let’s face it. Whether he’s in your bed or in a crib, you wake up most mornings to the plaintive wailing of a child who needs to be fed, changed, cuddled, dressed and amused -- all before you can scarf down some breakfast. Congratulations. You’re a mother.

What wakes you up in the morning?

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