When I was pregnant, I was ready to snap on the next person who warned be about sleep deprivation after the baby came. I had read all of the books, heard from every experienced mom, and listened to my doctors joke about how sleep would become a thing of the past. I got it. I knew that my little bun in the oven would one day cause me to be a walking, talking zombie, but I guess nothing can really prepare you for the reality until you are living it. The day that sweet little boy entered my life, I kissed a good night sleep goodbye.
I won't lie, there was a period of time there where I thought I was going to lose my mind. I thought there is NO way someone can survive these conditions. Blessed with a colicky baby for the first month of his life, I didn't know how I was going to make it. I kept pushing on and doing the best I could, until it hit me: I was doing it. I was surviving, despite my doubts. I may have been barely getting by, but gosh darn it I was doing it. I firmly believe that moms are superheroes for a multitude of reasons, and the ability to survive on little-to-no sleep is one of them.
By learning to adapt to our conditions, we realized that there are ways around the lack of sleep. We learn how to make the most out of a power nap, and we try our hardest to help our little ones sleep as long as they can. I think most moms can agree that the first few months are the hardest, but it never really gets easier. You think that once your baby sleeps through the night your life will get back to normal, but the truth is, it never really does. Once my son started sleeping through the night, I found out how hard it is to readjust your own body to sleep all night again. I was so used to waking up every few hours, that it was hard to get a full, uninterrupted night's sleep.
Now that my son is 2 ½ years old, you would think I have no problem getting sleep. Wrong. Being a student, employee, mom, and freelance writer, I am stretched pretty thin. Lets just assume that EVERY mom out there is being stretched pretty thin. From waking up at the crack of dawn with little ones, to staying up until the wee hours of the night finishing housework and getting alone time, there isn't much time for sleep. Luckily, there are little tips and tricks to being prepared for the morning, and getting a decent night's sleep that leaves us feeling refreshed isn't that farfetched. I'm lucky if I get 5 hours of sleep most days, but by being smart about my routine and sleep schedule, I feel great.
The truth is, our little ones will make us lose sleep for many years to come. I'm sure it wasn't too far ago that my mom was still losing sleep over me and worrying about my every move. Somehow I know I will get my payback, and that my little boy will continue to keep me on my toes. I'm convinced that the sleep we are losing is replaced with unconditional love, so we don't even notice it's missing after a certain point. It's ok to feel like you are losing your mind sometimes, and it's also ok to ditch the housework and take a nap when the baby is napping. I know it feels wrong, and believe me, you will feel like you are messing it all up every day, but I promise you aren't. You are a bad ass, and you are a super hero, no matter what. One day your kids will be all grown up with kids of their own, and you will miss the sleepless nights that were full of love and laughter (or tears).