Sleep, Beauty and Otherwise

Sleep is a gift, a necessity and a luxury.

When I was a teenager I was a great sleeper. While I know that this is no great accomplishment and that any mother of teenagers will roll her eyes at this statement (yes I roll my eyes at my kids and I tighten their ears claiming a loose connection to their eyes when they are rolled at me) it is a part of my life that I now envy.

When my children, especially the twins were babies I walked around
in a sleep deprived stupor. The first year of my childrens’ lives are a
big blur to me. Yes I know that is why they created those baby
albums to be filled out by exhausted mothers, but if you are mean
enough to give one as a gift or competent/anal enough to have filled one out, I don’t think we can be friends. Sorry. Anyway, back in those days nothing could keep me awake and the only thing that could awaken me was the sound of my babies’ cries. The one thing that did not wake Papa Bear.

I remember being at a party from Papa Bear’s work talking to some
other young mother about sleep deprivation. I said that I was
looking forward to the kids being teens and sleeping through the night and well into the morning. At that point a more mature mother of teens looked at me and laughed. She told me that when the kids are teens I won’t be sleeping well anymore, something to do with hormonal changes. I did not slap her, I am a woman of great self control. However at the time I thought that was one of the nastiest things anyone could say to me.

Fifteen years later and that horrible prophecy has come true. It seems that if I have anything on my mind, anything, it keeps me awake at night. I expect to lose sleep over sick friends but I don’t expect to lay awake at night stressing over lice checks, laundry and all of the things I know that I’m forgetting during the day. Everything affects my sleep. I have gone from needing eight hours a night to being thrilled if I get six hours of sleep. I wake up every morning looking like my hair has spent the night in a centrifuge, my eyelids are puffy and my brain is fuzzy, I have sleep lines in my face without the sleep. I am walking around tired and grumpy. I am not being the best mother I can be. Then I’m upset with myself. I hate this whole sleep issue.

In my mind I have created a brilliant banking system where we can go to the bank and deposit our surplus of teenage sleep to be withdrawn when we are older and in need of it. Poor countries with high unemployment can be utilized for their sleep value. The slums of India will become a thing of the past as their residents sleep their
way to wealth. Wealthy industrialized nations need not slow down at night. I think it’s a great idea I just don’t know how to create it. Any creative geniuses out there who can help me?

In the mean time I’ll just wish everyone sweet dreams and hope that I too will be dreaming tonight.

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2 responses to “Sleep, Beauty and Otherwise

  1. When l was a young mother a colleague with teens told me that I would be busier when the kids were older. How could this be – I couldn’t even pee by myself?! And yet it has happened. I no longer have a little body clinging to my leg yet I seem to be busier than ever.
    Does this mean that older women are just that much wiser than us? Why is it that I can’t remember what I had for dinner yet I can remember this brief conversation from 12 years ago?

  2. Frozenchallah, as you know, I too need my sleep. Like you, I don’t sleep like I used to. I hate to be the bearer of bad news (don’t slap me!) but there’s a dirty little secret that older women don’t share….men-o-pause! Sleep is a thing of the past. So if you’re awake at 4am, give me a call, I’ll be up.

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