Monday, 6 June 2011

Sleep Envy

It's not until you become a mother that you really understand and appreciate the power of a good sleep in helping the human body work.

Sleep deprivation sucks.

Big time.

I remember the lack of sleep induced haze of those early days, weeks and months with Mini Cheddar.
She didn't start sleeping through properly until I stopped breast-feeding her at 6 months and even then it could be a bit hit and miss due to the dreaded teething.

When she was 5 months old someone really upset me. I remember her, a mother of a 2, saying to me with a look of half horror/half smugness "She's not sleeping through yet? Both of mine slept through at 8 weeks old!".

Woman Frustrated Unable To Sleep
Photo credit: graur codrin
Well, whoop-de-bloody-do for you! Thanks for going out of your way to tell me that, no seriously, I really appreciate it. That's what my best sarcastic voice was screaming inside along with thoughts of stamping on her toes!

Obviously I didn't. I just smiled sweetly and mumbled something like "well, they are all different aren't they".  I didn't sleep that night.  This time it wasn't Mini Cheddar's fault either. The comment had wound me up.

Why do others feel the need to compare their sleeping angels to the sleep devil you've been blessed with?  Why do they feel the need to tell you exactly how 'Little Johnnie' sleeps through every single night without so much as a peep and emphasise how amazed they are that yours don't?  I'm sure she didn't mean any harm.  I'm sure she was just trying to be 'helpful' but at the time, comments like that are anything but.

Every now and again (thankfully very rarely now) we have a spell when Mini Cheddar has a small block of disturbed nights, usually when she's ill. It ruins us. We had one the other week and it made for a hellish day the day after.  My heart goes out to anyone who's little one doesn't sleep through, it really does.

In addition to this I happened to marry a man who's a bit of a sleep-o-holic. He can say he's not tired (usually waking me up in the process) and then within a couple of minutes he's fast asleep. Maybe it's a man thing? Maybe us women are wired differently?

I'm usually trying to get to sleep whilst thinking about any number of stupid, unimportant things.  I just can't seem to switch my brain off at night anymore. So, if my husband is really tired, he will snore a bit.

Cue me getting REALLY irate!

I don't swear but put me in a situation when I'm tired and someone else is sleeping soundly then the air turns a tad blue.

"STOP F'IN SNORING"...normally coupled with a wild waft of the duvet and a full-on stamping stonk into the bathroom just to make sure I've woken him up properly.

Sleep envy really can make even the relatively calmest of people turn into a monster.

I know.  I am that monster.


Katie @mummydaddyme said...

How funny I just commented almost the exact same thing on Working London Mummys latest post. I honestly don't understand why some mums do this- why do they intentionally want to make people feel bad?
Great post hun and I hope you had or are having a nice hols. xxx


My first son didn't sleep right through in his own bed 'til he was 4! By son 3 I had learnt every trick in the book to get a routine and also how to power nap. I can now sleep anywhere and at anytime on demand. Sleep is the one thing you take for granted until someone takes it away. I fear that by the time my younger 2 are past the stages of having unsettled nights, my eldest will be keeping me awake with worry. I cannot begin to imagine how much panicking I'll be doing when he's out getting drunk. Hopefully, I'll catch up on sleep when I'm 60!

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Anna said...

Uggghhh sleep deprivation is the worst. My little girl hated sleep from day one. She didn't have more than 4 broken hours of sleep until she was 7 months. Smug mums whose babies have slept through from an early age will never understand just how hard it is to even get up and clean your teeth, never mind look after a baby, when you're sleep deprived. It's really hard, and sometimes opinions are just better not expressed!
Lovely post, this rang so true for me x

This Mid 30s Life said...

I HATED that horrible question, "So is he / she sleeping through?"

No. Now f*ck off. (Please excuse my swearing but it's in context and I put an * in it!)

Especially when it was always followed up by them telling me how they managed it, like it was some kind of achievement of theirs.

Errr... I'm over it now though. Obviously. xx

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I probably was that smug mammy on dd no 1, but in fairness she HAD to sleep as I had to go back to work when she was 10 weeks old (last century you see lol). I soon learned with the other two that it is not always so straightforward and after 18 years as a mum, I still get very grumpy when no 1 son insists on getting up at 6am - and I have to get up too....hopefully you won't be waiting quite that long for a good night's sleep lol

Dia said...

My baby is 9 months and he doesn't sleep through the night! He wakes at least once for a feed and will still wake a few times unless he is sleeping in my bed! If he's in my bed, he just passes out. In the whole 9 months, I think he's slept right through the night only 4 times :(
It irritates me when people ask if he's sleeping through and tell me how they got their children to sleep through the night. Have I not tried different things already?? Grrrr.

Kelly Simmonds said...

Oooo isn't the most annoying thing when people do that?! I just want to scream at them, "why, oh I why do you think I need to know that? How is this going to help me in any way?!' My baby is 11 months and has yet to sleep through. This week I am so tired I can't blog,I can't plan what to have for tea and I haven't got round to doing basic things like cutting my nails! Thanks for reminding me I am not alone x

motherventing said...

When I was pregnant, people would tell me, 'Oh sleep now cos you won't get a chance later!' and I'd be like, 'Mahaha, yeah right, can't be that bad, can it?' Uh. Yup. It IS that bad, and you're right, sleep deprivation is a killer. Some days I feel like a zombie. Moo charms me sometimes with a longish night but generally she's up a few times. And yes, I have a close friend whose boy sleeps through. Urgh. I think we can all identify with your pain!!

ML said...

I'm not snoring though!


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