Sleep: The Unattainable Dream

I’ve been gambling with sleep for awhile now. I hadn’t realized how much I intentionally did so, until I gave birth to another child. At that point, sleep became a gift I no longer controlled.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And I missed it.

Desperately.

Oh, my missing it didn’t happen right away. First, I snapped at everyone. Then, I cried. I cried a lot. Next, I snapped and cried. Everyone and everything was wrong wrong wrong. Couldn’t they see how much the mess and my feelings were their fault??

So, I made sleep a priority. I snuck in naps wherever I could, even at the expense of cleaning. To help block out the light and sound of no one else sleeping, I set a pillow over my head. I set my phone’s timer for 45 minutes so I wouldn’t nap too long -then I’d often sleep another hour after it went off.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Slowly, slowly, the world wasn’t so horribly awful.

Actually; the world brightened up right away. It stayed bright once the newborn baby slept better and I could get sleep more consistently.

Hormones also play a HUGE role, of course. I need to remind myself of that as well. Sleep alone, however, was and is helpful enough that I highly recommend it.

If you are in The Newborn Phase, The Teething Phase, or even The Have Children Phase; don’t get caught in the trap of insomnia like me. Step back and take inventory of how many trips to deep REM you’re taking. There’s only so many times you can neglect your health, so many cups of coffee you can drink.

Trust me. Zzzzzzzz

selective focus photo of woman in blue tank top and shorts lying on a hammock
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

©2020 Chelsea Owens

*As a parting note, there are way too many stock photos of women ‘sleeping’ in full makeup. That is gross, and no one actually does that.

Hi. My Name is Mom and I Can’t Think

There’s a strange phenomenon centered around parents stuck at home all day for longer than they expected. Those experiencing it term the condition Mom Brain (a male equivalent is still in dispute).

Early symptoms include drop in IQ, fatigue, and restless toddler syndrome. Continued exposure to isolated home life results in more serious complications: further cognitive loss, addictions, poor eating habits, not-getting-dressedness, and hopelessness.

Unfortunately, there is no medication currently approved by the FDA that can actually cure this malady.

There are, as many sufferers may admit, several home remedies. These are also not approved by the FDA or even their own mothers.

Those experiencing Mom Brain should not see their doctor; partly because said doctor will have little to contribute besides a confused head-scratching, but mostly because those experiencing Mom Brain will forget to even make the appointment…

Survivors of the condition have no suggestions, alluding to something called “time.” They then add a laugh, commiserative pat, and a walk-away with a spring to their step that they are no longer going through life looking like a zombie.

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©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo Credit: Jen Theodore

Short, Sweet, Sleep

“Have more positivity.” They smile, and pat my head.

I’d have more positivity if I went back home to bed.

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That woman is wearing earrings and nail polish. There’s no way she’s sleeping.

©2020 Chelsea Owens

A Very Unmerry Birthday to You

Yesterday was my birthday. As a mother, that meant the day ran about the same as all the others but my kids and husband wanted me to be happy. Act happy. Look excited. Smile more (well, at all). Eagerly anticipate what household object they had gift-wrapped.

In short, I needed to be as excited as the boys all feel when it’s their birthday.

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Like most events in life, however, I dread my birthday. I don’t like being the spotlight. I’m not a fun present un-wrapper. I’m not the life of the party. When birthdays or Mother’s Day roll around, I’d rather not be here to celebrate. This desire confuses and hurts my family.

The problem is that the day is still a day. My day of birth was a Saturday this year; but, when it’s a weekday; I still have carpool, cleaning, sports classes, dinner, dishes, bedtime, and attempts to bond as a couple.

The problem is that my entire life is to anticipate the whims of the house and its occupants and cater to them to avoid nuclear meltdown. Everyone else’s needs come first and I feel shallow thinking about myself.

The problem is, like with most events, I need to ask for what I want in order to receive it -and I feel bad for having wants in the first place. I’ve crumpled up and trashed anything resembling innermost desires; and feel like an indecent, filthy street beggar pawing through something molding when asked about them.

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Why? That doesn’t seem healthy. Perhaps it’s not.

Acknowledging the problem or even testing out the whole “asking for what I want” thing doesn’t erase the guilt. Again, though, why not? And, more specifically, how can we erase the guilt? Lobotomy?

Frankly, I’ve spent the last few years in an intentional haze of semi-tiredness (very like a lobotomy) in order to avoid some of these bothersome feelings. I’ve numbed to avoid sadness and empty despair and hopelessness. I’ve pretended contentment and ignored myself in order to function.

*Sigh*

Birthdays don’t have to be so heavy and serious, of course. I actually only cried because I wanted to a little yesterday. Then, my sister planned a surprise mani/pedi appointment and my mother took me to lunch afterwards. My husband, for his part, took the children and the housework for the day.

In all, even my Eeyore side had to agree that it was a good birthday.

Now, if I could just get over how guilty I feel that everyone did all that for me…

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Sunday, March 17: “The Magic Clothes Washing Machine,” my scientific observations of what the clothes washer produces.

Monday, March 18: Wrote a poem for The Bloggers Bash competition titled, “Five More Minutes.”

Tuesday, March 19: Shared a quote by Christie Mellor.

Wednesday, March 20: Whispered my super secret tip about bread preservation.

Thursday, March 21: “In Case of Emergency, Interrupt.” Never ignore The Look.

Friday, March 22: Advised against Super Momming in “Pinterest Mom or Sane Parent?

Saturday, March 23: Shared Unfiltered Mama‘s tweet about difficult kids.

Sunday, March 24: Today! Yay!

 

Photo Credit:
Jorge Ibanez
Jiroe
Rune Enstad