Sunday, January 24

Finding Her Purpose

I recently wound up in a conversation with someone who is about a month from becoming a father for the first time. I feel like it's my sworn duty to make sure all soon-to-be-parents are given two valuable (and unwanted) pieces of my infinite wisdom: 1.) Don't spend good money on a good changing table because your kid is just going to cover it in poop and 2.) That thing people say about newborns not sleeping? They lie. A lot.

It's about 135134098535 times worse than anyone tells you it's going to be.

It's not that people are trying to lie, of course. It's that there just aren't words in the English language that adequately describe the level of sleep deprivation that comes with that first month or so. The closest I've ever come is to tell people that it's like you set your alarm clock for 2:00am and then hit snooze when it goes off. Instead of going back to sleep, you walk down the hall, thread a needle, watch a high school drama club reenact an episode of Seinfeld, sell a life insurance plan to a 7-year old, and then go back to bed, only to have the alarm go off again 15 minutes later. Once again, you hit snooze. You repeat the whole process. Over and over. All night long. For a month. Or longer.

I then mentioned to the soon-to-be-father that it really sucks that I apparently got a defective model of baby girl. Mine STILL doesn't sleep. I explained that she just plain doesn't need sleep, as if she's some sort of robot or something.

Somewhere along the line, his eyes got big and he started to look a little worried. "My wife is like that. She doesn't need sleep either and never has."

He was concerned that the baby might take after his wife, but some of the words he said floated out of his mouth bearing flashing lights, sirens, exclamation points, and pure joy.

His wife is a doctor.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A purpose!

A goal!

A use for that no need to sleep superpower!

When we're done paying for med school for Alexis, I'm making her buy me my very own sleeping quarters. I don't care where they are or what they look like, but the kid owes me nearly five years of good sleep.

27 comments:

  1. I was so CLUELESS when I became a parent...CLUELESS. I'm tired now. With two, one of them is always yelling "mommy!" in the middle of the night. Why don't they ever yell "daddy!"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Even if they did yell "Daddy" he would turn over and say, "The baby is awake." LOL At least that's what mine does. He is now banished to the couch and the baby and I sleep in the huge king size bed. Perhaps next time (should there be one) he will participate in my middle of the night torture. :)

    And YAY for finding out what your kid is going to be early. We are still trying to decide. All of our kids sleep..a lot..though lol.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A very good friend of mine said that there are only two rules for parenthood and they are quite simply:

    1. Don't kill the kid.
    2. Never forget rule #1.

    Until you become a parent that just sounds kinda funny. WHEN you become a parent that becomes very, very true.

    I have two no-sleeping kids but from reading your stories I'd say you're on a whole other playing field. My kids at least smell a pillow once in a while.

    Good luck! I can always recommend a few good books for ya since you'll be up.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Even with a very equal partner in marriage and parenting, I swear mothers have ears fathers don't have.

    The gutters blew off our house one day and were scraping across the roof. He? Woke up and was freaking out. I didn't hear it.

    The baby can sneeze and I wake up but unless wailing is involved, he simply doesn't hear it.

    However, it's hard not to feel a three-year old's foot in your face.

    Four years. It's been four years since I've slept more than 4 hours without HER in my face. The baby sleeps like an angel? Charlotte is Alexis' sleep twin. KILLS ME.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Karma will step in there and give that Mother Who Needs No Sleep a baby that sleeps through the night from the time it's home from the hospital. It's cruel that way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love it!! Nonsleeper equals doctor. That does provide purpose in life.

    Does it make you feel better to know that baby number 4 slept WAY better and MUCH more than baby number 1? It might be cause he's an easier kid, but I think it has more to do with me already knowing all the stuff one, two and three taught me. Crazy to think with four kids I sleep more than I did with just one, but really. It's true.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous8:24 AM

    We can send Alexis and my elder to med school together because he doesn't sleep either (or at least he didn't when he was A's age. It's better now).

    Signed,
    Zombie Mom working on 5 years of crap sleep
    aka Mattieflap (can't get my OpenID to verify)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Skye was the same way. Thankfully by the time she hit kindergarten she would sleep an occasional all night. Honestly, by that time I think I learned to take care of her sleepwalking. I was working 60 weeks and the only one that got up with her.

    Irony is that now she's married and out of the house, I still don't sleep a full night. What's up with that? (Hugs)Indigo

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had a friend tell me exactly this about sleep deprivation, that it was beyond her ability to put into words. She said, "You're so tired you walk into walls." And that, she added, wasn't even enough to describe it.

    It's like the cliche/Johnson's baby commercial tagline, "A baby changes everything." You hear that, and your brain can process it, but until you actually have a baby, you have no idea what that means.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Morgan has been an awesome sleeper since week 7. Which scares me for two reasons: 1) is she going to be a cashier at Taco Bell and NOT a doctor?! 2) does that mean the new baby will never sleep? EVER?! I do NOT do well with broken sleep. Thank GOD the husband is use to functioning off little sleep and is usually the one to get up in the middle of the night. Usually. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. wow...you mean there's hope?
    I don't sleep (and when I do, I'm a somnambulist). My husband is semi-narcoleptic. My son does not sleep. I do chores and cook in the wee smalls when I'm awake. Maybe he can make big money?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like to tell new parents to be that what they're about to experience (sleep deprivation) is used as a form of TORTURE in some countries. (Yeah, I'm friendly that way.)

    My first kid? Doesn't sleep for shit. The baby though, the TWO WEEK OLD baby? He sleeps better than all the rest of us combined. (Please don't smack me.) Luck of the draw, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Do you have the friend who has the kid who sleeps like an angel, too? That EXTRA kills me. I have the "Oh, my baby has slept like an angel since the day before he was born" friend. And I also have the kid who wanders into my bedroom at 2 in the morning and pokes me in the ear and says "Mama? You sleepin'?"

    ReplyDelete
  14. @tammy--I think these people who have good sleepers are just better at using duct tape than we are.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What I remember most about those early days -- even more than the middle of the night marathon you described -- are the days. Those days when you are DYING for a nap and just when you get the baby to sleep and you lie down, right when your eyes close the baby wakes up and starts to cry. THOSE are the times that try mom's souls.

    My 2nd is not a great sleeper either. Well, occasionally she is, but she'll go through these random spurts where she's up 3 or 4 times in the night. Maybe she can be a doctor who works shifts? Random, random shifts?

    ReplyDelete
  16. sleepgh2:05 PM

    Thanks...I'm due in 5 weeks. I appreciate the honesty cause people all say, "It's so wonderful..."
    crap. I knew they were lying.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Kat never slept through the night til she was 19 months old. And still we have sleep issues and she's 5 1/2. It's okay now...I totally sleep while they're all in school ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. @sleepgh--They are TOTALLY lying. It's so wonderful . . . but it comes at a price.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lol. Love it!! My son didnt' sleep for the first 9 months of his life. I thought that he wasn't human.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, my girl is definitely going to be a doctor! As long as her patients don't mind her occasionally having a tantrum in the middle of the night! HA!

    The people I warn about this? Inevitably have great sleepers and must think I'm totally crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think Alexis needs to stop influencing my kiddos. They used to sleep like rocks. It might take them awhile to fall asleep, but then they were out. All. night. long. Ever since Christmas, I've been up at least 4 times a night. I've been reminding myself of Rule #1 quite frequently.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Teaspoon slept like a log until he hit 9.5-10 months. Now the lil shite is up at 2:30am and wide awake no matter when we put him to bed.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am sincerely hoping that 4 is the year for you. At 4 years and 8 months Cooper is FINALLY sleeping all night, in his own bed, with almost no waking. If the other two following this pattern, I will get a full night's sleep in the year 2014. Kill me now.

    And I can't believe that the driving skills of a sleep deprived new mother don't garner more attention than those of someone driving under the influence . . . I should never have been allowed to get behind the wheel during those first few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I always wondered how doctors could possibly function on so little sleep. Sounds like the perfect profession for Alexis!

    AndreAnna- Agreed! I think they're programmed with selective hearing, mostly in the house- and car-related realms!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think some people forget or block it out - like childbirth. My husband just asked me a few weeks ago "Did you ever feel really sleep deprived after we first brought Tessa home? Because I don't remember being that tired." After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I reminded him that I actually cried on more than one occasion because I was so tired I thought I might be losing my mind and that HE wasn't quite as tired because I was the one who had to do the feeding no matter how many times he said "I wish I could do it for you...you know I would do it if I could".

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm guessing she'll owe you a lot more by then. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I WISH I didn't need sleep. I would get so much done.

    ReplyDelete