The sleepless life of a Mother
Being a mother is one of the most amazing, beautiful, rewarding and challenging things a woman will ever experience in her life. Once you become a parent you will forever be a mother, whether your child is with you or not.
Being a mother is more than bringing a child into the world and caring for that child until they fly the nest… it’s a lifelong vocation. A mother’s stress level is quite unlike anything else, with my mental load sometimes likened to a browser with 50 open tabs! I worry about everything from a spot that could be chicken pox, to the size of my child’s shoes, to whether they have got a friend, to what kind of booster seat they should ride with in the car (the BubbleBum booster seat is the answer, I am not biased).
I worry if they are eating their greens and getting all of their vitamins, never mind worrying about their mental health; are they happy or are they sad? Motherhood is the only time when it is socially acceptable to worry about another human being’s bowel movements, and indeed discuss them openly within your social circle!
Being a mother, having a full-time job, running a home, looking good (or trying to), going to the gym, maintaining a social life, all whilst giving the appearance of being a well adjusted member of society, is rather tiring. I am lying, I don’t go to the gym.
A Sacrifice Worth Making
A mother sacrifices so many things in her life for the wellbeing of her child. I happily sacrificed my body, my social life, my alone time, my right to go to the toilet on my own, the right to eat a meal on my own, but most of all the biggest sacrifice I will make is my right to sleep! I wore my fit bit to bed for 3 nights to monitor my sleep, to prove to my husband that I got less sleep than him (a discussion we regularly have; who is more tired?) and it was a bad idea because it made me more aware that I am in fact a sleep deprived ‘mombie’. It confirmed what I already knew, that my husband gets at least 60 minutes deep sleep more than me and I wake more often than he does. 60 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot but the struggle is real, every sleeping second is precious.
A mother will never have a good nights sleep ever again after her children have been born.
Here at BubbleBum HQ the BubbleBum mums and I wonder if there has ever been a study conducted on a mother to see how much sleep she actually loses in her lifetime. We all know that in the first few years of a child’s life a parent loses a lot of sleep. With the trauma of teething will come many sleepless nights, but it’s often expected that once your child is a toddler you will sleep like a baby again. Don’t be lulled into this false sense of security; one day you will be woken at 3am by shallow breaths on your face and when you open your eyes you will be scared to death by a face staring back at you, whispering that the rocking horse in their bedroom is moving by itself and you need to come and tell it to stop.
This actually happened to me recently, my three year old climbed into the bed and lay beside us. Goodbye sleep, I might meet you again tomorrow night, briefly! My daughter has also started waking at 6am which is not so great, but I will save that story for another time.
5840 Hours of Lost Sleep
As your child grows your need for sleep will hopefully adjust. My daughters are three and 8 months old now, so I have calculated 5,840 hours of lost sleep in 4 years if you include pregnancies (I rarely slept when I was expecting). Before my girls came along I slept a solid 8 hours per night, over time I have learned you can wing it through work and life with only 4 hours, if you accompany it with a steady flow of coffee. No more barista style coffees from my fancy machine, drank hot and in a suitable cup. No…. now I drink cold, instant coffee from a plastic ‘Frozen’ cup because my daughter insists that I use it. Again, pick your battles.
Fast-forward a few years; now you are woken by a 5 year old who is thirsty at 4am after drinking a litre of water at bedtime. 30 minutes later, they will need the bathroom again, while you stand blurry-eyed clutching the toilet roll like a pillow, dreaming about dreaming. This is how I anticipate my life to be.
It never stops; the sleepless years tumble into one another and then at last you will get a few nights of quality sleep… bring on life! But then your 10 year old decides they want to co-sleep because they can hear noises at their window and they refuse to sleep in their own bed (it’s the wind).
Then you are thinking ‘yeah the teenage years, finally, teenagers love to sleep!’ well this is also incorrect. Teenagers like to sleep ALL day because they sit up ALL night on their phones and tablets. So when you go to bed at 9pm you will rise in the early hours to the noise of your teenager raiding the kitchen cupboards for midnight snacks or shouting on their gaming headsets.
Then comes the problem of your kids being old enough to go out and consume alcohol. You will stay awake all night until they safely return to the nest, then want to throw them out of it because they are banging into everything on their way to bed. The day finally comes when your most cherished darling sleep-thief, leaves home. Now your mum anxiety kicks in and you stay awake worrying if they have everything they need. The sleep deprivation has now become normality… and then your baby has a baby of their own and that opens up a whole new can of worry worms!
At BubbleBum our working mums and I make it through our days on positive energy, lots of coffee and the acceptance that there will never be a full nights sleep again.
So this Mother’s Day give your mother the gift of sleep, forget the chocolates, flowers and give her a BubbleBum Booster Seat to rest her weary head on. She can even use the BubbleBum to drive the grandkids safely when they babysit so you can get some rest as well!
Happy Mothers Day x
Laura, Marketing Executive at BubbleBum Booster Seats