I used to spend my extra hour of Fall Back explaining to my toddler why 4:30 a.m.was an ungodly hour to wake up for the day. Then we’d play with his toy trucks until 5:30 a.m. when his brother woke up, and I started it all over again.
So it was no wonder to me when the New York Times reported today that modern moms have a tough time getting to sleep and staying asleep, so more and more of us are turning to pills to help. But it isn’t just pint-sized alarm clocks in feetie pajamas making moms lose sleep. Here are the main reasons, according to the Times:
1. Technology: We’ve got to check the email for bed, and then think about the reply to the emails until the wee hours of the night.
2. Kids: Yes, sometimes the kids themselves just wake us up. But more often, we’re up at night, alone, running through to-do lists (“Is basketball practice tomorrow or Tuesday?”) in our heads.
3. Juggling: Not balls or bowling pins, but work and kids and are we out of milk?
4. Perfection: We don’t know how to prioritize our to-do lists. As a result, getting the car’s oil changed is as important as our kid’s pediatrician’s appointment is as important as the report due at work tomorrow is as important as planning Thanksgiving dinner is as important as buying winter jackets for the kids. And how can a mom sleep when everything takes priority?
Numbers 1 and 4 are uniquely the territory of modern motherhood, when we mothers lose sleep because of late night texts and Oh my God! I forgot to print out the math report! I am the worst mother in the world! We obsess and we text and we worry incessantly that we are not good enough moms. And then we — hold on, I have to answer this email… –where was I? Oh yeah, then we pile way too much on ourselves and on our Blackberries.
So of course we wake up in the middle of the night, when finally, blessedly, everything is quiet, even a mouse (the electronic kind, of course), and wonder, Did I forget something? Chances are, we did. And whatever we forgot, it is no doubt equally important to every other thing on our long, long list of stuff to keep track of, because we are juggling the kids and technology and perfection. Or as one mother told the Times, ““My brain is just going, going, going.” Our brains just won’t sleep.
We are ever hypervigilant, our Mommy Monitors always on and tuned in, checking for danger or forgotten permission slips or approaching toddlers who don’t understand that Fall Back is supposed to mean more sleep for the big people. Or as one mom told the Times, “worrying and then worrying about the worry.”
Momma can’t sleep. Well, Duh.
What keeps you up at night?