Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the dreadful toll motherhood has taken on my sleeping patterns.  Little by little, I'm starting to realize that this sleep deprivation shit is just a never-ending, vicious cycle that nobody ever REALLY tells you about.  Evidently, it never really goes away but just presents itself in different forms along the way, starting from the time you pop that kid out of your uterus until the day you die.  (So much to look forward to, huh?!)

When your kids are babies, you think, "OH MY GOD, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!" as you repeatedly drag yourself out of bed for those middle of the night feedings.  You pace the floor with a wild look in your eyes as you rock that little bundle with all your desperate might.  And you tell yourself that it MUST be better once he or she finally learns to sleep through the night.

Then the toddler years hit, and you think, "OH MY GOD, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!" as you make numerous trips down the hall to reposition a bed-hopping munchkin back in his/her rightful slumbering place.  You seriously consider duct tape, super glue, or a staple gun as your only viable options.  But you tell yourself that SURELY it'll be better once your little pumpkin gets over the separation anxiety hurdle.

And then the elementary school years arrive, and you think, "OH MY GOD, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!" as you hold your puking kid's hair back over the porcelain god at 3 AM.  You eventually lay your barf-spattered self back in your bed, only to hear more gagging coming from your other offspring's room.  And you assure yourself that things HAVE to be better once their immunity builds up.

But then the teenage years roll in, and you think, "OH MY GOD, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!" as you lie in bed worrying whether your social butterfly of a daughter will finally arrive home in one piece before curfew.  Your ears perk up and your heart skips a beat with each passing car that you hear.  And you promise yourself that things WILL eventually be better once your child becomes a responsible adult (*fingers crossed*).

However, your baby's finally all grown up, and you STILL find yourself thinking, "OH MY GOD, I AM NEVER GOING TO NOT BE TIRED EVER AGAIN!!" as you wake up in a pool of your own sweat while your mind races over all the crap that you didn't get done that day.  You can deny it all you want, but menopause has decided to be your new BFF, and zombie-chic is once again your new everyday look.

And it's then, and only then, that you realize that you will FINALLY get a good night's sleep...........when you're six feet under the ground.

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Tags: anxiety, babies, curfew, deprivation, flashes, hot, kids, menopause, motherhood, parenting, More…separation, sleep, teenagers, toddlers, women

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