Hubby snapped a picture of me as an exhausted new mother in August 2002. Yes that’s a dog and a baby in bed with me and you can see I’m passed out in my nursing bra. No I don’t recommend doing any of this but hubby was there as my spotter.

Young mothers who longingly desire nights of peaceful slumber as the holy grail of sanity? I’m here to burst your sweet dreams bubble.

Once your precious baby is sleeping through the night it is, for a short time at least, a slow cruise toward Snoozeville. Mastering the sleeping through the night milestone is nature’s way of making sure we don’t totally lose it from lack of sleep, because Lord knows we all need our sanity for the Terrible Twos. This dangling carrot of parenthood, however, eventually gets eaten by your own brain known as a disorder called momsomnia. This is a disorder that most typically affects parents of elementary school age kids.

Blame it on the end of year activities calendar on steroids. Blame it 40-something hormones. Blame it on that piece of dark chocolate you ate at 10 p.m. with a red wine chaser.

You can no longer remember the last time you slept through the night.

Your kids are well past the baby monitor and baby food days, but you’re once again not clocking in consecutive zzzzzs.

My endless Post It mental notes wake me up almost every night, or to be more precise, at 2 a.m.

This is a sampling of my stream of consciousness to do list during the end of school year crazies.

Did I sign that permission slip? Did we RSVP for that party? Did I miss that soccer tryout deadline? Did I pay for that field trip? Do I still owe the cafeteria two bucks? Do we have a dress down day this Friday or NEXT Friday? When am I supposed to bring snacks to school? Have I washed my hair this week? Who’s this guy in bed with me? (Ha…just checking to make sure you’re still reading. Simmer down.)

So here’s a little advice to all you young couples sans children.

SLEEP! Sleep like you’ve never slept before. Do not take sleep for granted. Some day you won’t be able to remember the last time you clocked in 8 consecutive hours of uninterrupted slumber and you’ll be a walking mom zombie, making turkey sandwiches and putting them in the bread bag with the rest of the loaf instead of into your kids’ lunch boxes.

Not that I’d ever do that.

This post appeared in The Tennessean‘s Family section. Check it out!


  1. Blonde Mom says:

    Jenn, the good news is my girls are sleeping well (AND sleeping in…hurrah although I’m jealous as I’ve also, unfortunately, lost the ability to sleep in.) The bad news is I’m the one not sleeping so well. 😉

    This is the last week of school for us, though, so I can already feel a mental weight lifting from my addled brain parts.

  2. ernestine lawson says:

    All I know is you are the best
    daughter, mother and wife.
    You are appreciated.
    Rest when you can

  3. Sarah says:

    I love this post! I am living in this world, I tell all of my childless friends the same thing! Tonight I saw the word “Appointment” on the calender without any details and went into panic mode… only a mom with no sleep would write something like that without any details and then forget what the heck it was supposed to mean!

  4. Shannon says:

    I love that your husband had the foresight to capture this very typical moment of early parenthood. My husband doesn’t know how to operate a camera, so I would never have a shot like that. That’s true life!

    I wrote a similar post this week about preparing for childbirth and tossing out “What to Expect When You Are Expecting”. I’d tell soon-to-be parents to sleep and read good books (…you know, the kind that need to be read more than 5 pages per sitting!).

  5. Courtney says:

    I recently saw an episode of Dr. Oz where he recommended Passion Flower extract to help you sleep and turn off the constantly running mind. I’ve used it for 2 days and it I’ve been sleeping.

Leave a Reply