If you give a mom drink mix, she’ll want some hot water to go with it.
She’ll run some water in a Pyrex container and put it in the microwave.
She’ll probably be on her way out the door, so she’ll pull a travel mug from the cabinet.
When the microwave dings, she’ll retrieve her water and set it on the counter near the mug.
She’ll measure out her cappuccino and spoon it into her mug. Then she’ll stir. And stir. And stir.
She’ll get a dusty puff of mix in her face and think there is something wrong with the mix. She’ll probably stir some more.
And then she’ll realize her cup of hot water is still on the counter.
She’ll pour the water into the travel mug and probably think she lost her mind.
Losing her mind will remind her of the reason she needed a cappuccino in the first place. And chances are, if she makes herself a hot drink, she’ll need a nap to go with it.
The moral of the story—aside from the fact that I’ve been reading my fair share of Laura Numeroff’s “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie…A Pig a Pancake…A Cat a Cupcake…A Moose a Muffin” books—is that sleep is important.
I think we probably all know that. But there’s something about having an infant that reinforces the necessity of sleep.
I guess I got caught off-guard again. With our first child, I was so naive. And my tough new role caught me unaware. With our second, I braced myself for the madness, but it didn’t come. Looking back, it was probably that our focus was more on the medical issue and impending surgery for our oldest, rather than an abundance of sleep, but I tend to look at our second child as being easier than the first (at least as far as newborns go).
So, with the third, I reasoned it should only get easier. The baby would be more compliant and easy-going. A third should fit in to the existing family with little trouble, right?
Well, maybe sometimes, but that wasn’t our particular experience. Far from it.
Maybe it’s just that as parents, we are finally outnumbered. But I’m pretty sure lack of sleep has contributed to the chaos. Until a week ago, our son would only nap while being held. While good for bonding, it prohibits anything above and beyond the necessities of daily life.
He also rarely sleeps more than three hours in a row at night. And he’s now 41?2 months old. Newborn craziness for over four months is purely exhausting.
But we are managing. And not on our own.
Sure, the nights are generally up to me, but unlike the first go-around, I don’t feel the need to make everyone think I have it all together.
And that honesty has allowed connections with other moms, reminiscing over the crazed moments of sleep deprivation. Forgetting to add water to my drink mix is just another instance to be added to the definition of motherhood.
We’ve missed well-known exits. We’ve broken down in front of our pediatrician. We’ve spent months sleeping on our couch because it’s the only way to survive.
We do what we can. We do what works.
And doing what works will remind a mom that this, too, shall pass.
When reminded that this, too, shall pass, a mom will probably remember that time is fleeting.
And chances are, if she remembers time is short, she’ll settle in for the ride (and catch a nap when she can).