Only in Your Dreams

Photography: Brandi Johnson

By Barrie Bismark

I don’t sleep. Not anymore. Since becoming a mom, the sleeping ship has sailed…and I fear it may never return. Between the kids, my snoring husband, and my aching body, a full night’s sleep is a thing of the past. My three kids all sleep through the night now (most of the time) and the sleepless newborn nights are over. Sure, there are the handful of sleepless nights taking care of a sick child or cleaning up vomit…but on a regular basis, they don’t come in crying every night, don’t need to be fed in the middle of the night, or they don’t poop their pants and need to be changed (hopefully). But I still don’t sleep.

Everyone knows that once you have kids, you lose sleep. It is to be expected and is an accepted truth of parenting. As moms, we muddle through the best we can, dreaming that one day, we’ll get a full night’s sleep once again. But I didn’t expect there to be so many reasons I can’t sleep. It is not just the kids crying or being sick that keep me awake until the wee hours of the morning. It is so much more.

I remember being a kid and my parents telling me that they didn’t sleep well each night. They couldn’t sleep because they were worried, had a lot on their mind, couldn’t sleep when I wasn’t home, their back hurt, or whatever the reason of the day was. I simply couldn’t understand what the big deal was. Just go to bed and close your eyes. I was fine, my brother was fine…now just go to sleep. Now, that I am a mom myself, I get it. Moms just don’t sleep. Period.

Now, that I am a mom myself, I get it. Moms just don’t sleep. Period.

I just recently read a story about a study that was done that reviled some very shocking results. The American Academy of Neurology and Georgia Southern University, confirms that after having children, moms sleep less. Mind blown. I am glad we spent a billion dollars on a study to prove what millions of mothers from the beginning of time could have told you. But even more shockingly, the study revealed that men’s sleep cycles don’t appear to be disturbed after having children. Wait, what? Everyone’s husband snores and sleeps soundly when mom is awake worrying, crying, or tending to the kids? I mean…I guess it makes me feel better that I am not alone.

This case and point proves true at my house every single night and I didn’t need an expensive study to prove it. I lay there awake thinking, getting up with a child, or whatever it happens to be, and my hubby lays there snoring, almost completely undisturbed. Sometimes, I don’t even think he has a clue of half of the antics that go on after he has drifted off to sleepy land. Even if there are no antics happening, he still sleeps so soundly. How can the struggles of life not keep him awake? How can he not hear the screaming kid, the dog, or sleep during the crisis du jour? But more importantly, how can he not wake himself up with that god-awful snoring sound?

Here is a small sample of the things that keep me awake at night while my hubby is happily snoring away next to me:

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