It’s 3 o’clock in the morning, and for the third night in a row, I’m awake. Wide awake. Completely exhausted, yet not able to even trick myself into going to sleep. I’m frustrated, aggravated and wanting to cry because I JUST WANT TO SLEEP!
Fast forward four hours later: “Mom, it’s 7:00! We’re going to be late for school!”
Sometime over the last four hours I fell asleep. Finally. Ahhhhhh, sleep! It’s so nice, so needed.
Get Up Woman!
Wait! No! “Get up woman,” I tell myself! “You have to leave in less than 30 minutes or you’ll be late for work and your kids will be late for school.” It’s bad enough that my older daughter constantly worries about getting detention because we’re almost to the “limit” on the number of tardies allowed in one quarter.
“Shoes on? Check. Bow in the hair? Check. School bags packed? Ummm … well, just grab it anyway. We have to go!”
I mutter through the day trying desperately not to fall asleep at my desk and of course, needing the endless cup of coffee. All the while, thinking that I just can’t wait to get home and go to bed!
But that evening, guess what happens when I’m finally able to lay down and relax? That’s right, you guessed it. I’m awake. Again.
… But have you tried this?
Does this scenario sound familiar to any of you? Probably so. There are tons of articles, research and even well meaning family members and friends that offer advice. Turn off the TV. Turn off the iPad. Turn on the TV. Listen to soft music. Don’t drink caffeine after 1PM. Get up at the same time every day. Go to bed at the same time every day. Drink a glass of milk. Take two Tylenol. Tried them all and nope – no luck.
Bottom line, I’m a mom, a wife, an employee, a boss, and a daughter. My brain never shuts off, EVEN when it’s given permission to (you know – like in the middle of the night when it’s time to go to sleep)!
The Nighty Night Switch
I want the switch. I want that switch that you can simply press and your brain goes nighty night. I miss those days from childhood when we all played so hard that we fell asleep the second our heads hit the pillow. It’s actually one of the things that amazes me about my youngest daughter. She plays hard up until the very last second before it is time to go to bed and then boom! She’s out! I have to admit that I’m very jealous of that.
But I do have to remind myself: this is all because I care. I stay up at night because my brain is going a mile a minute thinking about the day’s events and planning the next day’s checklist. I toss and turn because I worry about those people who are special to me – my children, my husband, my family, my friends. I replay situations from work in my head so that I know how to better handle them next time.
Worries are a Blessing
I may not sleep like I want to, or like I need to, but I must remind myself that sometimes I don’t sleep because I am blessed with all of those things to worry about. I have to remind myself that there are those who sleep a lot, A WHOLE LOT, because they have no spouse, no parents, no children, no job. They don’t know what to do other than sleep.
So, all in all, I am tired. I need lots of naps. I need a good night’s sleep every once in a while at least. But for the days (and weeks) when that doesn’t seem to be in the cards, I say a quiet prayer and thank God for giving me the blessings I have that keep me up at night, for I would never trade sleep for any of those things, not even for one second!