Day 7: Up All Night

In my 20s “up all night” meant something awesome must have happened. A party. Or a concert. Going out to a club. An adventure in the city.

One time, my husband I stayed up all night binge-watching old episodes of Cheers, that we had rented from Blockbuster Video, just because. I would never have the energy to do that now.  Because now, a major feature of my life is sleep deprivation.

I was mentioned this to another mom a few weeks ago, that I was sleep deprived, and she was surprised. “Really? Like real sleep deprivation.”

I explained, yes, it was real. I’ve been to the doctor about it and everything.

“But why?” she asked.

I was completely surprised that she wouldn’t automatically know. Aren’t all parents sleep deprived?

Seriously. Aren’t all parents sleep deprived? How are they not sleep deprived?

In the moment I was so flabbergasted that I couldn’t really explain myself. Clearly this person was not sleep deprived. The first answer that came to mind was just, kids. Kids are the reason I don’t sleep any more. But I couldn’t say that, because she has even more kids than I do – four! I mumbled something about stress and work, and changed the subject.

The truth is, there are many reasons why I don’t sleep much any more, but kids are definitely, for very practical and real reasons, the biggest reason why I haven’t had a full nights sleep in (literally) years.

Last night, for example, our two year old woke up five times in the night. Five! Each time was the same. He wanted “one last sip” of water. Each time he woke, his adorable little voice would come floating into our bedroom. “Mommy. I want Mommy. One last sip.”  I stumbled into his room, picked him up, hugged him, handed him his water bottle for exactly three seconds, and then he went right back to sleep like clockwork. Even though Brinton and I took turns going in, we both woke up every time.

The same thing happened the night before.

Before the water thing started, Jackson was in the habit of calling for us to do “one last tuck in.” And before that he had a stomach bug. And before that, he was waking up saying (always in an adorably cute voice), “I want snack.” And before that. . . you get the picture.

My sleep deprivation isn’t all Jackson’s fault though. Our daughter Lily also wakes up. A few weeks ago she kept waking up asking for “a snuggle,” and before that, it was that her room was too hot, and when we started leaving her door open for extra air, she kept waking up to complain about our dog sleeping next to her face. Sigh.

And since I’m now listing all the things that wake me up in the night, I might as well share that our dog, Indie, also does not sleep through the night. He routinely wakes up and cries to be let out, or cries just completely randomly and we’ll never know why. In the middle of the night he stands at the bottom of our stairs and refuses to go up them by himself (even though he got them down them somehow) -he cries until someone carries him up. His teeth chatter in his sleep, which is kind of gross, and it wakes me up. And sometimes he sleeps to close to my face, too — so I completely understand Lily’s complaints.

And to top it all off, there are some nights, between Jackson’s sips of water, Indie crying to go out, Lily waking up to get Indie out of her face, resulting in Indie sleeping on my face, my husband also snores. Loudly.

So, that is why I am sleep deprived.

I know I shouldn’t complain. I know too well that I am so lucky to even have a kid, and even luckier to have two. And they are both healthy.

Our dog may like to sleep in our faces, but he’s cute and sweet, and he’s a part of our family.

And I’m fortunate to have a wonderfully sweet husband who also gets up in the night (even if he does snore). And he’s healthy (minus the snoring).

I’ll love them all forever, even if they do keep me up at night.


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10 thoughts on “Day 7: Up All Night

  1. Maybe the “solution” is that they will both grow up. Wait! No, then you’ll be up all night worrying about what they’re up to. When you’re a mother, you never stop thinking about your kids, loving your kids, and spending sleepless nights worrying about your kids. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. And I suspect you wouldn’t either.


  2. I smiled a little. Sorry. I know this is a serious problem, but there will come a day when your “old lady” hormones will keep you awake. That’s not quite as sweet as a two year old. Anyone who gets a full night’s sleep is privileged, indeed. Here’s hoping you get a full night’s sleep soon.


  3. I can connect with these struggles. My husband stayed at home with my girls. But, they still wanted me all night. Even though so many people told me not to “indulge” them, I believed so strongly to be present for them in that way. I don’t regret those times. I’m also catching up on sleep.


  4. Sleep is precious. I had twins and was so sleep deprived when they were babies that I would see things that weren’t there in my peripheral vision. It will get better and you will appreciate it but appreciating all you have right now is a beautifully healthy way to view the world!


  5. Ohhhh Beth I know, I know!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again. I totally get why sleep deprivation is used as torture (as recently described by El Chapo). There’s this myth that the sleep deprivation only lasts a few months after having a baby. But T at 2 1/2 is up practically as much as O at 3 months. Good for you for being honest and venting. I feel your pain, I really do. At least we parents are in it together!


  6. I love that you shared this post. I think there are lots of parents in this boat. Our daughter was a non sleep for years. We finally worked to train her to sleep. It took time and was not easy. The key is not jumping up every time they ask for something. The first nights are hard – but it gets better with time and then you really get to sleep. Good Luck – hope you get some sleep soon!


  7. I totally get what you are feeling. I would like to say it gets better, but then they are teenagers and out with their friends and you can’t sleep until they get home. Now I can’t sleep because I am getting older and I just can’t sleep. I really feel like there should have been at least a wee bit of time where sleep came easy and lasted all night. I really hope it does for you!


  8. One way you could get more sleep would be to not spend so much time writing. (Blasphemy! : )

    I’m sure it will get better as they get older, though I still feel sleep-deprived, and my daughters are twelve and ten, and we have no dog (my wife does snore). I just remind myself that we have weekends and vacations to catch up on that sleep!

    You could always try reading your kids this book: Or have Jennifer Garner do it for you:


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