You might not know it from looking at me, but I am an athlete.
OK, you definitely wouldn't know it from looking at me -- particularly since it took me four years to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans (a fact I am proud of, no less.) No, you wouldn't guess it, but I am in fact a champion. A pro. A freaking Goddess of the sport of Sleep Chasing.
Yes, it is a sport.
So here are seven signs that hint to the fact that you just might be a Champion Sleep Chaser, too:
- You are ruled by the clock. You diligently count night wakings and set your timer for naps, but worse still... you count down the minutes until morning, waving goodbye to chunks of 'lost sleep' as the sun has the nerve to unapologetically rise. Damn the happy birdsong.
- You protect 'sleep transitions' with every ounce of your being. You use white noise, rocking, humming, ANYTHING to softly guide your baby through the fragile space between sleep cycles... where the slam of a car door four blocks away will destroy any hope of entering a second sleep cycle. Damn the concept of sound.
- You have two circular 'sleep routes' especially for naps. One for walking and one for driving.
- You don't bother to open the curtains in the morning. You need at least one room in the house that is ready for sleep at all times. And for all Unsleepers, total darkness is the only option.
- You believe that formal appointments are the enemy. No matter what time they occur, you can guarantee that baby will nap on the way and YOU WILL HAVE TO WAKE HER. (Need I say more?)
- You know exactly what I mean by The Facebook Trap. Sleeping baby? Check. Opportunity for a little mommy snooze? Check. asted it scrolling through your newsfeed? Check.
- You dare to dream of shared daytime naps... the Holy Grail for moms of more than one Unsleeper.
Congratulations, Athlete Mama! You too are a Sleep Chaser! Only, here's the truth... I didn't much like the game. Don't get me wrong; I was freakishly good at it. I chased sleep for almost two years before I gave up and gave in. But I reached a point where I realized that my child's sleep is totally and utterly out of my control, as it turns out that she is, in fact, her own person (gasp.)
So I threw in my Sleep Chaser towel and handed back my trophies... and what relief retirement brought!
Now, sleep comes when it comes and goes when it goes. It's. All. Good.
Since making the decision to break up with sleep and stop chasing the Zs, my world has been much simpler... my mommy cup is topped up, so to speak. And even though I am still tired, of course, I have a new-found spring in my step because I now know how to cope with years of no sleep (and I'll even share my secrets with you, if you like.)
Sleep Moms, let's do ourselves a favor and opt for early retirement. Until then, embrace your athletic prowess and don't let anybody tell you that Sleep Chasing isn't a sport. (Because it is.)
This post originally appeared on Mama Bean Parenting.