I am heading into the middle of my second year as a stay at home parent, and I am getting comfortable with my role as universal kleenex, vomit target, and bodily function disposal device. I enjoy having the chance to play with my kids and help them develop their own unique personalities. I believe I am getting good at helping them understand the world. Most of my days are good, or even great.
However, the sleep deprivation coupled with the increased need for patience and cheerfulness is wrecking havoc on my system. I am so tired by the time the afternoon comes around that I am desperate for sleep and quiet. Instead, my afternoons usually consist of playtime with singing, chatting, questing, and crying children. I have to come up with creative ways to entertain said children, assist them with their homework, and begin to prepare for dinner. It is loud and interactive, it requires great patience, and it in no way resembles sleep.
I told my father last night, I am in GITMO, with Elmo. I am being subjected to repeated and intense sleep deprivation, much like I might experience if I were being questioned in violation of the Geneva Convention. However, I am required, in this sleep deprived state, to be cheerful, and inventive, and energetic, much like Elmo.
Now I agree that actually being in GITMO with Elmo would be much worse than what I experience. In fact, it would likely be much worse than anything I am ever likely to experience.
Regardless, it is a challenge to grasp and cling to my creativity and patience when I am woken at all hours of the night, every night, for months, with no pattern or schedule in sight. It is the biggest challenge of my life to stay cheery, and restrain myself from snapping at my kids, when I am more tired than I have ever been.
So, in honor of the sleeplessness experienced by all new parents, I propose a new contest! The winner will receive a $50 SpaFinder gift certificate, good at over 4000 spas. Go get a massage, or a facial, and try to regain your sense of peace!
How do you enter? Simply leave a comment (with a contact email) sharing your own sleepless story below this post! Any story of sleeplessness will do. You need not have children, your children can be grown, you can have thirty children, any story will enter you for the prize.
I will place all the contact emails in a hat on the 14th of December, and will pluck out one lucky winner! (Okay, Monkey will pluck out one lucky winner, she loves having the power to award a prize.)
Good luck and I look forward to hearing your stories!