If you are pregnant, I highly recommend you get as much sleep as you possibly can before the baby arrives, because it’s true: you’ll never sleep again. As a new mom, you hear this all the time but we never fully grasp what it actually means. This is sleepless nights. Motherhood is exhausting and during the newborn stage it’s all about adapting to this new life. You are learning how to nurse and feed your baby. You are getting to know each other. And you learn to differentiate when baby is crying because he’s hungry or in discomfort or just needs your attention.
You will be up all night feeding every couple of hours or even every 30 minutes. Sometimes the baby will be nursing for up to an hour straight. Let’s not forget your body is healing, so you may be up due to cramps, full breasts of milk or any other related pain due to birth.
Some of you may even be pumping at night. The reality is you won’t get much sleep and you will resent your husband. You will feel lonely and those hormones will start to kick in. You will be angry that your husband is soundly asleep perhaps even dreaming while you’re up with the baby. During the day, you might face tough decisions of whether to sleep, or eat or shower. Most of us choose sleep and will skip that shower.
But after the newborn stage you will be up at night for many reasons. The baby may have colic, will start teething or God forbid the baby may get sick and have a fever. Or maybe you are sleep training. Some moms have their babies on schedules but maybe your baby doesn’t want to sleep. Perhaps it’s 3 a. m. and your baby is up and wants to play because babies don’t have a sense of time. (It’s currently 1 a. m. and I’m writing this as my child plays with his toys and refuses to go to sleep).
But let me tell you the real reason why you will never sleep again. Plain and simple: you are a mother now. There are nights when I’m up just staring at my baby and wondering how the hell
am I gonna do this? How am I responsible for this human’s life? You will think about your financial situation and how you will put this kid through college. And, you will do the math and try to budget for diapers and groceries. You will think about how you will raise your child also. How will you educate him and teach him morals and how to be a good person. You will worry about how your decisions will affect your child.
I asked other moms if that feeling ever goes away and they said no. You will always worry about them even when they are grown adults. Some nights instead of sleeping you will watch your baby sleep. You will thank God for your baby and thank life for blessing you with a child. Motherhood is hard and sometimes that exhaustion can mess with your head. I’ll be honest, there were nights when I cried myself to sleep. I was so tired and overwhelmed. But I promise it does get easier.
Some nights I just wanted to get a full nights sleep and rest. It’s ok to have someone watch your baby while you sleep. It’s ok to take a nap. In that moments, It’s ok to ask someone to help you feed the baby at night. You are the mom and you are responsible. But it’s ok to ask for help. Trust me, your child won’t resent you. So if you’re pregnant, go ahead and take a nap. Be aware of those sleepless nights, which will be tough. Motherhood is hard and a beautiful experience that will make that exhaustion all worth it when you hold your baby in your arms.