Once upon a time, my life was relatively quiet, had very little chaos in it and sleep was just sleep. And then I had kids!
Like take for example, the fact that I now frequent a chiropractor once a week for adjustments and treatment for my lower back. I had some issues in my youth (fall on roller skates one time!), but during the last three days of being pregnant with Lily she literally broke my back. She sat on my sciatic nerve for those last three days and I could barely walk or sit leaving me with a lower back condition that still two years later is nowhere near perfect.
Flash forward to the present and I am at my weekly visit at the chiropractor, when the woman that does the upper body massages is talking to me. After she massaged me, I asked her if my back felt tight (which I did to me) and she tells me yes, but that it has been to her for sometime.
In the course of the conversation, she starts telling me about how she too has been feeling stiff in her back when she gets up in the morning, but that is because her husband seems to take up most of their bed. The masseuse is a lovely thirty-something woman not unlike myself, but has unlike me has no children of her own. I turn trying to be funny and say, “That is nothing and that she should sleep with Lily, who for a little person takes up her fair share of the bed, too!”
The same woman turns to me kind of shocked and asks, “Does Lily sleep with you?” I tell her that yes she does and then she asks me where Kevin sleeps. I proceed to tell her, he sleeps many nights on the couch. She says, “Oh that is bad, I would never let my kids sleep with me and don’t you miss your husband?”
My response, “Honestly even though she takes up half the bed, she sleeps and that means I sleep too. And as for my husband, I do and I don’t, because he is a snorer and she is at least more quiet than him!” Well at that bit of information, she looks quite frankly in shock and truly not sure how to take my comment.
After the conversation is over and I am home, I begin to think about what just happened. Guess what? I used to feel the same way as this woman, but once I had kids (plural) sleep became a precious commodity that I truly don’t want to part with or barter for. Probably sounds terrible, but I don’t care where my kids sleep as long as they do sleep. Hell, they could sleep on the roof if it meant they were sleeping peacefully (Ok that was a joke and I wouldn’t put my kids on the roof!).
But if you are a mother, I think you probably could relate and get my point. After all is said and done, what did I learn from this experience that I may have known, but just took for granted. I learned that one of the main differences between mothers and non-mothers can be summed up in one word, “Sleep” (or the lack thereof).
Check out this video clip from the original Look Who’s Talking movie that sum’s up how life changes for women when they become a mother (and get a good laugh too):
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