from the blog.

When I’m Sleep-Deprived…

When I’m sleep-deprived,
it’s because my daughter wants to
every two hours at night.

So my adrenaline spikes and

I can’t fall asleep
my anxiety increases
I have no energy
I lose patience
I have shouted
then I cry
hate myself


When I’m sleep-deprived,
(which is all the time
but days like today are the worst)

I am extra critical of myself.

Why can’t I get my shit together?
The house is a mess.
I’ll never have a career.
How would I cope with two kids?


When I’m sleep-deprived,
I am filled with doubt.

When will I get a five-hour stretch of sleep?
Is that asking too much?
Am I safe to drive today?
I know I am forgetting something,
but what is it?


When I’m sleep-deprived,
I hold myself to unrealistic beauty ideals
and, even though I know it’s irrational,

I hate my stupid, infertile body
I hate my hips and thighs
I despair at the extra fat
and the new pot belly
and the unwashed smell
and then
my skin breaks out
my back hurts
and I hurt all over.


When I’m sleep-deprived,
it’s because my 15½-month-old daughter
still doesn’t sleep through the night,

and I wonder

what I’m doing wrong
what other parents are doing right
why my loving touch isn’t enough comfort
why months of sleep-training hasn’t worked
if it would be different if she came from my DNA.


When I’m sleep-deprived,
I remind myself that I am so grateful to be a mom.

Truly, I am.

But it doesn’t change the fact that
extreme sleep-deprivation means

I am not the mother I want to be
I am not the wife I want to be
I am not the friend I want to be
I am not the best Me I can be.


When I’m sleep deprived,
it’s hard to be anything

except really tired.

This post first appeared on On Fecund Thought and is reproduced here with permission.

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