Wednesday, August 13, 2008

As the World Changes.......

I believe that most of you visiting my blog are parents so I know you will be able to relate to my discussion today. Before I was a parent I’d heard that life changes when you have a child. That seemed perfectly logical to me for all of the obvious reasons – another mouth to feed, serious contemplation about the right school district to live in, provision of the best for the child, etc.

What I was not prepared for was the minutiae of parenthood. For instance, I am sitting here typing and my baby boy is asleep in his crib. At 10:35 in the evening my television is STILL tuned to Noggin and Little Bill is playing in the background.
Why? I have no desire to watch or even hear Little Bill but after my son went to sleep I didn’t turn it off. The tv is good company I guess and in the morning I will need to turn on Noggin again while I shower so why bother changing the station?

Okay, now that I think about that perhaps this has absolutely nothing to do with being a parent and everything to do with being a lazy somebody who does not want to get up and turn off the television (I hope I don’t lose my environmentally friendly readers for gross waste of electricity). Okay, well here is something that really relates to being a parent.


Or lack of sleep.

Prior to giving birth every parent I spoke to told me to get my rest. I had a pretty difficult pregnancy and resting was hard to come by for me. I could not imagine that it would be worse when I had my son. Oh how shortsighted I was on that one. As you know I nursed my son until June. When he was a newborn he nursed every 3 hours or so, rest was not something I got a lot of. As he became older the frequency of nursing sessions cut back but without fail he woke up around 3 in the morning. Let me repeat that 3 in the morning! Until he stopped nursing.

Let me be clear. I did not have a full night of rest for 13 months. 13 months! And now, well it is even worse. Because wanting to stay home with my son has its price. I work on my blog when he is asleep. Which means that although I potentially could get 8 hours of rest that doesn’t happen. In my research I have found that I am not alone. Sleep deprivation is something that many Moms suffer from. And it doesn’t stop when your child sleeps through the night. This is a lifetime ailment. Think about it – mothers worrying about teenage children out in the street. Driving a car. Possibly taking drugs. Going to college. Getting married. I don’t even want to think about it. Sleep is so vitally important and lack of sleep can have dangerous consequences. I saw a report on 20/20 that demonstrated sleepy drivers being more dangerous than drunk drivers.

So for now I will try to get in as much sleep as possible. Taking care of myself will ultimately make me a better parent for my son.

Giving up on sleeping is just one of the many changes that occur in the parent hood. Hmm, perhaps I can write about others on a weekly basis. Give me some ideas, what things have changed for you as a result of parenthood?


Marlaine said...

One of the things I noticed is that it was tough to get a hot meal. Or even sit through a whole meal.

I have to say that those cakes you make are pretty cool!

Swirl Girl said...

I used to read voraciously. A novel every two or three days. Now- I think I have read one book (that doesn't rhyme or have illustrations) in about a year.

Get some sleep!

1stopmom said...

One of the things that changed for me is my thoughts on the behavior of family and friends. It didn't use to bother me but now I find myself saying "don't do that in front of the kids" "or don't say that".

Oh, another thing that changed is a became a huge worrywart. I worry about everything. I worry about someone kidnapping my kids, I worry about if they remember not to talk to strangers, I worry if they have enough friends, if I am making the best decisions for them, are they safe in school, do they remember to look both ways before crossing the street and it goes on and on. Luckily I am learning to handle it much better.

HOBO said...

I am single but yes we should take atleast 7-8 hours sleep.

Babette said...

Hi Renee, like you and all moms out there, everything changed for me. My kids come first before anything. Whenever I go shopping, I end up buying more for them than for myself.
You need to take care of yourself, don't be sleep deprived. No one wants to have luggage-sized eye bags. :)

Carrie said...

Just for the record we love little Bill. Sorry, your not sleeping well. I wish I had some great advice to give. Hope you get a nap today!

Erin said...

What changed the most for me was just getting used to the lack of control. That tied in to sleep, too, because even though we've slept through the night for awhile now (minus times that Luke is sick), I sure haven't been able to sleep on my schedule. I miss being able to sleep late on Saturdays after a long week of work!
It's worth it, though.

mannequin said...

You know, my first child had and continues to have a personality that is much like my own; quiet, somewhat shy and quirky. Yes, let's say quirky.
My youngest is the complete opposite of his brother and myself. He is extremely loquacious, self-confident and even somewhat cocky.
I have learned to be more talkative(out of need), more socially outgoing (as I need to take him places and expose him to as much of the world as is humanely possible) and he's given me patience!
Much has changed for me since motherhood and it's all been for the good. In loving someone that is my complete opposite, I have learned to be more tolerant of others with whom I don't see eye to eye.
Great topic, very though provoking! Thanks. I know that your child is young but surely you see a personality. Is it the same as or similar to yours?

ali said...

You know, I never thought about how I would have to share my food! That sounds silly but it's true! My hubby gets a full meal/treat but I split mine 3 ways for the boys and myself. It was hard to get used to in the beginning and I resented hubby for not sharing but now it's second nature for me. But I do hide a candy bar on the top shelf of the cabinet sometimes!

angie said...

Sleep deprivation is definitely an issue. Now that my twins are 2 plus, I'm finally getting decent sleep........I hadn't had any in 8 years. Here's the weird part......not only do I function better (duh) but I finally lost the weight I'd been hanging on's like my body finally said, no need for this anymore, she's catching her zz's. :)

Weith Kick said...

I treasure sleep. My wife can get by on 5-6 hours. Me? I need at least 8, which in today's busy climate is not always possible.

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threeboys1mommy said...

No more sleep is the least of my worries. Switching my fancy handbag, for a big, clumsy, fancy diaper bag has been the biggest adjustment for me.

Angela said...

Sleep is a wonderful luxury after you have kids, isn't it? That and quiet moments! LOL

koala brains said...

I don't buy stuff for me as much as I used to. Clothes, accessories, expensive cosmetics, get my nails done, etc. I'm okay with it, though. I still take care of myself but do so w/o spending the money.

Petula Wright said...

I have been a parent for 17 years so a lot has changed! But I would say one thing is spontaneity. Regardless of what it is: relationship stuff, outtings, etc. ... everything takes a little planning.

Amy @ Thoughts from the Mrs. said...

Hm, good topic. For me, I've noticed that my own friendships have begun to change a bit. Some people don't understand the demand a child puts on my life because they don't have one of their own. Then, there are the group of Mommy friends I made while pregnant and after having Alex. I've noticed, though, that even those are starting to shift and change as I see the BIG differences in opinion on child-rearing. It's difficult to be someone's close friend when you completely disagree with how they handle their child. Chatting on the phone is fine, but getting together becomes very trying and difficult.

THopgood said...

I'm just now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

My kids are 11, 9, and 5 so the sleepless nights have come to an end.

But other changes have emerged instead.

1. No more alone time with hubby. We took our first long weekend vacation alone in 11 years last summer and I was a basket case the entire trip.

2. The biggest shocker is the amount of time spent helping with homework after dinner when the kids are in school. Sitting on the couch to watch my favorite shows is no longer an option

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