About Common To Moms
There are many common life experiences we share as women, and sometimes life is less than glorious. That’s when we need a little inspiration to get us through the day. Welcome to Common to Moms, where we find motivation for meaningful living on our every-day journey as women, wives and mothers.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Now I lay me down to...
Sleep! I hope the hint makes sense now. A picture of Audrey Hepburn in a sleeping mask = a post about sleep. :)
Some of those who have lived with me can tell you that I used to have no trouble falling asleep. In fact, I had trouble getting into my pajamas BEFORE I fell asleep. There was one particular night in college that I fell asleep as soon as I sat down on my bed. Apparently I left the bedroom light on, sat down on top of my bed, kicked one shoe off and fell over in sleep without even letting go of my bag. I awoke to find my oh-so-kind roommates standing over me giggling, with a camera, about to immortalize this proud moment in my life. Luckily, I woke up before they could take any pictures, but they have never forgotten how I fell asleep mid- sitting down on my bed.
Maybe I lived in a state of over-exhaustion in college that enabled me to fall asleep so easily, but since then, falling asleep has not been so easy! Thanks to some disturbances outside our house while I was pregnant with Melody, I began to worry when I laid in bed at night. What would happen if our neighbors had a party after the baby was born while the baby was sleeping? Would it wake her up? How would we react if someone broke into our house when the baby is born? Do we let them take everything and hope they are not interested in the baby? Or try to phone the police? Or cry in desperation 'You can have anything, just don't hurt my baby!' The scenarios I could come up with were endless- crime, natural disasters, domestic disasters (home fires, etc) and they began to come to life in my thoughts as I lay still and pregnant trying to find sleep.
There have been other times in my life where things like excitement about a new job or a new phase in life, or even stress has kept me from sleep. But this is different. Fast forward one year after Melody has been here and I still often find myself having difficulty turning off the flow of paranoid and crazy thoughts at night! Before you go thinking I am a truly insane person, know that during the day these things don't bother me. They also didn't bother me before I had a daughter. It seems that having a sweet, wonderful, helpless little creature (a baby) attached to my life and my heart has brought out a bit of an over-protective monster. :) My mother has always said she has difficulty sleeping when kids are in the house and now I truly understand her. However, I am fairly determined not to live out my life raising children in a paranoid, sleep deprived way.
I have tried thinking about many things to get myself to fall asleep: prayer, journaling, going to bed earlier, going to bed later. Still I am not able to lay down for long without thinking that every sound I hear must be someone in the house or a fire from our dated heating system. While going to bed earlier rather than later helps, there are only two things that seem to really work for me.
First, I have to check my attitude. This may seem strange because the desire to protect my daughter and my family is a good thing. However, the only thing that brings me peace deep in my heart is to remember that all of us are only here on Earth for a short time and none of us is immune to death- so why am I acting like we can be? No matter what happens, whether we live or die (whether we are robbed or not), God will be with us every step of the way. He will guide my actions in a crisis and He will protect my daughter whether she is alive on Earth or lives with Christ in heaven. Even just typing that seems like a downer, but really it's not. It is a peace-giving truth. One that makes my blood pressure lower just a little. :)
Second, I have been reading a book right before falling asleep. In the past I have tried to read other things before I go to bed- my Bible, a spiritual help or self-help type book, Jane Austen or other fiction. None of these things help me wind down before I sleep. My Bible and other spiritual guidance books tend to make me start thinking about deep, big picture ideas about life while fictional books are just too hard to put down. I wind up staying up all night trying to finish a book because I love to read!
Finally though, I have found the perfect book to help me fall asleep. It is a book called Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller. (He is also the author of Blue Like Jazz... Someday I will learn how to post a link to the books I am talking about.) This book for some reason is the perfect aid to help me sleep. Something about the descriptions of the cross country journey he takes and the mild mannered tone in his humor and thoughts about God has a calming effect. After reading a chapter or two, I feel very peaceful. I might have a smile on my face. And I can put the book down, cozy up to my pillow, turn the light off and fall thoughtlessly into sleep.
But soon I will be finished with the book, and what then?
So here is my question:
If you are a mom: Did it get more difficult for you to sleep once you had a child? Did worries about your child keep you up at night? If so, have you moved past that? How?
If you are not a mom: What kinds of things are keeping you up at night these days? What helps you to fall asleep at night? A certain genre of book? Prayer? Benadryl? Something else?
I'm looking forward to hearing your replies! Can't wait to discuss this throughout the week!