Saturday, March 21, 2009


I love sleep so much. I slept for more than 10 hours last night. At one point early this morning, I was awake but forced myself to stay still and go back to dreaming. I dreamt about someone I've been angry with and in my dream, I kept trying to write him an email telling him off but I couldn't figure out what to say.

I think that dreaming is really important to mental health. Before I had kids, I would sleep until noon on the weekends. Friends and family used to tease me but I didn't care. I had no use for the morning.

When I used to get a lot of sleep, I was very sure of how things should be. I would think . . . when I'm a mom, I'm never going to say all the things that moms say over and over until they have no meaning . . . BE NICE TO YOUR SISTER! USE YOUR INDOOR VOICE! WHAT'S THE MAGIC WORD? I was never going to have a dirty stroller or a messy car. The other day I found a swamp of wet, multi-colored cheerios that had stained the backseat of my car pink and green. There was also a piece of sushi roll that wasn't fresh. One of my daughters had wetted down some unidentified material and made glue, which she then thoroughly smeared across the center console so that it was collecting miscellaneous objects . . . little pieces of napkin, cheerios and receipts. I admired her creativity and follow through. I bet she used the sushi rice. Good choice.

I discovered that strange parent behavior can largely be traced to a lack of sleep. For the first four years of being a parent, I never ONCE slept through the night. It doesn't matter how messy your car is or if repeating the same thing over and over again is ineffective. It's just about getting through the day. You could say no more food in the car, but then you would be condemning yourself to a series of arguments. Plus, eating children don't whine, scream and talk nonstop for 10 minutes.

Now I see whatever's messy in my life as a sign of balance. The time I haven't spent cleaning is time I've used for a better purpose. It might be writing, talking to a friend, getting a pedicure or sleeping, but anything is better than housework. How many people on their deathbed regret that they didn't spend more time cleaning? This is actually a major step for me because I'm usually someone who can't sit until everything is cleaned and returned to its proper place. Now, I much prefer sleeping to waking up to empty, gleaming kitchen counters.

In between breastfeeding obligations, my mom introduced me to low-carb Monster to get through my work day. Every time I saw my mom, she had at least one can for me and I see her quite a bit. We both developed quite the habit. We took the kids on a road trip to see my brother in LA, and when he opened the car door, empty cans of the energy drink rolled out and bounced down the sidewalk. He looked shocked,"What the hell?" then gave us each a lecture on the dangers of energy drinks. He was without kids so he wouldn't know that sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do, though eventually, I had to stop drinking that stuff.

But I'm telling you, don't judge until you've been there.


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