Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Nocturnal Routine Of A Maternal Zombie Lunatic

Mothers like to sort themselves into opposing categories, like breastfeeding versus formula moms, bed sharing versus “in your own room” moms, working moms versus stay-at-home moms, etc. After a few months with my son, I know these categories are arbitrary crap. There is only one distinction that really matters: those who have babies that sleep, whom we call moms, and those who have babies who do not sleep, whom we call maternal zombie lunatics.

I fall into the latter category.

Though being a maternal zombie lunatic is tough, but it isn’t all bad. I get tons of Netflix time to keep myself up. Everything is funny as hell when you’re sleep deprived. I understand just how intense my love for my son is, since I adore him even though I suspect that he may actually be trying to kill me. 

If you, like me, are a maternal zombie lunatic, take comfort in knowing that you aren’t the only one to have nights going something like this:

  • 7:30 p.m.- It is ROUTINE time. That awesome Pinterest pin showing the idyllic sleeping baby told you to start a bedtime routine. You begin to prepare your sweet child for bath time. Everyone says baths relax babies, and idyllic Pinterest pins never lie.
  • 7:40 p.m.- You’re in baby’s room after realizing that water functions as some kind of amphetamine for your kid. Your child is now WIDE AWAKE, but not to worry… you can fix this. You pull out a book…
  • 8:45 p.m.- How can a child who has listened to four books, eaten, and rocked for 30 minutes straight still be so awake? You try singing, but cannot remember any lullabies… its OK. Your kid seems to love listening to you warble old Nine Inch Nails songs (seriously, why is that all you can think of?).
  • 9:00 p.m.- OK… there are droopy eyes. And, wait… there it is. The kid is asleep. In your relief, you trust the sight of idyllic sleeping baby.  
  • 9:30 p.m.- Why does the kid wake up EVERY TIME you put them down?
  • 10:00 p.m.- Kid is actually asleep. You dive into bed. And you’re drifting… drifting… did you lock the front door? You get up, check, get back into bed and you are drifting… drifting… the kid is breathing, right? Yep. Worry, check, repeat at least 3 more times.
  • 10:45 p.m.- You are blissfully asleep.
  •  11:15 p.m.- Your kid is HUNGRY. You spring from bed, and hope that the child will just go right back to sleep once he has a full belly.
  • 12:30 a.m.- You hoped in vain. Despite being clean and dry, your kiddo is angry. Perhaps he can feel the monkey on the butt of his pajamas mocking the situation. Your baby does not appreciate being mocked. You anxiously rock and rock while perusing for something dumb to watch, something you won’t mind turning off as soon as the kid is asleep. Didn’t you roll your eyes at The Vampire Diaries on the menu last week? Well, why not…
  • 1:45 a.m.- The kid is fast asleep, but you just HAVE to know if Elena will really fall for Stefan even though he is so obvi a vampire.
  • 3:00 a.m.- You’ve been asleep for an hour, soothing teen drama as background noise, when the kid is hungry again. You drag yourself out of bed…  
  • 3:45 a.m.- That went beautifully. You get back in bed, but instead of sleeping you start doing some intense mental arithmetic to try and determine how long you have. You google to see how many ounces a baby needs to eat, analyzing how many hours the last feed bought you. Bonus points if you are breastfeeding and get to try and determine how many minutes it takes to get an ounce out of your boobs. You arrive at a number, and… oh crap. The kid should have been up 5 minutes ago. You can’t try to sleep now! Instead you stare at your baby, knowing he will wake up at any minute… except he doesn’t for almost an hour.
  • 5:00 a.m.- The kid is full. The kid clean, dry, warm, and AWAKE. You eye that weird vibrating chair the kid loves. Didn’t the Internet say not to let the kid sleep in it? Aren’t there studies about that misshaping heads or causing attachment disorder or making babies love Nickelback or something? You cannot do that to your baby.
  • 5:30 a.m. The chair is humming away, and baby is asleep.
  • 5:45 a.m. The chair stopped humming. Why, for the love of God, does it time out? WHO DESIGNED THIS CHAIR?
  • 7:00 a.m. It’s MORNING already! You pull yourself out of bed to make coffee before the kiddo wakes up… oh wait… too late. You trudge back in, tired and grouchy… and then your kid smiles at you. Whether it’s the first time or the 100th time doesn’t matter. Something in that smile revitalizes you. You can do this.


You got a few hours of rest, and this amazing, smiley baby will get you through the day. And thank goodness for that, because you just put dog food in the coffee maker and fed Fido your French roast.  

Don’t worry, you maternal zombie lunatic. Your baby will sleep through the night… eventually… for now, settle in because it takes a season or two for The Vampire Diaries to get good anyway. 

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