An open letter to sleep, from a tired mum of two

April 23, 2015

An open letter to sleep, from a tired mum of two

Dear Sleep,

Remember me? We used to be best friends, but then four years ago we fell out. I know it was something I did and not something I said; getting pregnant isn’t a sure-fire route to nights of blissful slumber, is it? And when the pregnancy insomnia was replaced by a baby who much preferred being awake at all times, I suspected we might not see you again for a while.

But then you returned, and relented, and were there holding my hand for long toddler naps and even whole nights. We were getting on so well, weren’t we? And then I went and got pregnant again. I optimistically thought that this time…this time you might look kindly on us.

And now?

It’s been weeks since you’ve paid us a long visit. Months, even! As it seems to be open letter season at the moment, I thought I’d write to you to let you know how I feel. I miss you, Sleep, I’m not going to lie. I miss your seductive ways as you pull me under for eight blissful hours. I miss waking feeling refreshed. I dream of long lie-ins and lazy mornings.

I still look for you every day, mainly in the top shelf of the fridge when I have no idea why I’ve opened it, or on the back of my hand when I yawn.

If I offended you in my earlier life, with my late nights and partying on a school night, then I’m very sorry. I know now what I did was foolish and wrong.

But you see, Sleep, I have secret weapons against you. I have concealer and caffeine and I’m not afraid to use them. I have the cheerful face of my baby who pats me in the nose and reminds me through my half-closed eyes that 6am isn’t all that bad. I have the magic boob in the middle of the night. And when all four of my family wake up in our bed in the morning, who’s the cosy one then? Lets just ignore my squished back and cold feet, Sleep.

So it’s not all bad. But you know, if you ever want to be friends again, I’ll welcome you back with tired but open arms and…wait, must go. I hear a child stirring.

Yours, ever in need of a nap.

Gill, tired mother of two.

More? 25 inevitable events from the first six months of motherhood ,12 signs your child is no fan of sleep and the things that no-one tells you about being a new mum.


  • Charlene

    April 23, 2015 at 10:43 am

    This is fab! So funny and also made me wanna cry a little…

  • The Reading Residence

    April 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Oh, I think I’ve offended sleep, too – it’s been some time now! Cheery, cheeky little faces do make it more manageable, though, don’t they?

  • Fritha

    April 24, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Oh it’s so hard isn’t it, when W was younger I truely thought I’d never see a full night sleep again but it happened..eventually! And you’re right it’s so worth it xx

  • polly

    April 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    ah! sleep deprivation is horrid… i turn into an uber bitch when I’m tired. I think when these four kiddos are grown up I’m going to spend a whole year in bed catching up!

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  • Laura

    April 27, 2015 at 4:52 am

    Oh I totally feel you!! I don’t even know what sleep looks, feels, sounds like anymore – oh why do we do these things to ourselves? (basically because being a parent is awesome 🙂

    Laura x

  • Kathryn (@KatGotTheCream)

    April 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    So lovely and so true. One day proper sleep will return but I fear it will be accompanied by its sad best friends – quiet house and empty nest! X

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    April 29, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Oh bless you! It’s a horrible feeling, I’m terrible without sleep. I have no words of comfort I’m afraid, other than to make your bed as cosy as possible so the hours you do get to sleep are the best quality sleep you could have.

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