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