“If you love someone, let them sleep.” I read these wise words on a coffee mug in a gift shop last weekend, and had two immediate thoughts: 1) That’s a weird thing to put on a coffee mug, because coffee is supposed to help you stay awake, and 2) This may be my new mantra. Because mums need sleep. In fact, it’s something we mums dream about and long for more than just about anything in this world. More than diamonds or fancy dinners or a legit opportunity to wear our wedding gown again (let’s face it, I was a princess that day and I would love to relive it without people staring at the crazy lady in her wedding gown at the mall).
In fact, I could lay down and sleep right now, in the middle of writing this sentence. That’s how much I love/need/want sleep. Ask any mum you know and she’ll agree: Mums need sleep, and they need it now. Having a comfortable pair of ‘Pyjamas luxeux‘ (luxurious pajamas) to sleep in wouldn’t hurt, either.
The other day my husband asked me what I want for my birthday this year. “A NIGHT IN A HOTEL,” I responded loudly, before he had even finished asking the question. His eyes lit up. “ALONE,” I amended. “I want a night in a hotel alone, with a late check-out, and room service, and a spa bath, and no children and no responsibilities.” Because that’s the dream, isn’t it? A place where I can sleep without someone coming into my room in the middle of the night to tell me their sippy cup is empty and they need water right now and no, they can’t possibly go to the sink themselves to refill it.
Why do we mums need sleep so very much? Well, I’ll tell you. Being a mother is exhausting. It’s not just the practical stuff, like slinging supper and wrangling laundry and wrestling Lego from one child in order to give it to another. It’s also the mental load and decision fatigue, which I’ve written about before. It’s trying to hold down a job and making time for self-care and being grateful for all the blessings I do have. It’s all of the things. Everything! And while I know that I’ve made this choice to be a mother, I am telling you right now: It would be a whole lot easier if I could just get some more sleep. Just a little bit. An extra hour every night would be brilliant.
So, helpers of mums, remember: Mums need sleep. If you’re searching for the perfect gift to give a mum in your life, or you want to truly help another mum, give her the opportunity to sleep. She’ll thank you once she wakes up.