“What do you want for Mother’s Day this year?”, he asked me. My answer?
“A hotel room and an Ambien. And neither of you are invited.”
Hello, in case you’re new around here, my name is Jenny and I have a child who does not sleep. I can probably count on one hand the full, unbroken nights of sleep I have had in the past 27 months since Jack was born, and if you factor in the ridiculousness of trying to sleep while pregnant… We’re going on three years of severe exhaustion here. I’m over it. So very, very over it. I would like eight hours of sleep in a row – unbroken. Ten hours would be better. Twelve would be a heavenly ideal.
If you look at my Facebook page and my Twitter feed, you will see I am not alone. There are a lot of exhausted parents out there. Enough is enough – we need a night of sleep. One night to carry us through another year isn’t too much to ask. You dads are just gonna have to suck it up for another month though – May is ours and I’m speaking up for all my sisters in exhaustion. Keep your flowers and your last-minute brunch reservations and get us some sleep. I’ve laid out three plans here – any one of them will show your wife, your partner, the mother of your children, and LIGHT OF YOUR LIFE that you care deeply for her sanity and well-being.
Now, while I do believe there are various ways you can help her get some sleep, and you’ve probably tried them, her staying in her house isn’t the best option here. Am I right? She’s still exhausted, yes? Let’s think about that for a minute: I’m sure I’m not the only one who doesn’t want to have to look around at dishes that need washing, clothes that need folding, unfinished craft projects and crumbs under the table. It’s just not restful to hang out where so much needs to be done. And please don’t try to help her sleep in a house where the children are still running around. Sure you can try to tell them mommy isn’t home, but much like dogs can smell fear…children can smell mommy hiding in the guest room trying to get her nap on. Save the home naps for regular displays of affection – this is her Mother’s Day gift after all, act like you mean it.
Option 1 – Budget Friendly! Borrow a Guest Room
Do you have a friend with a guest room? An unmarried friend who has a boyfriend/girlfriend they visit frequently? See where I’m going with this? Get creative and ask around. Call your wife’s girlfriends. I can guarantee you any of my girlfriends would help Roger out with this one. Now barter for the empty room you find. You can mow their lawn, buy them dinner, drinks, movie tickets – get creative, your wife needs sleep.
Arrange to leave a bouquet of flowers by the bed, her favorite beverage and maybe a new book or DVD she’s been wanting. Again, don’t be afraid to ask the girlfriends for help if this one has you scratching your head. You can do this, go the extra mile. Be a hero.
This first option of borrowing a room would work brilliantly for the mom who’s still not sure she can spend the whole night away just yet. We’re exhausted, we can sleep in broad daylight given half a chance. Give mom a long day with nothing to do but nap. Bliss.
Option 2 – Nice Middle of the Road – Spring For a Hotel Room
Check out the travel deals site and see if you can find a deal on a hotel room nearby. Something nice, please. The Super 8 is just not what we’re looking for here, okay? Part of the sleep experience far from screaming children is going o be a long shower or bath. A long, long, LONG shower that does not include small beings ripping the curtain aside to inquire, “All done???” every minute. I’m not saying budget chains don’t get the job done, but the bathrooms can leave a lot to be desired – you’re looking for a deal on a NICE hotel here, mister.
Option 3 – Full On Luxury! Every Exhausted Mother’s Dream
Call in the big guns, you need a hotel with every amenity possible. The hotel room needs to have a very large bed. With lots of pillows. Room service is a must. Robes in the bathroom would be fabulous – bath salts divine. You will call the hotel ahead of time and let them know why you have booked this room – quiet is paramount here, do not let them place your dearest exhausted wife in a room next to a family traveling with infants. No, no, no, no. Just no. Arrange for a massage in the hotel spa pre-bedtime to help her relax.
The sky is really the limit with this one. Some guidelines as to how high the sky should be? Well…
How many times a night does your child still wake up? Do you frequently offer to help at night only to come back to
me her saying, “I tried…he only wants you”? Do you snore? Does she complain about your snoring? Are you answering yes to any of these? You had best book a room at the Ritz-Carlton, my friend.
Remember that conversation at the beginning of this post? It really happened, and to my husband’s credit he did not even blink. I’m pretty sure he realizes the extent of my exhaustion after last week. That’s the thing about marriage, you see to each other’s needs don’t you? Just because you had a child or two or three… well, that doesn’t mean you get to start ignoring each other. You’ll be better parents and better partners with a little more sleep. Trust me. Now go get some for your wife by any means possible.
And that Ambien? Well, I’ve never been away from my son overnight before. I’d hate to show up to my deluxe accommodations and lie awake missing him. Wouldn’t that just figure…