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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mommy Math


As a new(ish) mom, you do this thing.

This annoying, useless THING that you just can't seem to stop doing, no matter how useless it is.

It doesn't help anything. It doesn't make you feel better. In fact, it probably makes you feel worse.

But you can't NOT do it.

I call it "mommy math."

Example 1:

8pm. Ok, if he sleeps for 4 hours, he'll be up at 12am, and I go to bed at 10:30, so that gives me . . . 1.5 hours sleep. If he's back asleep at 12:30 for another 3 hours, I'm up to . . . 4.5 hours sleep. Then maybe he'll go another 2, 2.5 after that, so that's . . . 6.5, 7 hours of sleep. Ok, that's reasonable. I can live with that.

Example 2: 

Ugh. It's 3am. I've had about 3 hours of sleep. If he falls back asleep by 3:30 and goes another 3 hours, that's 6. That's reasonable. Or maybe he'll sleep until 8! By magic! And then I'll get . . . 7.5 hours of sleep! I can conquer the world on that!

Example 3: 

Grrr. He's been up 3 times tonight already. We all went to bed at 10, and then he was up at 11:30 for a half hour, then again at 2 for another half hour, and now it's 4 and he's up again. So I've had . . .5 hours of sleep. He'd better sleep for another 3 hours. Then I'll get 8 hours of crappy, interrupted sleep, which isn't awful . . . 


You have an unstoppable obsession with EXACTLY how much sleep you're getting. As if knowing the number of hours, however ridiculous or "reasonable," will somehow make you feel less tired. When the reality is, even if you're ultimately getting 8 hours of sleep, waking up 5 times a night is going to leave you feeling like you've been run over by a freight train.

And you know that.

You know, deep down in your heart, that the numbers are meaningless--that you're going to be tired, that you're going to drink a vat of coffee, and you're going to forget something important because your brain has turned to mush, and no amount of reassuring math will change that.

But you count on . . .

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