November 19, 2012

Yawning through it all

I never realized I wasn't a morning person until I had kids. My day starts around six...maybe six thirty, with the face of my 3 year old demanding chocolate milk and cartoons.

And since I hit the pillow after midnight each night, I am always pleading for just a few extra minutes.

But of course, I never get them.

Then a friend posted an article about parents and sleep depravation. It stated that fifty percent of parents get less than six hours of sleep a night and nearly 30 percent can't remember the last time they slept eight straight hours.

And we're not talking about newborns. These are toddlers and schoolkids.

But here's the most concerning thing. A lack sleep (not surprisingly) makes a parent cranky, irritable and cuts reaction and judgement time down to that of a drunk driver.

And these sleepy parents are supposed to keep their cool with their kids and drive them around. And unfortunately if you add in anger or mental issues, these moments can even escalate into abusive situations.

For me though, on those mornings when I can't shake the foul mood of a sleep deprived night, I know the tone of voice is sharper, I'm not as patient and when I finally do get a moment to ponder how the day started, I'm filled with guilt.

All my daughter did was jump out of bed with one thought on her mind. To see me. And instead of greeting her with a smile, I sometimes throw her a scowl.

There is no easy answer and for parents of young children, these sleepless nights will hopefully end in the near future. That's when WE will be begging THEM to get out of bed and they'll be pleading for a few more minutes.
And nope, they probably won't get them.

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