Your alarm has gone off, and it’s not the kind with a snooze button on it. Your alarm clock is hungry or probably scared, screaming her lungs out as a sign of distress. It is 3:30 AM, just half an hour early before the supposed time you get up to take a shower and get ready for work.
It feels like your head just hit the pillow a few minutes ago, usually after the last feeding or rocking or convincing that there’s absolutely no sharp-toothed monster hiding in the closet. Wait, did it just happen two hours ago? You must be out of your mind.
And yet, it actually happened at least three times in the night already. Now, you can’t take back that extra 30 minutes before 4 o’clock because you have to nurse again. So you get up, half asleep but careful not to fall the baby, and gently pushed her head into your pulsating boob. If you’re lucky, babe just goes to sleep on her own while comfort sucking. If not, you’re left to rock her back to dreamland just a few more minutes.
Oops! It’s now past 4:45 AM! You just fell asleep, too. You get up; walking a little bit dazed and confused toward the shower, hoping the water will hit you hard right in the face enough to resuscitate your weary soul. It doesn’t. You wish you have more time to perfect your eyebrows, but you don’t. So in an effort to look like Floyd Mayweather didn’t punch both your eyes, you choose to hastily apply layer after layer of concealer. Instead of looking well-rested, you end up looking like a wight in Game of Thrones.
You sip your coffee and pray the caffeine will jolt you awake. It seems to work, but after a few minutes, your eyelids are dropping again. There’s absolutely no replacement for the forty winks you didn’t get. Do you want to cry? Do so! I’m sure your husband will not think you’ve gone loco, will he?
You brood about calling in sick. However, you just realize there are a dozen reasons you can’t. Certainly, not today. You still have to save for babe’s grand 1st birthday bash or finally be able to afford yourself a total salon makeover.
While on commute, you wonder if people actually think you just came from partying the night away with your “I woke up like this” look. If they only knew what partying the night away with a baby back at home means.
Sitting down behind your desk or standing up in front of your class, you muster a smile. You do what you ought to do, and you do a hell of a job! Not sure where that strength is coming from, but you know to yourself only mothers can withstand such a beating. You do your job well because it isn’t your boss’ fault your cranky offspring doesn’t let you hit the sack for a full eight hours- and because it’s the only thing you know what to do.
Once you’re back at home, you’re left to attend to that little one’s needs again. I know, you wish you could just take a catnap, but you know to yourself you are her favorite person in the world. Of course, you have the milk boobies. And so you cuddle her, sing her the nursery rhymes you probably have sung a thousand times before, and talk to her like the two of you are conspiring something silly against dad. Sometime later in the night, you know you’ll get that familiar feeling of despising your husband again for sneaking out a bit to his man-cave and forgetting you’re also tired and you two are a tag team in this thing called parenthood.
You see, you’re a fighter. There are a lot of adjectives to describe you, but it’s the most honest-to-goodness word I have about sleep-deprived working mothers. Your single or childless co-workers may complain about their exhaustion, but you just laugh at it because you have worse. Know that they admire you moments after knowing your burnout levels, and they are now looking up to you whenever they also feel like giving up. You never gave up, so why should they?
I am just like you as with any exhausted working moms out there, and I am here to tell you that you’re not alone. This is all normal. Your baby doesn’t hate you. In fact, you’re that one person he/she is looking forward to seeing at the end of the day. Take comfort in knowing you will sleep again… someday. You might think it is wrong for daydreaming of punching people who sleep better in their well-rested faces, but it’s totally fine.
Don’t worry mommies! I am with you in all these, with dry droopy eyes, disheveled hair, and rage at the majority of the snoozing population. You can do this; you have the skill that others don’t have. Armed with boobies and an IDGAF attitude, you can conquer everything!