So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I recently read a blog post by a woman with four children who swears she gets nine hours of sleep every night, no matter what. I thought, “Who is this woman and is she for real?” There was a backlash of angry comments from (probably exhausted) other moms who were like, “What the heck?” Except for a blissful occasional exception, I feel like I haven’t gotten enough sleep in decades.

We all realize that once you have babies, unbroken sleep becomes the norm. It’s expected. And even when those sweet babies do start sleeping through the night, they wake for the day at ungodly hours. I see bleary-eyed young moms posting pictures at 5 a.m. with the hashtag “this too shall pass” but the truth is, for many of us, it doesn’t.

Yes, once the kids get a little older, like elementary and even middle school age, there is a lull where you do get more sleep. Most mornings, the kids are able to keep themselves amused and out of harm’s way until you appear. This period of time in your life is kind of like the eye of a storm when the sun comes out for a bit and you think you’re in the clear—but don’t be fooled by the calm because the back end of the storm will hit in the not-too-distant future. And I think you should be prepared for when it does.

Once your kids become teens and start going out and then driving, your sleep will be broken not by a cry for a clean diaper or milk, but by FEAR. You will be afraid for your kids in a way you can’t imagine when they are angelically asleep in their cribs. You will worry about where they are, who they are with and what they are doing. You will sleep (if you are lucky enough to sleep) with an ear open to make sure they come home on time and in one piece. I remember one time when my oldest son stayed out past his curfew—I woke my husband and instructed him to find our child and kill him (kidding, of course). I really did try to sleep when they were out but even though I might doze off for a bit, until I knew they were home safe and sound, I was uneasy and mostly awake.

When your kids go off to college, you may expect that the wonderful sleep of your youth will finally return. But it doesn’t. By the time your nest starts to empty, you will likely be entering the phase called menopause. And this is a phase that wreaks total havoc with your sleep. Between night sweats, having to go to the bathroom more and just plain wakefulness (when you stare up at the ceiling frustrated because you want to be dreaming instead of thinking about life and all the things you need to do the next day), you’re lucky if you can string together a few hours of being unconscious. I frequently stumble through the day wondering if I can find a few minutes for a nap. I find myself looking in the mirror and saying to myself, “Man you look tired.” I have been accosted in department stores by salespeople with eye cream samples, making me realize that I am literally the person for whom those creams were invented. I was with my youngest son one time when I was approached by an eye cream wielding salesperson and my son, who was a little shocked, said, “Wow, do you realize that person just pointed out the wrinkles and bags under your eyes?” I just shrugged and told him I was too tired to be offended.

Young mamas, I don’t tell you all this to alarm or depress you, but I feel you should have realistic expectations of what awaits you sleep-wise in the future. Some might argue that ignorance is bliss; personally, I like to know what’s coming down the pike. The good news is that not getting enough sleep is really not so bad and there are even a few perks; based on how tired I look I can sometimes get a senior citizens discount (even though I’m actually not yet old enough to qualify for one).

So for those of you young mamas posting those pictures with the belief that your sleep-deprived state is “temporary,” I think you should just accept that “temporary” might be a little longer than you are anticipating. You may not be able to do much about it (other than investing in a good coffee maker) but I want you to know that you are not alone and that you will be OK.

And now, if you don’t mind, I think I’m going to go close my eyes for a few minutes.

Marlene Fischer

Marlene Kern Fischer is a wife, mother of three sons, food shopper extraordinaire, blogger and college essay editor. She attended Brandeis University, from which she graduated cum laude with a degree in English Literature. In addition to Her View From Home, her work has been featured on CollegateParent, Grown and Flown, Kveller, The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Beyond Your Blog, The SITS Girls, and MockMom. You can read more of Marlene’s work on her site here: https://marlenekfwordpresscom.wordpress.com/

I’m Giving My Kids the Summer Fun I Never Had

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys playing in the waves on the beach, color photo

I love that my kids hate school. Stay with me here . . . Yes, I absolutely love that year after year, my boys cannot wait to ditch school for summer break, that they endlessly bemoan the academic year and cannot wait for June.  I love it because it is normal. I love it because it means they enjoy being at home and implies that I make summers fun for them, or, rather, allow summers to be fun for them. I love it because I always dreaded summers when I was growing up. Dreaded them with knots in my stomach...

Keep Reading

Mothering One Day at a Time

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding daughter in matching shirts, color photo

As I sat with my growing belly, full of anticipation for the arrival of my firstborn, the possibilities were endless for this little girl. Maybe she would lean toward the arts and be a dancer, writer, or musician. Or maybe she would take after her great-granddad and become a scientist. And maybe one day she would be a mother too. Dreaming about the future was fun and exciting. But then she surprised us with an at-birth Down syndrome diagnosis. Special needs were never included in my dreaming sessions.    All of the sudden, my hopes and dreams for this new...

Keep Reading

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

I Know It’s Just Summer Camp but I Miss You Already

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Kids by campfire

You would’ve thought I was sending you off to college. The way I triple-checked to make sure you had everything you needed and reminded you about the little things like brushing your teeth and drinking plenty of water about a thousand times. You would’ve thought I was sending you to live on your own. The way I hugged you tight and had to fight back some tears. The way you paused before leaving just to smile at me. The way I kept thinking about that boyish grin all the way home. The way I kept thinking about how you’re looking...

Keep Reading

I Want My Boys To Become Men of Character

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boys with arms around each other by water

I’m a single mama of two young boys. As a woman raising young boys, I’ve thought a lot about how I want them to act—as kids and adults. We joke around that I’m not raising farm animals, and we don’t live in a frat house. I’m trying to plant seeds now so they grow into men with positive character traits. They burp, fart, spray toothpaste on the sink and somehow miss the toilet often, but I’m trying to teach them life lessons about what it means to be great men and gentlemen.  Interactions with other men provide opportunities for us...

Keep Reading

Until There Was a Boy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother looking at son and smiling, color photo

I never believed in love at first sight . . . until there was a boy.  A boy who made my heart whole the first time he looked at me.  A boy who held my hand and touched my soul at the same time.  A boy who challenged me and helped me grow. A boy who showed me that, even on the worst days, the world is still a beautiful place.  RELATED: I Met a Boy and He Changed Everything A boy who reminded me how to laugh until tears ran down my cheeks. A boy who tested my patience...

Keep Reading

A Mother’s Heart Remembers These Sweet Moments Forever

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and baby laughing

Motherhood gives you all the feelings. It’s hard not to be utterly thankful for and grieve the little things of your last baby, trying to take in all of the firsts and lasts. Every bin of clothes and baby gear packed up produces a tiny crack in a mother’s heart, breaking just a little bit more each time she says goodbye. It’s not that she needs those baby clothes, but it’s the memories each outfit held that are difficult for her to let go of. She does not want to forget those beautiful moments. When she looks at that bin...

Keep Reading

I Want You To Miss Your Childhood One Day Too

In: Kids, Living
Kids jumping off dock into lake

What I miss the most about childhood is owning my whole heart. Before I gave pieces of it away to others who weren’t always careful with it. And some, who never gave the pieces back. I miss my knowing. My absolute faith that my mother’s arms could fix just about everything and what her arms couldn’t, her cookies could. When my biggest grievance was not getting my way. I miss feeling whole, unblemished. Before words cut me. Before people had taken up space in my mind, created permanent movies that were ugly and still play on repeat at times. Before...

Keep Reading

No One Told Me It Was the Last Time You’d Be This Little

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young son playing in ocean

No one told me it would be the last time I rocked you to sleep. A cry in the night, the haze of a dimly lit room, our rocking chair worn brown. We were the only ones in a little world. No one told me it would be the last time I carried you on my hip. The way my body shifted—you changed my center of gravity. Your little arm hooked in mine, a gentle sway I never noticed I was doing. No one told me it would be the last time I pushed you on the bucket swing. Your...

Keep Reading

The Only Way to Freeze Time Is to Take the Picture—So I’ll Take as Many as I Can

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two kids sitting in wagon, color photo

Life ebbs and flows. Seasons come and go. One of the reasons I take so many photos is because they are the only way to make time stand still. They provide a nostalgia that can’t compete with anything else. They help us remember the exact moment captured and show us how fast time is fleeting. It doesn’t matter if their texture is glossy or matte. It doesn’t matter if they are in a frame or on a screen. It doesn’t matter if they are professional or if someone’s thumbprint is in the upper corner. All that matters is the moment...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime