No one ever knows quite what they’re getting into when they have a baby, no matter how many baby books or blogs you’ve read. But one thing most have a pretty good idea about is that as a new mom, you’re definitely going to miss out on some sleep. We feed and rock our way through long nights and slog our way through endless, bleary-eyed days, but we know it won’t be like this forever. Right? One day we’ll sleep again . . . right!?!?

Well, maybe. I mean . . . probably.

But I gotta tell you, my oldest just turned 15 this week, and I haven’t slept in about . . . 15 years. My youngest is eight, so sure, having my kids spread so far apart didn’t really help my sleep situation. But, it turns out, I’m not SO abnormal (in that way at least), as a scientific study done in Germany says mamas like you and I don’t really get their sleep back to normal for at least . . . SIX YEARS after having a baby.

What? SIX YEARS? Do me a favor and don’t show this article to anyone trying to decide whether or not to have kids, or they might just be done and stop re-populating the earth! 

But seriously, this German sleep  study confirms two things all moms have known always:
1. We lose sleep WAY past the newborn years and
2. Dads lose WAY LESS sleep than we do! (SO shocking, right?)

For example: the study showed that while moms lose about an hour of sleep a night during baby’s first three months (seems like a really low average to me, but whatever), dads on average only lose 15 minutes during the same time period. Ugh! Why can’t men breastfeed again? Ha! The study also concluded that dad’s sleep loss stays steady at 15 minutes lost, even up to when the child is six years old, and that while mom’s does improve, it still clocks in at 20 minutes less sleep a night. Verdict: mom can’t win!

My own very scientific conclusion from reading this study of 4,659 parents is this: if you have multiple kids, you’re basically never sleeping again. These scientists who put together the data concluded that mom and dad’s sleep times don’t go back to normal until their child is in first grade. By the time my youngest hit first grade, my oldest was 13 and in seventh grade! That’s . . . a LOT of years with lost sleep!

My other very scientific conclusion: kids are worth it. And, I’ll sleep when they’re all 30 or older, which for me, is the year 2040 . . . so, maybe I’ll just sleep when I’m dead!

How do you sleep as a mom? Do the study’s results ring true with you or not? 

Jenny Rapson

Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.