Mazzy wakes up at 6am. If we're lucky. On particularly unfortunate mornings, she's been known to wander out of bed around 5am. Our goal, for the past 3+ years, is to get her to wake up at 6:30am. A time I previously associated only with roosters and local news affiliates from the Today Show.
The rule is that we will not turn on the television until 6:30am because we don't want to give Mazzy incentive to wake up earlier.
So you know what happens?
A half hour of SELF-INFLICTED TORTURE.
Mazzy storms our room at 6am begging for warm milk, fresh underwear and Team Umizoomi and for reasons that get harder to explain, we refuse to turn on the stupid television so we can slink back to bed. We have to actually interact with her for a half hour. Or convince her to go back to sleep. Which ends up being the same thing.
A half hour sounds like nothing to most people. But for moms, it's the difference between a functioning brain and something closer to mush.
A half hour is the difference between me hopping out of bed with a smile and me stumbling out of bed with eyes half-closed, getting my foot caught in the sheet and smashing my face into the ground.
Ever gone into a zombie-like trance on the subway and snapped out of it only after you missed your stop? Stood in the shower wondering whether you had already washed your hair? Topped off your coffee with orange juice instead of milk?
I've freaked out because I can't find my phone WHILE I AM ON THE PHONE. This has happened to me. SEVERAL TIMES. I tell the person I'm on the phone with, "Shit! I can't find my phone!" And they are like, "Oh no! Where have you looked for it?" You know why? Because the person I am on the phone with is most likely a mom as well and can't put two and two together either. In fact, earlier that morning she probably walked into a wall on her way to the bathroom and sent her child to school with an onion in his lunchbox instead of an apple.
Source: Where's the F'ing Mommy Manual
Yesterday I almost fell asleep WHILE WALKING DOWN THE STREET. Harlow was in the carrier and I caught myself about to nod off several times. Apparently (danger aside), walking is a better opportunity for moms to sleep than riding shot gun in a car. We discovered this a few weeks ago.
Harlow, aka "the baby who does not nap", still wakes up throughout the night. More than once, I've gone in to nurse her at 2am, accidentally fallen asleep while holding her in the rocker and than woken up that way about three hours later.
You know how they say an hour nap in the middle of the day is equal to three hours of sleep at night? I think three hours of sleep in a rocker is equal to about fifteen minutes in a bed. Then you get to complain about the crick in your neck for the next two weeks.
Making my sleep deprivation even worse, Mazzy is what people call "high energy". Which is the polite way of saying "YOUR KID IS CRAZY!!!!" in case you were unaware.
So, at the moment when I get home from work, completely drained from my day, Mazzy wants to play soccer in the hallway. Or ride me like a pony. Or lift her on my feet like Superman.
My only recourse is making up games that result in lying in bed. For instance, a favorite game of mine is something I call "COMA". All you need is a doctor kit and the ability to lie motionless for hours at a time.
If you'd like to join other tired moms to wallow in our own sleep deprivation, NickMom is throwing a twitter party tonight at 10pm EST under the hashtag #SleepyMomsUnite. I'm co-hosting(!) so I hope that's motivation for at least some of you to come. If not, Energizer will be supplying prizes including a bunch of AmEx gift cards.
If you have any questions about how to join a twitter party, feel free to ask them in the comments.
I think having a twitter party about sleep deprivation at an hour when you could probably be sleeping is somewhat ironic, but I'm hoping you'll join me anyway. If you come, I promise I'll stay awake for the entire thing.
But if I start typing "Sleep deprivation sucks becauseofhjlihdnzflgnkz;flkg" you'll know what happened.
Oh how this has arrived in my twitter feed on the right day! My kids are 6 and 8 and I’m still about to fall asleep on my keyboard. Not because of them now – I had a pre-6am-waker too, now he is old enough to do his own thing at that ungodly hour – but because of insomnia. So what you have to look forward to once your kids sleep through the night is worrying intensely about teachers and friends and why you signed them up for so many weeks of camp and your own work and all sorts of things to insure that you’re up for 2+ hours in the middle of the night and wake like a mean zombie.
A bright spot – my little one now sleeps till like 8 on the weekends. And the older one gets himself cereal. So occasionally I don’t open my eyes until 8:30!! Those are such happy, happy, happy days.
I feel your pain. It does get better. But then worse. But mostly better!
When my three year old tries to wake me before a decent hour, I just tell him “go back to sleep, it’s still dark.” I have heavy drapery on my windows that lets absolutely no daylight in, so this line works ALL THE TIME even at 10 am! Mwahhahahah. Let’s just hope he doesn’t wise up and start checking behind the curtains…
I have a four year old that just lost her first tooth last night, so there was very little sleep to be had… So, how do you join a ‘twitter party’?
I’m glad you mentioned the timing to be ironic because that is the first thing I thought. I’m gonna try to “attend” though 🙂
In our house, we call this phase “The blur.” It gets better. I have an almost three year old and a 14 month old. At 9 months old the youngest went through a phase where he woke up EVERY HOUR. I died a little. Now he sleeps better than his big brother who also likes to wake up at an ungodly hour. We recently got him a sun night light that we put on a timer. He’s not allowed to get out of bed until the light turns on at 6 am. It works about 60% of the time which is better than nothing. 🙂 After Harlow turns one, you’ll wake up one morning and realize that the fog is slowly lifting. Until then, start going to bed when the kids do. And drink more coffee. 🙂 That’s hope. You’ll make it!
Twice in the past month I have started drying my hair only to realize that I never washed the conditioner out… Pretty sure I slept through the whole showering process… Maybe Mazzy and my son Mason can facetime to keep themselves entertained between the hours of 5am and 6:30am. 🙂
My child is trying to wake up earlier and earlier. I feel your pain.
oh I’m so doing this. My kids have always always woken up at 5. At least one of them has. It’s like they take shifts.
I HATE mornings.
Honestly it’s hard to believe that the first few years of my now 9 year old daughter’s life were the exact same. An early bird ball of energy. Now, I have to practically jump on her to get her out of bed! Moral: This too shall pass. Just not as soon as you’d hope.
I used to be sleep-deprived due to my kids. Then they started going to bed on time, staying in bed, sleeping all night, and not waking up until at least the sun was out … which turns out to be around the exact same time I realized I needed “me” time, and my only “me” time is when my kids are sleeping so … I am up anyway between 5-6am most days.
But – at least it is a choice, and at least I only have to entertain myself (and my dog, but he is usually glaring at me, wondering who the crazy person is that is up before 7am). And I am primarily getting up early to get to a work-out class. So at least then, when I am napping or going to bed before 8pm, well … at least I now look sexy while doing it.
Which you would think then lead to “enjoyable marital relation time”. But no. Though not through lack of trying – of my husband. But like, the other night he came to bed and said “Hey sexy” and I was like “No. It is now 10pm. Your window has passed. Goodnight!”. 😉 lol!
Anyway. Hang in there. It will get better! Ironically I have found (in all seriousness but it is weird I admit) that now that my kids go to bed and sleep so well, I am actually quite able to wake up so early, and be productive and enjoy it. I think it really does boil down to, are you waking up early due to YOUR choice or a choice forced upon you? Once you have the control back, it is soooo much nicer. And it will come! 🙂
Seriously? 10pm? I question The Powers That Be over at NickMom. It’s hard to believe any of them have young children. As much as I’d LOVE to participate, I don’t think I can choose you over sleep!
This requires me being AWAKE at 10PM EST doesn’t it…
Oh my gosh…as I was sleepily reading the comments, my ipad screen suddenly went black and I thought, “Oh no…what’s wrong now?” Then I realized my eyes had drifted shut and my ipad is just fine! Nap time!
another game I like is one my husband invented called ‘imaginary hide and go seek’. while relaxing on the couch you think of a place to hide and have them guess. voila. and maybe you need to close your eyes to think really hard 😉
Oh I remember this so well. This is the reason I coslept with my youngest – no I didn’t sleep as well as I did without him, but at least I could nurse him while dozing.
Also, we had to institute a no TV in the morning rule. I know, it sounds impossible! But if they know there will be TV after breakfast or after they get dressed, then they will be up and dressed and have fixed their own cereal bowl by 4:45 am if it means getting to watch TV.
Don’t worry, eventually she and Harlow will be old enough to entertain each other from 5-7 am and you can sleep with just one ear open instead of one eye.
I feel your pain, lady! Henry (four in October) woke up in the 5 a.m. hour for the first three years of his life. Ben (17 months) did.not.sleep for the first 10 months of his life, seriously. And Henry is incredibly high-energy, just like Mazzy. I feel ya!!!
If I can offer some hope, both my boys now sleep like a dream, til about 6:30 a.m. nearly every day. Now, 6:30 seems EARLY to some parents, but to us, it’s a huge blessing and improvement!! So there’s hope. 😉
(erinmich82 on IG)
Has anyone suggested this little lifesaver?
There’s no guarantee that Mazzy will be compliant, of course, but it’s worth a try: it uses a color cue to tell your kiddo when she’s actually allowed to get out of bed. If you get it, let me know how it worked!
we don’t have any TV and never have any problems like that in the morning. My sister did with her two kids, just like you do. They spent a few days in our house, the kids slept better. That made her think. And since she put her TV away; her kids sleep one hour longer than before and wake up in a better mood.
No TV – No reason to make terror for it.
Maybe try that out for a few weeks?
(And no i-pad etc!)
Reading this I felt like you were talking about a typical morning at my house. We have the same policy, except I pushed it to 7am, thinking that would somehow give me more time. Yeh, more time to lay there and have my three year old ask me every thirty seconds, “is it 7 yet, is it 7 yet?”
Thank you for posting about this today. My 3 year old gets up between 5 and 6am and I have a four-month old who isn’t sleeping great so this is pretty much the only thing I think about everyday. Thank you. Misery loves company.
My 2 1/2 year old daughter wakes up well before I would like her to, but that is my own doing… I have to wake her up at 6am to get her ready to go the my mother in law’s house so I can work. That being said, she also REFUSES to go to bed unless my husband and I are both going to bed too. However, I have her trained well. She knows that if she wakes up too early on the weekends, she is more than welcome to watch Disney jr shows on my phone while I stay asleep. She even turns the volume down enough to allow me to sleep lightly! It’s not the best, but… I get to sleep until 7:30 on the weekends 🙂 That being said, I still don’t get nearly enough sleep to function…
My son is in his teens now, but I remember those sleep deprived days when I would walk around like a zombie. He had colic well past the couple months they said it would last. I don’t know how I functioned. I still have my moments when I don’t know if I have washed my hair in the shower or almost put a packet of oatmeal in my coffee instead of into my sons bowl, but I think that may be because of my age factor now 😉
Just wondering: what ever happened with the sleep expert/trainer that was working with you? Bless your heart! Some people go to hotels to be naughty, maybe you should try to go to get a nap! 🙂
A child skilled enough to get his/her own cereal sounds like a DREAM.
We’ve got blackout shades that arrived in a box today for the nursery. Will put them up ASAP. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be kicking myself for not doing this sooner.
You just follow the hashtag. I’m answering this after the fact though. My bad- I hope you were able to join!
Thank you for coming!
If I went to bed when the kids do, I’d have to stop blogging!
We have a clock that the timer/light goes off at 6:30am. It took a bit before Mazzy understood it, stuck with it for a few months and then didn’t care anymore. Now, she usually gets up before it goes off, stands just outside our door and waves her underwear at us like a white flag. On the handful of days she gets up at 6:30am, she demands a prize. Oy.
Sounds like an excellent idea! Also- you should buy a leave-in conditioner. Problem solved!
Uh-oh. I’m sure dragging a pre-teen out of bed to go school isn’t fun either!
At what age did this magical “going to bed on time/staying in bed/waking up late” phase start???
Better than dropping your phone on your head. I’m not the only one, right?
Ha. I hide under the covers in my bed. It’s the best spot!
I’m sure you are right about the no TV thing but we heard you are not supposed to let them watch TV at night so… I can’t imagine denying her both!
But the girls entertaining eachother in the morning sounds MAGICAL!
I would KILL for a 6:30am wake-up time.
Yeah. We have it. We have the tot clock too. Once Mazzy understood how it worked, she stopped abiding by it. She’s too smart for me.
It’s an interesting theory and I’m sure you’re right. But I can’t imagine not having a television!
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS TO US EVERY MORNING. She’ll ask “Is it 6:30am yet?” every 30 seconds for an hour and a half.
We have been going back and forth because she wants to help me sleep train Harlow but I’m kind of embarrassed that Mazzy has fallen so far off the wagon from when we started.
There are a few things that have definitely improved and we have stuck to that she recommended- earlier bedtime, no TV at night and no TV before 6:30am. The first two have definitely made an improvement. But no matter how much we try, Mazzy still gets up way earlier than we want her to and just tortures us up until 6:30am when we let her turn on the television. It’s tricky now that Harlow is in her room because I don’t want to drag Mazzy kicking and screaming back to her room in the morning while Harlow is still sleeping.
I think it was potty training that really messed up Mazzy’s sleep training. She holds in her poop all day, waits until we put her diaper on for bed, then poops about a half hour after we leave her in her room to go to sleep. We have to go in there to change her which totally messes with the whole- don’t-cater-to-them-once-their-in-bed thing. At least, that’s my theory.
I told the sleep trainer that I would start Harlow after we got black out shades in the mail, which just arrived yesterday. I still have to put them up. She recommended them forever ago but I didn’t do it until now. If it works, I’ll be thrilled but also kicking myself that I didn’t do it sooner.
My fave blog post eveh!
No tv shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Replace with something else and they won’t miss it. If it must be electronic, make it interactive and educational.
It wasn’t quick. But we got blessed. My eldest slept amazing from 2 months to 6 months, then went through the night awakenings once solids started, and wanting to sleep with us, in our room etc. I must admit I at times get nostalgic for the sound of the pitter-patter of her little feet “sneaking” into our room once she was supposed to be in her own bed. She was six when my little one came, and she had been sleeping in our room then boom! Of her own accord stopped. I don’t know why, just age I guess. At ten, she now reads for fifteen minutes then goes to sleep.
. My youngest was a nightmare for the first six months then my reward for not throwing her out a window was that a switch flipped and she became the best sleeper from six months on. So my theory is the sleep training/advice is great, as there are certainly valid points – but sometimes it comes down to the kid’s personality. And then if they are poor sleepers, they need to get to the age to understand cause and effect i.e. saying to a four year old “go to bed or I will not allow anymore candy” is more effective than sayingthat to a 9 month old.
Things we did consistently – bedtime routines, set getting up and sleep times (including most weekends), no candy etc. after dinner is over, and both are kept active so quite ready for sleep. I find the “slow” days i.e. mostly indoor time it can be more of a struggle. And if we keep my little one up too late she becomes a nightmare to settle.
i hope it works for you. i thought the same thing about a month ago and got them. it actually worked…..for 2 days. then up again before 6. i have both and earlier riser and a high energy child, so this post completely resonates with me. although i don’t have a baby, so there’s that.
New to your blog so maybe you have already covered this. You said earlier bedtime, but have you tried a later bedtime? Some kids just need a certain amount of sleep. Maybe a later bedtime would equate to a later awakening. I know that sometimes later bedtimes mean more trouble with getting them to bed so this is just a simple thought. My kids were both great sleepers and still are at 9 and 6, pretty sure I was just blessed not really anything I did. Although, I was a good sleeper so maybe it is just good karma.
I fell asleep while getting my hair cut once, with my kids in tow. It was the first time I had my hair done in 8 mos. and was the most relaxation I had in a long time lol! I purposefully took a nap in the movie theater once or twice when my hubby and I had a date night lol…is that terrible? When my girls, now 4 and 2.5, wake up before the sun I tell them we have to go back to sleep until the sun wakes up. It works about 25% of the time…
I’m so glad I’m not the only one who “loses” my phone while holding it in my hand!
We had some serious bedtime issues about 2 months ago. My 3 yr old would get out of bed and open the door every 2 seconds, trash his room and climb on everything possible. We bought a timer clock that turns green when it it time to get up. And we made a bedtime chart. It lists several activities he should achieve each night (like stay in you bed after we close the door, don’t climb on things, don’t throw all your books onto the floor, stay in bed till the clock turns green, etc.) (and we put two easy to achieve goals like pee in the morning and read books) My 3yr old gets a sticker for every goal he achieves and if he completes them all it counts toward winning a prize (like visiting a special fun place) It took a few weeks to really hit home but he started doing really well. Some mornings I can hear him on the monitor waiting for the clock to turn green. And a few weeks ago he started preschool where he refuses to nap. We have cut out the nap all together which is painful for us (and he starts acting like a drunken sailor at some point) but since then he falls asleep instantly. I am hoping this will last for awhile!! Pretty soon I will have to drag him out of bed.
And good luck with the holding poop thing- we have a bit of an issue with it ourselves but he won’t even poop in the diaper. Most of the time he just poops in his underwear. woo hoo for me. (so would love to hear any progress on that!) Love your blog!!
Oh my goodness, this is so my reality. I have a 2 year old, and am expecting in September. Of course, we’re excited, but I’m already nervous about how tired I’m going to be. We only really started sleeping through the night about 6 months ago, but we’re still usually up before 6. Oye!
Thanks for being so hilarious about all this! I started reading your blog recently, and I love it. It makes things easier when you know you’re not alone in this madness we call motherhood.
I saw that you had some sort of clock/timer thing that worked for awhile and then Mazzy was over it. My daughter has been a nightmare as far as sleep goes since she was a newborn until about 4 weeks ago. (She just turned 3.) We bought this clock http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Gro-Company-HJ008-Gro-Clock/dp/B002APJCNE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375418606&sr=8-1&keywords=sleep+training+clock
and it has worked like a miracle every night since. We make her try to go potty before bed to avoid overfilled diapers and getting up to go potty (although we tell her the only reason she can get out of bed is if she has to go potty…and she’s never once gotten out) and then set the clock, go to bed, and she doesn’t wake until the sun comes up at 6:45am! It’s a miracle!
Anyway, not sure what clock you had, but I thought I would recommend this one. It was totally worth it. And the converter can be purchased at Radio Shack for about $15. After 3 years, I FINALLY feel rested when I wake up in the morning. And the best part is that my daughter is proud to tell me every morning that she waited until the stars went away and the sun came up before she got out of bed.
I almost poured coffee into my cereal this morning. Sigh.
I thought it was no TV at night ONLY for the 1/2 hour to 1 hour before bed … not none period. And 30-60 minutes seems reasonable anyway, for getting bedtime routine done, by the time pj changing, teethbrushing, occasional baths, books, songs are done. And I must admit, I have let my kids watch TV right before bed – not always, but enough to know it hasn’t bothered them going to sleep ever. You know though, some kids are just natural early risers and it is what it is (at least until they are teens anyway). You could try reverse psychology, I find the best way to guarentee my kids will sleep in is to ensure I have a reason they absolutely cannot (like a flight, doctor’s appt, etc.) … 😛
My son is hyperactive to, he is 3 1/2 he never slept as a baby 3hrs a day I thought I would die! He grew out of that but still only sleeps till 6am but I compromise with him I tell him on the weekends he can get in bed with me and read his books until I wake up. This is the only time he is allowed in my bed is when I want to sleep in. He will read to the dog for about 30min sometimes longer. Sometimes they will go play on the floor. Thank god for that dog.
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