I often don’t get enough sleep. I so love sleeping. Babies, old people, and cats love to sleep. I didn’t know how important sleep was for many years. My mother would tease me as a small child that she promised I wouldn’t miss anything if I just lay down for a minute and take a nap. I thought insomnia, or not being able to go to sleep when I was so very tired was normal!
I thought that being productive and working was more important and that sleep and napping, and just plain refusing to get dressed and go outside or anywhere were signs of laziness, procrastination and boredom. The doctor ordered bed rest, but I just couldn’t sleep! I pushed myself to do stuff and “finish stuff” and was just not clear of the toll it took on my body, mind, spirit, and soul. Sleeping is so good for you and so healing!
I didn’t know how much time I required to be alone, to be sleepy and to sleep and that I required solitude and time alone with my baby. Quiet time was as essential as breathing. The mother baby couple needs to sleep, doze off, sleep, eat some more and sleep…it allows the milk to flow and to build and strengthen relationships.
For many years, much of the work I did as a mom, a nurse-midwife, teacher, counselor and even scheduled shift work as a nurse required long periods of time of broken rest and limited sleep. It wasn’t till I stopped all of that or got really sick and was forced to sleep for hours and hours and hours unable to do anything else but sleep that I finally got it. I had created a sleep debt that couldn’t be filled.
Now I am the poster child for sleep and anyone who really knows me, especially my grown children know that when I am cranky; whatever ails me can be improved with more sleep or was caused by a lack thereof.
I had developed the habit of avoiding sleep so used to taking the quiet of night and the “excuse” of having to nurse the baby as the only reason for taking time alone with my little one. I am so proud of myself that I have the courage and privilege to SLEEP TILL I AM DONE SLEEPING now. I allow myself to rest and listen, and pray, and drool and not rush all the time somewhere or to do something. I learned this treasure at the breast with my nursing baby. I am forever grateful. How much sleep did you get last night? Was it enough?
Please tell us your story about sleeping till you’re done sleeping. What would it take to get enough rest? Do you sleep better with someone or alone? Do you allow yourself the gift of sleeping with your baby…?