“OMG!!! Why won’t you wake the F*ck up?” This has suddenly become my daily lament and the newest battle between mother and son.
How did the battle with our children’s sleep schedule suddenly morph from our desperation to get them to go to sleep into an epic battle of trying to wake them up in the morning”? Seriously, how many daylight hours can my semi-adult son sleep before he reaches vampire status?
I’m beginning to believe that there is some giant cosmic conspiracy that is designed to create chaos with our kids’ sleep schedules, secretly intended to drive parents completely nuts – if we weren’t already. It makes me wonder if we are somehow living out an episode of “Punked – a mom’s life with kids”. Once again, as soon as I learn the rules of this thing called motherhood, I’m left unprepared and a bit unhinged with this latest phase of parenting — the “Great Sleep Wars”.
This maddening game of sleep schedule drama seemed to start when our kids were very young. I lost track of how many times I desperately begged them to go to bed, just so I could have just a few minutes of quiet relaxation — if there ever was such a thing. The non-stop, Energy-Battery-Bunny-on-Starbucks, ball of energy they possessed seemed never-ending, leaving us weary parents to sometimes lose it just before bedtime or had us entering into an elaborate high-stakes game of negotiated bribery to get them to sleep.
We prayed for the day this stage would end and took comfort in the fact that we are not alone in our bedtime battles. I remember reading the book, “Go the F*ck to Sleep”. This book was my late-night battle cry. It kept me belly laughing until I tears were streaming from my eyes and I was shouting, “Amen, Hallelujah — someone gets it”. Dear child of mine, please for the love of God, go the f*ck to sleep!
Fast forward a few years and enter the teenage and college-aged phase of sleep habits. This stage of the sleep wars comes with a few new twists and turns, designed to push our patience even closer to that edge of motherhood insanity and into an emotional breakdown complete with full-fledged battles with our kids wanting to sleep until mid-afternoon.
As I navigate through the trenches of this new war, I’m just hoping that both my “sleeping beauty” of a son and I survive this phase without me losing what’s left of my perimenopausal mind. Yes, those days of wishing for them to go to sleep have been replaced with a new battle cry, “Dear child of mine, please wake the f*ck up!” and the inspiration for how I would rewrite the book for today’s parents of teenage and college-aged kids.
The morning alarm has been buzzing nonstop,
You’ve been laying there in a zombie state unable to turn it off.
I can hear it because it has caused my sleep to disrupt.
Dear son, please wake the f*ck up.
The birds are sweetly singing their morning song.
I’ve already finished the daily walking of the family pup.
I’m patiently waiting and saying to myself,
Please, dear Lord when will he wake the f*ck up.
The coffee has been brewing and
I’m sitting here stewing
Ready to hurl at you my favorite cup,
Please, please, please why won’t you wake the f*ck up.
I make him his favorite breakfast.
Hoping the aroma will cause him to stir
But no, the pancakes he loves are
Slowing drowning in the dripping syrup.
Dear son, it’s more than time that you wake the f*ck up.
The clock is tick, tick, ticking away.
You’ve fallen behind schedule and it will be hard to catch up,
You’ve pushed me to the edge of sanity,
So dear son, you want to live to see another day,
I’m begging you to wake the f*ck up.
I’m at the point of where my emotions are about to erupt
And just then you wake up so abrupt,
Shouting, “Hey, mom why are you so upset?
Can’t you see that I’m awake and that I’m up?”
It’s now well past noon but yes, I’m happy you’re up.
You will be leaving soon, with friends for a quick meet up,
I slowly relax and breathe a sigh of relief
Thank you, dear Lord, that he finally woke the f*ck up.
Paulette Klein: Is a self-admitted recovering helicopter parent, coffee drinking shoe lover, and travel addict trying to navigate the next chapters of her life. Residing in South Florida, she is a freelance writer and content contributor with a background in marketing and public relations. Her articles about life, parenting, humor, and travel can be read in Grown & Flown, Thrive Global, local publications, and on her website LifeTraveledInStilettos.com.
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