As you prepare to become a parent, you expect a certain amount of sleep deprivation. After all, it’s part of the job; babies often require a lot of attention in the wee hours of the night, and as a parent, you know what you’re in for with a newborn… or you THINK you do.
What you might not expect, however, is the irrational rage-glaring you’ll find yourself doing at your sleeping spouse and his useless nipples.
I vividly remember being up with one of our babies -hell, ALL of our babies- and being so deliriously sleep-deprived that I hated him for being able to hog more of the air in the room with his giant, nostril-flared snoring.
And every single snore I took personally: “How DARE he think he can just make a kid and then sleep through every night like he doesn’t have a kid and have the audacity to sleep like I’m some wet-nurse who’s supposed to take care of HIS kid, who doesn’t sleep because HE was like that as a baby. And now I’m married to a dumb, sleep-loving baby-man who sucks all the air out of the room with his giant stupid snores.”
Are there supportive husbands who readily take the night shift with their wives? Of course there are.
But are there many chronically sleep-deprived new mamas out there who resent the hell out of their spouses who blissfully sleep through the night shift of infancy? Of course there are.
New mom Caroline Olling Andersen put her own frustration into words in a humorously eloquent way, and just about any new mom can relate to it.
In her Facebook post, entitled, “Daddy’s Asleep”, Andersen describes just how it feels to watch her hubby snore away while she’s manning the trenches of the newborn no-sleep experience.
She’s quick to point out that she does indeed love her baby’s father…. at least during the day. You may start the night with both you and your husband in bed, ready to fall asleep together. It’s the picture of sweet domestic bliss. But, read for yourself her hilarious poem so you can see where it all goes wrong.
My latest 4am poem titled “Daddy’s Asleep”
I love your daddy, I really do,
After all, without daddy, I wouldn’t have you.
But from midnight till sunrise, it’s just you and I.
And as each hour passes, I’m not gonna lie:
Mommy’s love slowly fades, becomes angry and weak,
Because no matter what, your dad is f***ing asleep!
It all starts out lovely. We kiss each other goodnight.
We look lovingly down at you dear, such a beautiful sight.
An hour later, mommy wakes with a start.
You’re twisting and turning, you’re starting to fart.
You’re gesturing for food. Mommy is there
with a bottle or breast
Daddy is snoring away, the way he knows best.
Mommy burps you, and holds you and rocks you with care.
You spew foul smelling yogurt on mommy’s freshly washed hair.
As mommy changes her shirt, and mops vomit off the floor.
Your daddy farts, rolls over and continues to snore.
Mommy’s maternal alarm goes off, it’s not even three!
You’re stirring again, you’re hungry and staring at me!
“I think she is hungry” your daddy offers, pulls duvet over his head,
Mommy sends him a death stare and rolls out of bed.
Mommy comes back, tired and drained and what is this I see?
Your daddy has taken over my side, doesn’t give a f*** about me!
Mommy kicks him and pushes him angrily away.
“What’s up love?” He moans in a lovingly way.
Your daddy has no clue he is under attack.
He wraps his arms around me and kisses my back.
And just as my love for daddy is back on the rise,
You start to coo in your crib and open your eyes.
And daddy gently nudges me to attend to your need.
I give him the finger as I prepare for a feed.
But as the sun starts rising, the slate is wiped clear.
I’m back to full love for your daddy and for you my dear.
I forget that daddy sleeps while you cry and you poo.
It’s back to kissing and hugging and doting on you.
Soon you’ll grow up and be daddy’s little girl.
You’ll not remember me cleaning up shit and vomit hurl.
Whilst you sit on his lap and he sings you a song,
You’ll love him and think daddy could do nothing wrong.
But my sweet love, here is a poem for you to keep,
So you know that all those long nights, dad was f***ing asleep!
If your household is anything like Caroline’s, you’re envisioning your own nocturnal-spousal rage & thinking, “Preach it, sister!” Because seriously, how do husbands manage to sleep through everything??
It’s the broken, disjointed sleep that does us in (or, in some cases, no sleep at all). It seems like as soon as baby is settled, she wakes up ready to feed again. And again.
And as Caroline explains, you tackle that first feeding like a consummate pro- or you think you do. All that stands between Caroline & another hour or two of sleep is just some light burping- oh. And some baby vomit. On her hair. And clothes. And the floor.
Ah, nothing like the aroma of warm, cheesy baby vomit to really steer this train off the rails.
And note it’s on Mommy’s “freshly washed hair”…. of course (let’s not even get into how Daddy gets to shower every.single.day). So instead of sailing off back into sweet slumber, this tired new mom now needs to change her clothes, and mop up some vomit on the floor for good measure.
There’s no vomit on hubby, of course, because he’s still safely ensconced in the blankets, sleeping like a baby. And farting like a gassy baby, which is a particularly nice touch.
Baby wakes up once again; Caroline points out that her “maternal alarm” went off at 3am. You know what that means- it’s the point of night when you should still be sleeping because baby is still technically asleep, but you sense that baby is about to wake up and henceforth lose a few extra precious minutes preparing yourself for the awakening which then happens shortly thereafter.
Her husband pokes his head up long enough to say, “I think she’s hungry.” & falls asleep. Of course baby’s hungry, because she left half of her last feeding on Caroline’s hair and clothes, which he’d know if he & his useless nipples hadn’t snored through that dumpster fire.
While she sails through that feeding, she comes back to the bed to find that her husband has kept it warm for her…. by hogging her side of the bed.
Is chivalry dead? Apparently. At least it’s sleeping like the dead… if the dead snore.
And bless his heart; he doesn’t have a clue that his wife wants to do him bodily harm.
He does briefly score some points by rubbing Caroline’s back in support. And then, my favorite part: just as she’s feeling the love for him, he:
Nudges me to attend to your need.
(This is the moment where the stabby rage comes in, and I’m feeling you, Caroline.)
I give him the finger as I prepare for a feed.
He’s lucky it was just one finger and not a fistful, just saying…
It was a long, exhausting night for Caroline, and it’s type of night we moms know too well. But as morning arrives, her rage dissolves into another day of wedded bliss.
All is forgiven… kind of, anyway. Caroline is sure to point out to her daughter that although she may be a Daddy’s girl now & forget what her mom did for her in those early days, this poem’s a clear reminder of who the unsung hero really is: Mom. It’s MOM.
With Caroline’s post earning 16K shares already, it’s clear that her fellow exhausted new moms totally get the conflicting emotions that sleep deprivation (and sleeping husbands!) can produce.