When I Lay Me Down To Sleep


 “In vain you rise early and stay up late…” (Prov. 127:2)

Bob and Beau snoozing on dog bed

How many hours of sleep do you get? How many do you dream of getting?

I am a farmer’s wife and a mother of five. I don’t get enough sleep. I reckon I’m not alone. When I (do finally) lay me down to sleep, it is usually somewhere between 10:30pm and midnight, my mind is still racing, prayer requests buzzing about, and my iPhone rests fingertips away on the night stand, still all-aglow. I am tired, exhausted even, and already dreading getting up the next morning.

Beau sleeping in tractor
Tractor Nap

Not being a morning person is hard enough as it is, toss in burning the candle at both ends, and you have a recipe for disaster, and you chance, as my children call it, “The Mommy Monster” making an appearance. Nobody wants that. And I am certainly not like my husband and son who can sleep anytime, anywhere and at the drop of a dime. That’s my little Beau, pictured above, sound asleep on the floor of a tractor, (John Deere of course), a tractor. Come to think of it, I’m kind of jealous.

The children, oh the children are all in bed and asleep, though admittedly, sometimes, (more often than my husband would like), my toddler son, Beau, is tucked up under my arm. Snoozing away. Sometimes he wakes up at the incessant breathing in of his hair. He’s so cute I just want to inhale his yummy essence. Maybe there is a science to this. I digress. I’m tired. I am so very tired, but as a mother, this, this breathing in and smelling of his hair, is something I will never tire of. I started typing, its mommy-crack, then thought better of it. Oh what the heck, its mommy-crack.

{Go ahead and laugh as you picture the pencil holder we all often have now, thanks to the too-low-cut style of jeans ushered on by the gen-Yers. Thanks for that Katy Perry. Cover your crack and rock the mom jeans already, oh wait, did I say that?}

Moving on.

Keep your littles close and kissable whenever possible. Unless they are having a tantrum, then refrain from eye contact and STAY FIRM! My children are ages 15 through two, one in high heels, one in diapers, and everything in between. Four girls and one boy. So I have evidence. They do get bigger, those little cherubs, and it does in fact go by too fast, (though I so hate having older moms say this to me), so breathe in their innocence. Soak up their adorable, unconditional love for you, for it is in these precious, (though sleep deprived), moments that our mom-tanks get refilled, (better than mommy-crack, right?).

Mommy Crack: Breathing in their hair, their smell, their essence.
Mommy Crack: Breathing in their hair, their smell, their essence.

We must be at the ready; for the grocery store meltdowns, public put-downs of strangers, potty training mishaps recurrent stomach bugs, sibling rivalry outbreaks, back-talking marathons, bad attitude infused arguments, chore shirking, calls from the principal, relentless bed-time stalling, plank-master-at-the-car seat moments, you get the picture.

Be filled.

Not only is motherhood emotionally, physically and mentally draining, it has redefined entirely, and forever complicated, the all-encompassing, questionably mandatory daily ritual that is getting sleep. We have bedtime routines for our kids, but not for ourselves? Further complicating the issue is my iron deficiency anemia, (a common problem in women recently having birthed or nursed a child or five), which guess what, saps one’s energy. Fabulous!

I long for my pillow hours upon hours out of the day, it beckons me to abandon the pasta pot and leave the dishwasher unloading to my husband. It calls for me when I’m on the road, between shuffling around this one to soccer, (yes I’m an actual soccer mom driving a minivan, don’t laugh), that one from voice lessons, and on and on. Yet when I finally am free to collapse on my bed and close my eyes- I don’t. Why?

All of a sudden I realize, hey, the kids are all in bed and I have the house to myself! What am I going to do? Check my email, take a bath, play Dots or Solitaire? Paint my nails perhaps? Shower??!?! Tidy the kitchen? Definitely not that last one. Where does that time go? And why don’t I use it to do the one thing my tired self has been fantasizing about all day? My youngest is weaned. Sheep should be dancing multiplication tables at the foot of my bed.


But I’m not. And I don’t. I blame my husband, well mostly. He’s a dairy farmer, and on evenings that he is milking, he doesn’t come home until somewhere between 9 and 10:30pm. I suppose I wait for him, and even once he is home, then I want to actually spend time with him, awake, outside of the bedroom, not go straight to sleep. Yeah, it’s all his fault. Another night of planning to go to bed early down the drain.

We’ll try again tomorrow night.

2014-09-27 16.30.50_edited
“Quiet Time”


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