An Open Letter To Anyone Who Told Me My Kid Would One Day Become A Good Sleeper

An Open Letter To Anyone Who Told Me My Kid Would One Day Become A Good Sleeper

I’ll never forget when I was a brand new mom with this sweet squishy baby to love who fit in the creases of my arms and basked in my body heat. It was a magical time filled with a 32 oz. coffee minimum, uncontrollable crying (from both of us), and extreme sleep deprivation.

Sure, I was a new mom, but I was no fool. Cautionary tales of the exhaustion I was headed for were never in short supply while pregnant and they didn’t stop once I had the baby. It seemed as though everyone wanted a slice of the unsolicited advice pie and admittedly, it wasn’t all bad. Like when a woman in the Target checkout line told me to try gripe water for my fussy, gassy babe—or when a seasoned mom friend clued me into the fact that I had mastitis and should probably see a doctor, stat.

But other times—and I might argue, most times—the advice was circumstantial and way off base. My personal favorite, was this:

Oh, don’t worry! This phase will pass and your little one will be a good sleeper in no time!

To everyone who felt compelled to sprinkle me with this nugget, I wish to respectfully and firmly offer a hearty FUCK YOU.

Seriously, fuck you for filling my fragile new mom brain with fantasies like a well rested body, mind, and soul. Who do you think you are? The resurrected king himself? You false propheted the hell right into me, in the form of not one, but TWO children who still, at three and five years of age, look at sleep like a colossal waste of time. Cursed by your words, I’m now destined for a lifetime of 4am and 5am wake up calls from two little monsters  angels who do not care that it is still dark outside because, “mommy, we are hungry! And also, we want to play. In your bed. On top of you. In the middle of that amazing dream you were having about all-you-can-eat avocado rolls.”

It’s six o’clock in the morning as I type this and both children have been awake since four. The smell of coffee is in the air and there is an echo of screams radiating throughout the house. They are fighting over a crayon. The blue one, obviously. As I listen to their shrieks my mind wanders to you—the promiser of sleep. I can’t help but wonder what I did to make you hex me.

Perhaps I didn’t let you go in front of me in the Target check out line? Or maybe I grabbed the last of the peppermint mocha creamer that we both love? Did I forget to wish you a happy birthday? Run over your cat? Leave a one-star yelp review for your favorite restaurant? Is it because I didn’t buy anything from your online party? Did you misinterpret my resting bitch face as actual bitch face? Could it be possible that I sold you a bad loaf of bread in a past life?

Certainly there must be a reason for your betrayal. I simply cannot believe that you, in all of your self-proclaimed wisdom, would intentionally serve a platter of seasoned bullshit to a young new mom. You are a person of great knowledge and authority. This was made clear by your confident and direct approach to advice giving.

Oh, don’t worry! This phase will pass and your little one will be a good sleeper in no time!

This is a declaration. You left no room for questioning with your bold and sure Snapple fact. You said the word “will” twice. Twice. Surely in all of your years of mastering life you learned that people believe proclamations where the word “will” is used liberally. Your efforts to convince me of the facts was unparalleled. “Yes, this phase will pass and my little one will be a good sleeper in no time!”, I thought.

Again, fuck you.

“No time” has turned into five and a half years, with no end in sight. This “phase” has booked a permanent residency and since your “don’t worry!”, it’s also added a guest star in the form of a younger brother. Do you hear me? This “phase” has double downed. 

So thanks for nothing, you curse-casting, voodooing, Dear Abby-ing necromancer. You and the sorcerer’s apprentices you sent my way to affirm your hex have damned me to a life of adrenal fatigue from caffeine abuse. You’ve ensured that my body never makes it through an entire REM cycle. You have single-handedly guaranteed that I forget at least one thing a day. And of course, you’ve made it so that my children never, ever, become good sleepers.

Next time, keep your thoughts and your damnations to yourself.

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