Momsomnia & Blog Envy

Last night, after having gotten up with a sick babe twice in under three hours, I couldn’t fall back to sleep.  This happens to me somewhat regularly: I get up in the night to nurse the little one, or to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, etc., and then I can’t fall back asleep.  I lie there, perfectly awake, mind ablaze with myriad worries, to-dos, or on the good nights, ideas.  Meanwhile, the pitiful tired child in my brain is whining: why can’t I fall back to sleep?  I count the minutes I’ve been awake each time I roll over, willing myself to stop looking at the clock.  Finally I will either get up or turn on my iPod and listen to a knitting podcast.

After tossing and turning for a while I got up, had a bowl of Cheerios, did some blog reading and went back to bed where I thought about blog post ideas, and tossed and turned some more.  Looking at the clock, I see I’d already been awake an hour.  Sweetie was softly snoozing next to me, and I trembled with something like rage at her ability to sleep deeply almost the instant her head hits the pillow. I grabbed my iPod out of my dusty nightstand drawer, put in the earphones, and….nothing.  The battery was dead.  Shaking it did little to convince the thing to work, so here I am. It’s 2:58 am and I have Momsomnia.

During these sleepless nights, my brain often wanders to all things blog-related.  Sometimes I can soothe myself back to sleep thinking up blog posts, fantasizing over how to present my latest work-in-progress, or how to pull together a post out of some random photos I’ve taken.  Tonight I find myself wondering if some of the she-bloggers I enjoy reading ever get insomnia.  If they ever want to clobber their spouses for not waking up when the baby cries, or get frustrated after stepping on bits of dry cereal or cat yarf in her bare feet in the night.

Sometimes I can’t help but compare myself to some of these women and their lives as presented on their blogs.  My brain knows that what we see on each other’s blogs is a mere glimpse of our real lives.  Some of us never share the gritty realities of our lives, instead choosing to focus on the positive, naturally sunlit moments of our days.  Others can’t stop ranting about every last inane detail of their daily grind.  Somewhere in the middle is the truth of who we are.

I know none of us is perfect.

And yet sometimes I wish my life were more like someone else’s blog.  Don’t you?  You know the ones…

Sunlight streams in through spotless windows onto the freshly refinished hardwood floors original to the house while she expertly snaps photos of her children practicing their quadratic equations or learning how to read a sundial.  She never complains about poopy diapers (even the one that made her vomit last week when she was home alone with the babe and a stomach bug), spit up, the cat’s hairballs, in-laws tracking in mud onto recently vacuumed rugs, or that mysterious smell in the fridge.  She bakes her own bread every week, collects eggs from her heirloom chickens, has a cute haircut, has time to get said cute haircut, displays seasonal fresh flowers in the house (this time of year it’s a forced sprig of forsythia clipped on a nature walk with her children, an attempt to get them outside every day no matter what).  Her home is decorated in a chic mix of reupholstered flea market finds, diy sewing projects, and prints from her favorite sellers on etsy.  She’s always dressed nicely (no sweats for this one) and is never too tired to make a nutritious dinner.  She wouldn’t dare eat ice cream straight from the carton.  What else are those cute bowls from anthropologie for?

Get the picture?

My point in all of this is that I know no one is perfect, especially the  mythic she-blogger.  I am me, and in this space I share what I care to of myself.  It is by no means a complete picture.  Right now my eyes burn, the laptop is about out of juice, and I’m worried that as soon as I do fall asleep, my poor cough-riddled tot will wake again. Who wants to see a picture of that?

Don’t get me wrong: I love these blogs that so many talented writers, knitters, crafty mamas, photographers, cooks, gardeners, teachers, and artists take the time to share with us.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t spend my time reading them.  There are just moments where I wish I could jump through my computer screen into their cozy living rooms and immaculate studios and stay awhile.  But after an hour or so, I would jump right back over into my life.  Because with all its imperfections, I love it.

At the end of the day, how do you let go of your daily worries?

Do you ever find yourself wishing you lived in someone else’s beautiful snapshots?

Got a cure for insomnia? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


{These photos were taken in Newport, OR on our post-holiday stay at the coast.  They are some of the first shots taken with my new camera, the Nikon D3100}

15 thoughts on “Momsomnia & Blog Envy

  1. I don’t get the not being able to go back to sleep, but I have problems getting there in the first place; especially if one of the children is restless, the kittens are playing or Dh is snoring. I take a Magnesium tablet each night before bed now and that helps me get to sleep; unfortunately it doesn’t stop the waking up to go to the loo on a regular basis, but I guess you can’t have everything!

  2. Here here! I am often quite envious of the lives of others that I get to peek at through a blog post. And I also feel frustration about blogging or not when it’s been a ridiculous day or night and I feel like the worst mom ever. I have no words of advice only my company to offer 🙂 I love this post!!

  3. As someone who’s tots have left the nest and are (finally!) having tots of their own, I have very different issues around sleep. I found that often my insomnia was because I hurt! A mild analgesic at bedtime did wonders.
    But I also found that I do not have a 24 hour bodyclock. I run more to 36 or 40 hour cycles. Try to make that fit with the rest of the world!

  4. I hate insomnia! Mine normally manifests as I try to fall asleep, fortunately if that miracle ever does happen I am generally out. What I normally do to help is 1) Keep a pad by the bed so if ‘to do’s’ or brilliant ideas pop into my head I can write them down, so I don’t worry more that I’ll forget and 2) If my brain heads down the path to Worryville I start naming all the things I’m grateful for in my life. It’s hard to worry and be grateful at the same time. I know it sounds schmaltzy, but it helps…sometimes. 😉 I loved your post. It made think of something else I read recently, and I thought I’d share the link:

  5. i’m an insomniac periodically. My husband snores through it all or if he wakes up he cuddles me and say, ‘just relax. You’ll be asleep soon’ then he’s snoring again. Sigh.

    And that’s when all those worries hit me too.

    When I feel that there are others out there with lives more perfect than mine, well it takes time to get over that. I remember that I don’t show much of the difficult stuff just as they don’t either.

  6. When I can’t sleep I usually get up and write – either writing down the to-do’s slamming around in my head, or just a few pages of random thoughts in my journal. It usually helps. (Reading a good book doesn’t, because then I want to stay up and finish it!)

    I struggle with this other issue too – the seeming perfection of other bloggers’ lives, and the tension between being authentic and being positive on my own blog. Sometimes the perceived perfection of their lives is overwhelming. But, like you, I would usually choose my own life over theirs, warts and all.

  7. i wanted to add that I think it’s possible to be authentic and honest on our blogs without necessarily wallowing around in the miserable details we don’t really want to share. I recently posted about some sewing that was a complete failure and some said ‘oh you’re so brave for showing it’ as if all failures should be hidden away. I didn’t feel brave; I was just sharing that sometimes things don’t work out right and I was planning on trying more sewing soon. Maybe there should be more of that?

  8. Amen, sister!

    What you said about Sweetie pretty much describes my DH. If I don’t go to bed before him, his head will hit the pillow and he’ll be sawing away on some logs while I’m on the other side of the bed cursing him for the loud snoring and wondering how the hell I’m going to get to sleep despite the fact that I’m wearing earplugs. Then one of the dogs will start barking in the early morning hours and I have to deal with it because Hubby is STILL snoring away. I have a hard time getting back to sleep after that.

    What really irks me is when Hubby will complain about being so tired after his gotten a full night’s sleep. WTF?!

  9. I have always been one of the lucky ones sleep wise, dozing off as soon as my head hits the pillow, and sleeping through the night. Recently though, I have started to experience bouts of insomnia…and it is really unpleasant. Lack of sleep messes with your brain, pure and simple. I read somewhere it is important not to lay there thinking random thoughts, or worrying, so now I pull out my knitting until I think sleep is on its way.

    I read blogs like the ones you’ve mentioned, and I admit envy at their lives…especially their hardwood floors, a personal favourite of mine 🙂 Like you, I know that no one is perfect, and I think we all have the right to share as much or as little as we want on our blogs.

    I hope little PB is feeling better soon…and that your Momsomnia disappears!

  10. I try to be as upbeat and happy with my blog as possible but sometimes it’s just not a possibility. I admire your honesty and willingness to share your frustrations.

    I have had my bouts of insomnia. For well over a month in my early 20s, I only slept an hour a night. By the end of it, I was having issues functioning. I’ve found when I have trouble sleeping if I drink a cup of hot tea (usually black with a splash of milk) and listen to Clair de Lune from Debussy, I sleep fairly well. I also sometimes do very basic stretches to relax my body.

    I do hope PB starts feeling better soon. And also Peaceful Momma. 🙂

  11. You made me laugh and smile with this post. Thank you. Loved the photographs too. Sorry no help with the insomnia – maybe make Sweetie get up to the little one 😉

  12. On soundly sleeping husbands: I am of the firm opinion that husbands who have young ‘uns should be forbidden from EVER telling their wife that they’re tired. Just. not. allowed. They should also be instructed in making it appear as though their sleep is, at the least, fitful.

    Beautiful photos! Wonderful post 🙂

  13. “Tonight I find myself wondering if some of the she-bloggers I enjoy reading ever get insomnia. If they ever want to clobber their spouses for not waking up when the baby cries, or get frustrated after stepping on bits of dry cereal or cat yarf in her bare feet in the night.” Oh, my god, yes!!! I’m a complete sleep-deprived zombie these days, raging that for some reason, I’m the only one who hears the cries and then can’t get back to sleep until the next cry!

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