Hint: Skip the flowers and just let mom sleep in.
Poor moms. While of course the honor and joys of motherhood are abundant, it is not an easy occupation. There is a reason why so many moms require copious amounts of coffee in the morning, and resort to the "mommy juice" at the day's end. Being a good mother can be hard work.
Which is why we celebrate our tireless moms (and partners who pull "mom" duty) on Mother's Day every year. We give them cards and flowers and dinners out, but according to a survey from the all-things-sleep site, SleepZoo, there is one thing that moms want more than anything else: "A good night's sleep."The site surveyed 1,200 moms in the United States and found that 40 winks was on the top of the list for 37 percent of the moms surveyed. And the number shot to 60 percent for moms of children under the age of two. Next, was a “day off from parenting to relax,” which 26 percent of moms said was their preferred gift.
Now granted, this is a sleep site, so the results could appear to be biased. But I am a mom, I know many moms, and anecdotally this seems entirely spot-on. The site notes:
With 37% of mothers choosing a good night’s sleep and 26% saying what they want a day off from parenting to relax as their most desired Mother’s Day presents, it’s clear that what moms want more than anything is just to recuperate from the rigors of parenting. Many moms indicated they’d love to spend Mother’s Day sleeping in for as long as they’d like and capping off their day with a calm evening with their family.
And there were some other eye-opening results about moms and shut-eye as well:
- 31 percent of moms said they couldn’t remember the last time they got 8 hours of sleep in a night.
- Most said they’d feel lucky to get 6 hours of sleep each night.
- 73 percent of the respondents said they “regularly feel tired.”
With this in mind, I was looking for research about how much sleep parents get (four hours and 44 minutes of sleep in an average night during the first year of their baby's life, according to an article in The Independent), when I came across this, which is awful and funny and further drives the point home.
Ten confessions of sleep deprived parents:
1. Feeding my baby spaghetti Bolognese for breakfast thinking it was dinner time
2. I lost the kettle once and found it in the fridge where the milk lives
3. I once put cat food in the washing machine dispenser instead of powder
4. I put my toiletry shopping in the fridge rather than bathroom and my milk in the oven
5. Putting a bottle of milk in my baby’s ear instead of the mouth
6. Using baby milk in my tea
7. Walking into a store without shoes
8. Pushing the pram out and realising the baby wasn’t in it
9. I left my car running with the keys in the ignition whilst sat at work
10. Fell asleep standing up at countertop in kitchen
Raise your hand if you can relate. But aside from having to clean out cat food from the washing machine, sleep deprivation isn't good for parenting and isn't good for the parent. Not getting enough sleep comes with some pretty serious health risks, from mood disorders and obesity to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, among others.
So partners and kids, if you have a sleep-deprived mom on your hands, take note.
And if you are groggy mom, don't be shy about asking for some extra slumber; on Mother's Day and every other day as well. We can be tough and seemingly tireless, but when we start taking the baby for a walk in the pram ... but accidentally leave the baby at home, well, that's not good for anyone.
For more on the survey, visit SleepZoo.