According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
In fact, sleep deprivation is a major problem in our society. The consequences of sleep deprivation can be serious, and problems range from an increase in chronic illnesses such as obesity and heart disease, experiencing accidents on the job and while driving, and cognitive problems, including memory loss and difficulty concentrating.
However, is being sleep deprived ever an acceptable excuse to cut off contact with a stepchild?
“So much for a reliable, loving parent.”
Lucy Notarantonio of Newsweek profiles a mother of 35 who has been postponing visits from her teenage stepdaughter in order to get more sleep.
The woman is a mother to three little ones. There's a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a four-month-old. In addition to her own children, her husband also has a 13-year-old daughter from a prior relationship.
The mother said, ”My baby is super fussy. It's been really bad. The doctor said she is ok but she is really colicky. She cries all night long. The past few months have been a nightmare. Working all day no sleep at night. I am a super light sleeper. I have been canceling our weekends with my stepdaughter, 13. So my husband and I can catch up on sleep.”
For those unfamiliar, a colicky baby is one who cries excessively and seems to be in pain. This can be extremely distressing for parents who want nothing more than to soothe their baby. Colic is believed to be caused by gas or indigestion, and it typically begins around two weeks after birth. The good news is that, while colic can be tough to deal with, it is usually not a sign of anything serious and will resolve on its own within a few months.
However, colicky baby or not, the stepdaughter is not happy with her stepmother's desire to get more shut-eye. Therefore, she has decided to share her thoughts on the matter through social media.
According to the stepmom, ”My stepdaughter decided to blast us on social media. She said 'my dad and stepmom can't even take care of the kids they have. Yet they keep having more. So much for a reliable, loving parent.’”
Adapting to a new mixed family dynamic is difficult for everyone involved, but particularly so for kids like the stepdaughter. What they considered to be "home" has been flipped on its head. They might be feeling disoriented, enraged, or abandoned. And without a doubt, being in the position of a step-parent could be equally complex and challenging too.
The stepmother further elaborated on this point by saying, "My husband's family asked her what was wrong. She let them know that we keep canceling on HER time. It's not just HER time. it's also her dad's it's been a very difficult situation for both of us."
The husband's family has chosen to weigh in on the matter. At this point, they no longer provide help in any way towards the upbringing of the couple's younger children. This leaves the stepmother questioning and wondering whether she has done something wrong.
On a final note, she said, “I feel like it's just circumstances. No one asks for a colicky baby."
What are your thoughts?
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Thanks for reading,