NEW YORK — A mother’s job is never easy. With that in mind, maybe the best present you can get her this year is just some peace and quiet. A new study finds four in 10 moms just want to stay in bed this Mother’s Day.
A survey of 2,000 American mothers reveals 43 percent say the best gift they could receive this Mother’s Day would be a night of uninterrupted sleep. Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they would feel like a better parent if they could just get better sleep each night.
Researchers also find the fight for ample sleep starts right after childbirth. Of those surveyed, American moms with newborns only get an average of four hours of sleep per night. They also have to get up in the middle of the night an average of four times to tend to their child.
A mother’s work NEVER ends
Two in three mothers said their child woke them up every night as an infant. More than half of mothers with partners (56%) take turns getting up to take care of their child at night. Even then, however, 73 percent of moms admit they still do the majority of the work.
More than three in five (62 percent) often let their child sleep in the same bed as them. For those that do, it’s usually to bring their child a level of comfort (54%) or to get the child to sleep faster (52%).
Six in 10 moms add they’re so tired sometimes they’ve even fallen asleep while putting their child to bed. According to respondents, other times they’ve fallen asleep on the job include while breastfeeding, reading their child a bedtime story, or while cooking.
“Most infants need between 12 and 18 hours of sleep with three or more naps in between, which is a lot of work for a new parent,” says Dr. Sujay Kansagra, Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert and author of My Child Won’t Sleep, in a statement. “Truthfully, no child sleeps through the night – and when your child isn’t sleeping, parents aren’t either.”
Pandemic scheduling is making things worse for sleepy moms
Events from the past year have also forced moms to alter their roles and make sacrifices. Sixty percent have had to adapt to a new sleeping routine during the coronavirus pandemic and 70 percent have taken on multiple roles in the house. These include acting as a nanny, teacher, and housekeeper all at once. So, it’s no surprise that 64 percent agree being a mom has become more stressful during the pandemic.
Throughout a child’s life, a mother’s sleeping routine will likely change. While 65 percent of moms said they’re lighter sleepers now than before motherhood, these women can look forward to better sleep in the future. In fact, respondents who have waved goodbye to their kids leaving the nest said they get an average of six hours of sleep each night.
“Motherhood is full of sacrifices, and the last year has been no exception. Between work and raising my children, there were never enough hours in the day, and for that reason, sleep often fell to the bottom of my to-do list,” adds Angela Wheeler, Senior District Manager at Mattress Firm and a mother of eight. “The silver lining of the long hours and multitasking of the last year is how much quality time I was able to spend with my kids.”