If you’ve talked to me since I became a mother, chances are we’ve discussed how tired I am. Or more likely, I’ve rambled on about it while you pretended to listen. The sleep deprivation has only doubled since having my son. I’m more than positive everyone around me is tired of hearing how tired I am. For that, family and friends (and all the random strangers who’ve innocently asked how I’m doing), I’m sorry.
Sleep is my love language and since having kids, I’m just not getting enough of the lovin’ my sleepy little heart desires.
Without my precious sleep I turn into an angry person, and now I have some amends to make. You know how hangry is hungry + angry? I get tired + angry. Tangry, if you will. Please don’t confuse my tanger for my actual personality. It’s not, I promise.
Ever so slowly, I’m getting longer bouts of sleep and I’m starting to see how the Tanger has effected my interactions and relationships. Fear not, you should start to see glimpses of my old self re-emerging, and sleepy kids willing, she’ll stick around for a while.
Tanger really presents itself in a number of ways, some obvious and some not so obvious. If you have at least one of these symptoms, you might be suffering from Tanger. Please note these symptoms are things anyone can experience on any given day, however, you will know if it’s a sign of Tanger because you will experience them to their extremes.
So freakin’ tired. Down to your soul.
You’re thinking, “Well, DUH.” But only a truly tangry person will understand. This is exhaustion like you’ve never experienced before, exasperated by the needs of the tiny people who caused your condition. Every inch of you is tired and if you are up and moving, you are purely on auto pilot. You walk around feeling like a cartoon character with toothpicks holding your eyelids open. Wait, do you think that actually works because coffee certainly doesn’t. You may start to consider cocaine as an worthy alternative, except for that whole illicit drug thing.
Lack of intelligence.
When you’re Tangry, you can feel your brain thinking. It’s working so hard to think of the simplest things. You find yourself getting frustrated that you can’t remember even the most basic things. Countless times I’ve lost my train of thought mid sentence. Just completely stopped talking because my brain just shut off. Or, better yet, the words that are falling out of your mouth make zero sense. Which is nbd if you’re talking to your partner because they probably also suffer from Tanger and didn’t even recognize you stopped talking, but if you’re talking to anyone else, they now think you’re a giant idiot. And they’d be correct. I promise I’m more intelligent than a recent conversation with me would lead you to believe.
Resting Bitch Face Champion.
Tanger has a multitude of physical attributes, but without question the most severe is Resting Bitch Face. RBF can be a condition all on it’s on, but when it’s a direct result of Tanger it’s quite critical. You literally don’t have the mental bandwidth to make a friendly face or make small talk, even if you want to. Which is probably for the best because you aren’t going to be winning any conversationalist awards (see #2). I promise I want to be at this social gathering, despite what my face says.
When my Tanger is at it’s peak I can’t make a decision to save my life. Getting dressed takes 30 minutes. Not the actual act of getting ready. The choosing of the clothes. Which is dumb since I rotate three pairs of sweat pants. Deciding what’s for dinner? Forget it. If your partner is also suffering from Tanger, just quit now. Nothing will be accomplished.
Forgetfulness. See also Mom Brain.
This one has hit me especially hard. I am now the person who walks into a room and has their mind erased upon entering said room. The reason moms are always at Target is because we literally can’t even remember what we went there for in the first place! That and the mind altering drug they funnel through the HVAC system that makes you buy everything, but I digress. I forget everything. I promise I wanted to call you on your birthday/do that favor for you/remember to ask about your sick Grandma/return that thing I borrowed that’s been sitting on my counter for 6 months. I swear. I just forgot. I realize it sounds flimsy, but when your Tangry and you’re brain is doing it’s very best to make it to the next round of sweet, sweet slumber, it’s completely true. Pair that with a husband who works a nontraditional schedule and I kid you not, I do not even know what day it is, so the odds of me remembering your event on any given day are slim.
Emotions like WHOA.
Tanger is also a roller coaster ride of emotions. Anything you’re feeling is instantly right on the surface. There’s no hiding it, so get the Kleenex ready. Or a shield. You never know what the Tanger is going to bring out in you. You are a walking Snickers commercial but for sleep instead of hunger.
Chicken Little Syndrome.
When you’re Tangry, everything is the end of the world. Any comment, sideways look, gesture-both well intentioned and otherwise are taken the wrong way. Red lights, mile long lines at Starbucks, forgetting your shopping list, literally anything that doesn’t come up roses for you is a sure sign The Universe is working against you and only you. Spiraling is the only way you can function because you lack the cognitive ability to talk yourself down. You can’t see the big picture because every ounce of your presence is being used to get through the current moment you’re in.
If you read these symptoms and thought them all to be nothing but flimsy excuses, take pride in the fact that you are either a unicorn impervious to lack of sleep or have never suffered from Tanger. It’s a real condition that affects many and has serious side effects. I’d like to think that lack of appreciation for Tanger is an express ticket to being blessed with a child who likes to greet each day before the sun and on little to no sleep. Karma. She is a bitch.
When dealing with a Tangry person, it’s best to remember that their actions have no reflection on you. If you find yourself a victim of someone’s Tanger, the best thing to do is to put them in bed and tell them to take a nap. While the only cure for Tanger is adequate sleep on a long term basis (AKA, not being a parent of small children), a nap is a good place to start.
Have you suffered from tanger? Tell us your story in the comments!
Holy cow. Thank you for putting into words exactly what my life has been since having a kid, and also the reason why I’m terrified to have any more kids. Just as I am beginning to emerge from the fog of ‘tanger’, you (partner, mother, society) want me to pop another tanger-inducing child out? Fantastic. I’ll probably do it soon anyway though. At which point I hope someone will send some illicit drugs my way. Great work!
Totally! Why do you think ours are so close? I knew if I ever got a whiff of sleep again, I’d never go back. Plus I figured I was already tired, so what’s the difference. Spoiler: you CAN be MORE tired.