Real Talk for SAHMs: Solutions for Sleep Deprivation like Solid Core Doors and White Noise Generators

Title says it all, but what does the title mean?

It means major factors in sleep deprivation for mothers, particularly SAHMs are not infants and toddlers screaming for milk or comfort frequently through the night, but rather the stray babbling and what I like to call Rebel Yells (one cry lasting one or two seconds).  As well as random noises in the night from other members of the household getting up occasionally.

So the solution is devices that filter out the minor non-emergency sounds of nighttime while allowing the real cries lasting more than a moment to penetrate.  And that is where solid core doors and white noise generators come in.

What are the benefits of a solid core door?

  • Reduces sound entering the room by ~50%.  Rebel yells sound like babble and babble is muted below a level that would wake a lightly sleeping mother.
  • Due to sound reduction, once you fall asleep, it’s harder for micro-waking to be triggered, so you get more quality sleep as well.  Micro-waking happens to a lot of people who believe that “just tune it out and roll over” doesn’t come with sleep cycle interruption.
  • Helps during the daytime when all the kids are up and about and you need a block of focused time.  If the kids are happy and just rambunctious, the solid core mutes that enough that you can concentrate easily.  It’s like a hum or a mild rumble compared to the hollow core doors that are standard.
  • Cheap for the effectiveness.  Most models are only $100-200 per door, and even with installation costs of $50-100 will last even longer than the hollow cores that are standard.
  • Not sleep related, directly, but heavy and thus more child-proof.  An angry two year old with a hammer isn’t going to get very far.  Also harder for kids to take off the hinges.

So what about that white noise generator?

Well, that’s the second piece of the puzzle.  White noise generators are often used on the baby/toddler in hopes of keeping them from waking.  But sometimes the more effective approach is to give one each to the nursery room or mom’s room.

This tends to be more helpful once you’re actually asleep, with the white noise reducing the tendency to micro-wake.  Depending on the type of white noise generator, it can also help you get to sleep and relax you.  There’s mechanical ones, usually not very loud, and digital ones, sometimes very loud.  I’d get the digital one, since it’s easier to play a range of sounds.  Either mechanical or digital runs $25 to $100, so they’re also cheap.

Combined with a solid core door, nearly all the intermittent and random noise is muted enough to tune out, but any emergency yelling will still come through.

Why yes, I do know what wedding gifts I’m giving my daughters, in law and natural!

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How Black women’s empowerment (BWE) is like homeschooling

Both are ok individual solutions for individuals and individual families, but cannot effectively scale up at all and thus remain incomplete solutions.

Black women’s empowerment at its most simplified consists of American black women removing their financial, social and psychological support from dysfunctional American black communities, institutions and people in favor of giving that support to more functional groups and individuals that support them as individual black women.  For an individual black woman, loving and being loved, supporting and being supported in healthier, more functional ways in work, life, community and love is completely viable as a strategy.  But it doesn’t scale.

Likewise, homeschooling is great for individual families who have the resources to make it work for their children.  Having the resources can mean many different things, but in practice it often means having girls and/or wide spacing between older and younger children, along with support from relatives and community.  Again, this doesn’t scale either, especially since it’s a norm among homeschool leading lights to downplay the extent of the support infrastructure they rely on when selling the homeschool dream to poorer conservatives with little or no support.

But despite the key differences (BWE is very practical and narrow in focus, designed around providing useful suggestions for American-born black women to make healthier life choices, while homeschooling is kind of thrown out as a conservative cure-all for the epic loss of major institutions and near-total erasure of the private household and domestic sphere), both movements are good for individuals who want to go those routes and terrible as larger-scale solutions for the given communities.