As I am typing this, my almost 6 month old daughter is asleep next to me. I am sat wishing I could sleep to, just like they tell you to. However, it’s half term and I have two older children who are currently building a den with sheets (using the entire contents of the airing cupboard..) and to fall asleep would result in disaster. So, I feel like I ought to prop my eye lids up with match sticks.
Undoubtedly one of the worst things about being a parent is the sleep deprivation, I remember laughing and saying “It’s ok! I’m used to surviving on a couple of hours sleep!”. Yes, well you were, but that was when you only had to look after yourself.. THEN, it was easy to look presentable, a quick blast in the shower, slap on some moisturiser, spend the day glugging caffeine based drinks, get home and collapse for an hour or two before going out till the small hours and repeat. As a PARENT, it doesn’t quite work like that, as there really is no down time, you’re always playing catch up!
Even if baby is a good sleeper, you get bouts of teething, illness, growth spurts, which all result in a restless night for baby and therefore a restless night for parents. It is OK though, it DOES get better, but at the time it feels never ending. I know Yo is teething and having a growth spurt, so while it is hideous, it is only for a relatively short time.. So, while I was sat on the sofa at 5am quietly sobbing, and feeling mildly hysterical as I’m full of cold so tired anyway, a mug of hot chocolate and planning a day watching films and eating cake with the children made me feel better. It also made the boys feel better when they got up and saw me sat looking wretched when I said we were going to bake and eat cakes this afternoon – yay for cake.
Are you struggling with sleep deprivation? How do you deal with it? My tips.. Moan about it to a friend who will understand, I never told anyone that my eldest wasn’t sleeping well until he’d started to sleep well as I felt like it was my fault, friends were horrified I’d not confided in them as they would have helped but assumed all was well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether you ask your partner, friend, parents, health visitor, do ask for support, it is SO hard to function on no sleep! So whether you’re asking for help with sleep tips, or help with chores, ASK! Be kind to yourself, the chores will wait, baby will not! I’ve also become a huge fan of taking myself to bed with a book at about 8pm, i may not be sleeping but the rest really helps! x