We all know mum’s are sleep deprived. It’s practically written in the job description. Did you know that new mum’s are put in the same sleep deprived category as shift workers, ER doctors and wait for it… Marines! Seriously, I knew we were kick ass but that is a stressful category to be in!
I Don’t ‘Got This’…
My son Tyler (now 5), barely slept for the first year and a half of his life…. It felt like forever! He wouldn’t sleep unless he was on me and the slightest little movement would wake him up and set him off crying again. I took him to the doctor and had tests done but according to the doctor he was just a “difficult baby”.
Hubby and I joke about it now that it’s a distant memory, but I wasn’t laughing when I was stuck in the throes of it. Hubby was working FIFO and gone for 2 weeks and home for one week, so he wasn’t able to help out much. It was a hard time.
I was so exhausted and irrational.
At my lowest point I remember sitting out on the kids trampoline while Ty was screaming away (safe) inside and I cried like… well, like my baby. I ugly cried with snot and tears and shoulders heaving. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to muster up the strength to go back inside and deal with my little ‘bundle of joy’. Obviously I did, but I will never forget that feeling of being so sleep deprived and feeling like such a failure as a Mum. He was my third child, I should have had this… right?
You Lose Your Mind…. And Your Body
There have been plenty of studies done that tell us that losing sleep is really bad for our cognitive function… Hello milk in the cupboard, when the hell did I put you there?
Sleep deprivation can also lead to many health concerns including Type 2 Diabetes (which I have), cardiovascular health and obesity.
It can also negatively affect our relationships with our partners and kids. No one likes a snappy mum or wife.
It’s a whole shit show of not good.
My Advice For Sleep Deprived Mums:
- Call in the cavalry to help you out! Get someone to watch your screaming lump of joy for a bit so you can get some much needed shut eye. Grandparents, siblings, random lady walking past on the street… Anyone that will help you get some ZZZ’s.
- Sleep when the baby is sleeping…. Also clean when the baby is cleaning, shop when the baby is shopping and cook when the baby is cooking…. Seriously though, it can be unrealistic to sleep when the baby is sleeping especially when you have older kids. Try and take a break at least. Call a girlfriend, read a book or just catch up on what is going on in the outside world.
- Put down your phone….. Yeah right! Instead get an app for your phone called Twilight. At night your phone screen turns a shade of red that is relaxing to your eyes, and filters out that pesky blue light that makes your brain stay awake. It’s awesome, I use it.
- Don’t beat yourself up about not doing housework, looking like a zombie or drinking your weight in coffee! It doesn’t help the situation when you aren’t being kind to yourself.
- Thankfully Active Wear is all the rage at the moment… They’re comfy and practical and no one knows whether you’ve just gotten out of bed or been working out hard at the gym. However getting out of the house and getting some exercise does release some feel good endorphin’s!
- Wear your Mum eye-bags with pride, or buy some good makeup and (as cliche as it sounds) try and enjoy this time with them. They’ll be too big and cool for snuggles before you know it. My eldest just turned 16, cuddles are definitely not cool anymore!
It Will Get Better Eventually, Just Hang in There!
Repeat After Me…. “It’s Just a Stage”
Remember, it doesn’t last forever! It certainly feels like it at the time but it does get better. You’ll probably never again get a full 8 hours sleep a night but just keep telling yourself “It’s just a stage” and keep on fabulously soldiering on!
Soon enough they’ll reach yet another stage to drive you mental and maybe you’ll get some sleep.