If you’re a Mom, I believe you can identify with Lack of Sleep. In fact, the moment a woman is in the preggie state, she can say bye to a full night’s sleep in a long time to come. “I haven’t slept well in days”, new moms may say. Well…I haven’t slept well in years, as other moms will let you know, it’s all part of being a Mom. So, New Mom (or Mom-To-Be), welcome to a world of sleep deprivation.
“When you become a mom you just learn how to function sleep deprived and you do get used to it…Then somehow you learn to exist on no sleep and now when he (the child) does upon occasion sleep through the night, which is like a full six hours, you’re pretty sure he’s suffocating. So you don’t sleep anyway” – Hollie Marie Combs
If you’re a Mom looking for how to cope with lack of sleep, then this post is for you. We are not actually addressing ways to get your baby to sleep so you can sleep better, but how to manage even when your baby refuses all your methods of trying to get her to sleep better. And no matter how many winks of sleep you manage to squeeze in at night, chances are that you have to get up the next day bright and early to face the day’s work (if you’re a working mom – errrrm pardon me, but there’s no mom who doesn’t work, or is there? I mean those who have to get to their -nine-to-five). And even if you’re a full time mom, you need to still take care of your child (or children as the case may be).
Having come to terms with the fact that your ‘sleeping life’ may never remain the same again, how do you cope with this situation? How can you be sure not to collapse from lack of sleep? These are a few tips that I can identify with, and I hope some may work for you:
- Remember, take joy in the fact that this lack of sleep won’t last forever
- Take care of yourself physically in other ways, eat well, take enough fluids (especially water), take short walks, even if it’s just around your home (outdoors)
- Enlist your spouse or any other available person willing to help you – to swap watching the baby with, so you can catch a short nap once in a while (especially at the weekend if you work full time). This will work even better if the baby has been fed recently, or you can express breast milk in a bottle for someone else to do the feeding.
- Take advantage of when baby is asleep to do something refreshing for yourself (it may not even be sleep, whatever works for you)
- There’s no Super Mom, so don’t bother trying to be one. You know heaven won’t fall if the laundry doesn’t get done on your schedule. You can shut down everything and just relax
- Give yourself a bed time and try to stick to it, and reduce your screen time (TV or Computers)
- We hear this one often, sleep when the baby sleeps – I have always tried but I confess I have failed in this regard on several occasions, but it sure helps to actually do it. We often tell ourselves (at least I do), that the work will still be waiting for us when we wake up, so we prefer to do it first then rest later. True as that may be, you should really explore this advice. It will leave you feeling refreshed.
- Get paid help if you can’t find any volunteers around to ease the burden on you. I understand that nowadays, “the fear of maids is the beginning of…” Be that as it may, you can get someone who won’t live in, and who is only there when you are home. Whatever you do, just ensure that you’re making time for yourself, we don’t want Mom collapsing under all the work now, do we?
Sleep deprivation actually has a great impact on our daily activities, and it can especially impact greatly on our parenting. When you find yourself snapping at your kids unnecessarily, or just feeling totally overwhelmed with it all, that should be your signal that it’s time to pull back from it all and just relax.
I’ll like to hear from you too on how you have been able to survive through Sleep Deprivation as a Mom. Feel free to share your experience with other moms.
Your Fellow Sleep Deprived Mom,
This post was first published on www.strivingnigerianmom.com