Today my sleep deprivation hit an all time low. I washed my cell phone in a load of towels and meanwhile spent 6 hours pulling my hair out trying to find it. (Yes, my load was in there for awhile. Don’t judge.) I never in a million years thought I would be going this long without sleep. I thought I was the baby sleep voodoo master and everyone else just wasn’t doing the right steps. I was wrong and karma has come back to bite me in the hiney.
On this wonderful journey with kidlett number two there have been so many things that have been easier this time around. She nurses like a champ, she has never been colicky, and she has a generally peaceful disposition. The one thing I never expected was to be 8 months in and still not sleeping through the night. Did you know that sleep specialists claim that getting less than 4 hours of sleep affects your brain so drastically that it is similar to being legally drunk? Ya’ll that means I have been “sleep drunk” for over 8 months. That is like the longest bender ever.
At this point I feel like I am the “sleepless expert” and on behalf of all sleep deprived parents out there I need to drop some knowledge to the masses. If you encounter a mombie, aka sleepless momma, here are three things you should avoid at all costs.
1. Do not ask how they are sleeping. Why do people do this? Even strangers at the grocery store ask me. Unless you are planning on following the response with an offer to come over and hold her all night then it really is a silly question. If it is for small talk just skip it.
2. Hold the judgement. This is the moment I want to go bananas. Trust me when I say that we have tried all the things. When you are catching your beauty rest we are probably rocking a baby and googling sleep strategies. I have talked to my pediatrician, I have tried different routines, and I have used countless strategies. Did you know that waking up abruptly has been shown to have a negative effect on your self esteem, particularly in women? So, at the rate most of us mombies are going we really can’t handle any more Judgy McJudgersons. We have enough of that all by ourselves.
3. Do not tell me I am going to miss this. There are so many wonderful moments I will miss with my little babe. I will miss holding her peacefully while she nurses and the way her pudgy little hand strokes her face as she falls asleep. Having a perpetual eye twitch from sleep deprivation will not be one of them.
Ultimately, I get that people are trying to be helpful or want to find something common to talk about. Almost all parents have experienced some sleepless nights and it truly can be common ground. But for those of us who are going on extended bouts of long term sleep deprivation it can be a topic that quite frankly we are done talking about.
Any other parents out there rocking the sleepless nights? What are your tips for survival?