Written by: Shani Fowler
Everyone tells you how little sleep you get when you have a baby, but nothing can actually prepare you for the reality of that situation. In fact, many people find it the hardest part of being a parent to a new-born; and the whole “sleep when baby sleeps” advice doesn’t always quite pan out either. Recognising you are suffering from sleep deprivation is important, below are just some of the sign; try to get some help and have some proper rest.
What day is it?
You used to have your finger so on the pulse of everything and now you seriously have no idea what day, date or month it is, nor do you care.
Everyone yawns but are you constantly yawning? You talk on the phone and yawn so much the person talking to you is yawning right back at you! You are making everyone sleepy – except the baby of course!
You start a conversation and then completely lose the thread of the original point of it. Okay we all do it from time to time – but you are doing it practically every conversation, so much so you wonder if you should bother beginning one at all!
You want to say something but you can’t find the words you need. You know that they are in your brain running around somewhere, but they will not unite themselves with the whole speech section of your brain, sometimes you will fuse two together that aren’t even a word!
You seem to laugh at what people are saying because it seems the best response; you are not actually able to connect with what anyone is telling you. Just hope it’s appropriate!
You spend hours trying to locate your keys or phone each day, only to find them in the washing up bowl/fridge/bag of dog biscuits. No matter how many times it happens, the next time you put them down you fail to make a mental note of where you are leaving them.
You used to have a fantastic memory but now you can’t remember appointments, names; and those phone numbers you could reel off?? – Now you are not sure if they end in 237 or 372 or if they contain those numbers at all!
You were just watching Iggle Piggle run around with his red blanket and now the news is on eh? What’s going on? – You can’t recall drifting off nor do you seem to feel the benefit for doing so.
Shh be quiet
This seems to be your new catchphrase – everyone that comes in your home is greeted with your new mantra – you don’t want that sleeping baby to wake!
How did you get here?
You exit the supermarket and can’t remember if you walked or drove there – if you drove – where on earth is the car?
You have honed a skill that a sniper would be proud of – never in a million years did you ever think you would be able to crawl out of a room undetected by your (I can hear a pin drop) baby. Stealthy ninjas eat your heart out!
You will argue with anyone, but mainly your partner, as to who is the most tired – in fact you have developed an array of words for tiredness and fatigue you never previously knew and are ready for battle.
These are just some of the things that might indicate you need a bit more sleep. Get help and make life easier – ask for cover for a couple of hours through the day and get to bed, or arrange a sleep over at Nana’s so you can have a whole night’s uninterrupted sleep. Also, try to make things easier for yourself for when you are drained; dedicate a place where you leave keys and phones so you can access them without too much thinking. Write things down such as appointments and items you need to get – get a white board, put it in a place you will definitely see it. It is so hard when you are not getting sleep in any circumstances, but when there is a dependent baby ever present that requires you to be super alert, it can be quite overwhelming. The good news is that it does get better when they start to sleep through, but making that journey as easy as possible will be better for everyone.