Who on earth came up with the 'Sleep Like a Baby' saying? Did they actually have a baby? I'm thinking not. Who on their right mind would want to sleep like a baby anyway? Waking up every three hours, having a round plastic dummy stuck in your mouth, not being able to move your body because you have been rolled or zipped in a giant sheet. What is so inviting about that?
'Sleep Like a Husband' now that has some attraction. How nice to kiss all your children goodnight, go lay on the couch, stay there until bedtime, then go to bed and sleep until morning. That sounds like a holiday, but to do that every night of your life, well that is a dream come true!
I will throw my husband a little bit of grace as he does share some of the getting up in the night load since Franklin our number three came along. When he saw me getting up every hour, he stopped laying in bed pretending he was asleep and took a shift or two for me. The joys of having a few children is that they may only wake once in the night from a bad dream or needing the toilet but times that by three and you have got yourself one crap night's sleep! So yeah Franklin only woke up once last night which is great for him, but Jack woke up to go to the toilet and Eva woke three times with nightmares and wanting to sleep in our bed. A horrid sleep and a very tiring next day.
Just when you thought waking up in the middle of the night to run and pee thanks to the seven pounds of baby learning karate on your bladder was exhausting enough, you now have a full blown waking up routine with bubba now in your arms! How many of you had conversations with your mum friends about waking up in the night and sleep deprivation? My guess would be a lot less than the conversations about labour and all the gory details that come with that.
No parenting book or friend could ever prepare you for the overwhelming tiredness you feel when your bubba is born. Fear not mummas reading this about to have their bubbas, it's only temporary and you will surprise yourself how your body automatically complies with the new lifestyle.
My greatest annoyance whilst pregnant and it was probably increased with my second and third was laying in my bed at night wide awake WHEN I COULD BE SLEEPING!!! Oh my goodness, here is my chance at my last days of peaceful all night sleep. Where I am woken with the sounds of singings birds and sunshine yet my body decides we are going to have a little practice of the nightly wake up call. Body I don't care and happy for you to just hit me with it when the baby comes. Give me back my sleep! My night feeds were interestingly enough around the same time I would wake and run to the loo or lie staring at the ceiling cursing pregnancy insomnia. So yes I believe it is your body giving you a tiny glimpse into your future of sleepless nights.
So baby is here (congratulations) and you are not only tired but wondering how you will get your baby to give you back the sleep you so desperately crave and need. I'm here to give you a little help or at least some confidence that you can do this. Read my blog 'The Newborn Sleep Routine' posted two weeks ago for how I got my three kids sleeping through the night and hopefully you can use that as a guideline to help you.
Want to sleep like your husband? You will, or even ask him to take a night for you. I ask Cam to pick a weekend night so if he was tired, he could at least chill out or have an afternoon snooze during the day. I'm so used to sleepless nights, I actually feel worse when I do get a whole night's sleep. I kind of get sucked into one full night sleep and think I have finally made it, but then get hit hard for a week or month!
Don't feel lazy or slack if you take a nap while your kids are resting. So many friends I have say they feel guilty if they lay down and sleep because they should be doing something. Can I just say a few things about this? Firstly your new role does not come with Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm working hours. You are fully responsible for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like normal working hours, you are entitled to breaks for morning tea and lunch but you may find they don't happen at the same time each day. You will get to sit down a few times a day but they may only be for 5 or 10 minutes. That does not mean you have had a good rest over the day. Don't worry about the pile of laundry because there is no end to it anyway. Your vacuum cleaner will be ok for one more day in the cupboard and your family won't die from eating a pizza from the freezer. If you don't get the rest or sleep your body is begging you to have, you will not have the energy to run around after your kids and / or bubba and you will run yourself down. For you breastfeeding mummas, you have to put your feet up at some point everyday to keep up your milk supply. Ever wonder why you are spraying all over the place in the morning? You have had your feet up resting.
Make some time for yourself to put your feet up or crawl into bed for an afternoon snooze even if it's just once a week. Let yourself re charge so you can be the type of mumma you want to be for your kids.
Sleep well Mummas x
If you feel like cracking up laughing, watch this you tube clip my friend sent me... so many tears!