Not to brag, but it's amazing to me how well I function on so little sleep.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not close to perfect, but seeing that I haven't slept through the night in six years I'm pretty impressed that my house is still standing. Granted, I did have to run downstairs last night after crawling into bed to make sure I had turned off the stove (I had), but that's besides the point. It seems, as long as I keep double checking myself, life, for the most part, has stayed in one piece even though I feel mega sleep-deprived.
I keep telling myself that one day, I'll miss this season of sleeplessness. I'll wish for someone to wake me up needing a snuggle or water or a light turned on. I will yearn for the closeness of midnight nursing sessions. Someday, I will feel alone in bed. But until that day comes, I'm all about finding ways to make surviving easier.
So in the spirit of solidarity, I gathered some wisdom from fellow sleep-deprived mamas. Sharing wisdom will help us all through this season, so read on and get to bed as early as you can tonight!
"I survived thanks to co-sleeping! A good iron supplement really helped too. Floradix is amazing!" -Laura R.
"Give in and sleep. I used to lie on the rug when my baby was too small to crawl but wouldn't nap. I'd shut my eyes—just for a few minutes—and wake up 15-20 minutes later feeling good. But once she started moving that was way harder!" -Cerentha H.
"Sometimes my mind spins so much at night when I finally lay down that it's hard to fall asleep. I've started listening to a sleep medication CD to help lull me into dreamland!" -Rose E.
COFFEE. All of the coffee. Seriously, my Keurig machine is my best friend some days.
"Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Fresh air, friend dates, and getting out of the house, too. I made it a point to be super honest with people about the fact that I'm tired and asked for patience from my spouse and close friends and family when I was feeling grumpy or spacey. Mostly giving myself grace and knowing it was just a season of my life, I would sleep again." - Lauren R.
"Don't be afraid to ask for help from your village. You can't do it alone." -Mallory P.
"I always put my son to bed and fall asleep for 45 minutes to an hour with him in the early evening. That way I can get up and have a little mini nap under my belt." -Leah W.
"I bed share so I fall asleep as soon as possible once he drift back to sleep. And candy. Lots of candy." - Naomi N.
"COFFEE. All of the coffee. Seriously, my Keurig machine is my best friend some days." -Katie R.
"In the beginning, it was all adrenaline, love and raw emotion that kept us going!" -Jeanette P.
"I've been known to wash my face with freezing cold water. Can't afford to fall asleep on the job with a little baby. I think it's even good for your skin!" -Amy W.
"I found magic in NOT napping and going to bed early instead, like at 7/8 p.m. and hubby taught Baby to drink a freshly pumped bottle. (I would nurse and pump right before going to bed.) Then three hours later hubby would give baby a bottle at 10pm/11pm (hubby's normal bedtime anyway) and I'd wake up when baby stirred around 1/2 a.m.! This magical 5-6 hour stretch kept me sane and kept hubby sharp at work." -Alissa H.
For me, I get a dose of rejuvenation from a nap most days. Caffeine gives me the jitters so I fuel up with coconut water instead and something about peppermint gum really perks me up too. At night, I adore an epsom salt bath and good young adult novel to calm my mind and help ease myself into the sleep I do get.
What do you do to keep yourself awake while trying to tend young children all day?