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5 Reasons You Can't Blame Sleep Deprivation on Your Baby

I'm totally exhausted today. By the time I sat down to eat breakfast, I was already dreaming about a nap.

I have a 1-year-old baby, but sadly, I can't blame my tiredness on her. I put her down for bed at 7 p.m. and she didn't make a peep until 6:55 a.m. the next morning.

So if it's not the baby, why then am I so tired?

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1. Netflix

Every morning, when I'm struggling to keep my eyes open, I think, "TONIGHT I will go to bed on time. I'll tuck the girls into bed, clean up the kitchen, quickly vacuum, solve world peace and then turn in at 10:30 p.m. so I can get a full eight hours and go for a run before they wake up. I am amazing." And then what actually happens is that after three episodes of something, I think, "I'll be fine tomorrow. Let's watch one more episode. With a bowl of ice cream." Anyone else?

2. My non-babies

My 3- and 5-year-olds are WAY worse than my baby.

All three of my girls had great sleeping habits and were clocking a solid 12 hours long before their first birthdays. But now? They're waking up at 1:30 a.m. to moan that they need a hug and kiss. They call for bathroom trips at 4 a.m. (And that's not even taking into account how long it takes to get them to actually stay in their beds to fall asleep in the first place). It's surprising that nobody asks if my 3- and 5-year-olds sleep through the night because they are WAY worse than my baby.

3. Mom Brain

Usually this refers to forgetting things, but for me, Mom Brain means that I'm thinking too much. When I get up to go to the bathroom or find a lost stuffed animal in the middle of the night, once I get back in bed my mind starts racing. And it never turns off. Have I signed that form for school? What am I making for dinner tomorrow? Should I respond to that email? When did I last wash my hair? Will my baby give up her pacifier without a fight in two years? What presidential candidate is the least offensive to me? Did my husband turn off the light in the garage? Have flight prices for our next trip gone up because I neglected to buy them last week? Goodbye, sleep!

4. Stress about how little sleep I'm getting

This is my No. 1 culprit. I lay down in bed, feeling frantic to get enough rest, and then I'm too stressed to fall asleep. Is there anything worse than lying in bed, in comfortable pajamas, in a dark room, unable to fall asleep? Sometimes, I think, "If I were on an airplane right now, I'd give anything to be horizontal with a pillow and blanket. And yet, here I am, unable to get a wink of sleep."

5. Night time is too precious to waste sleeping

I stay home with my three girls and also work from home, so night is the most precious time of day when I can get things done with no interruptions, the house stays clean for more than five seconds and no one is asking for just one more drink, one more story or one more cookie. How can I even think about spending that special special time sleeping?!

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Sometimes, my husband and I look at each other and say, "Remember when we didn't have kids and we slept in until 10 a.m. every weekend?"

I don't either. But I'm blaming the baby anyway.

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Photograph by: Twenty20

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