Maybe some of you mamas can relate to the following scenario: you ever so gently lay your baby in their crib at 3:00 a.m. after nursing, you tip-toe to your bed, slide between your cozy sheets, pull your duvet up to your chin, close your eyes… and then, you hear a cry. Your heart stops, you hold your breath and pray it was your exhausted imagination playing a trick on you. But of course, it wasn’t…
Folks, my first baby did not sleep through the night on her own until she was two. Let me repeat that… TWO. So, I know about being sleep deprived well and have concluded that we are simply not friends. I was so smitten when my first daughter was born that I had no qualms relinquishing my sleep. I was chipper and delighted to hold my baby and steal these extra moments (oh first time mom naiveté).
With all of my sleepless nights, I’ve accomplished some pretty pitiful, ridiculous, and downright silly acts (all while nursing/petrified of getting up because the baby might wake/sitting up so baby can sleep upright from being sick or was just so tired I was up.) I have created a list of these (with the help of a few mama friends) said acts with all the spare time that I’ve acquired while watching the second hand spin around 2:37 a.m. when EVERYONE else in my house slumbers away.
- Climb into fetal position with your giant belly protruding out of your pants and just cry yourself to “sleep” on the floor of your soon to be baby’s nursery….begging them to come out. Three months later in same position, holding wide awake baby, wishing you could put them back in your belly.
- Laugh hysterically about the baby chaos because if you don’t, you will cry and never stop.
- Wear headphones while changing 3 a.m. diapers because your child’s cry reaches a whole new decibel that will literally split your head open at any moment.
- Pretend you can’t hear your kid screaming…just for two, maybe three minutes, attempting to reach that glorious sleep again. Praying the sound will miraculously stop, but it doesn’t and alas you drag yourself out of bed.
- Shave one leg because… who has time for a shower anyway?
- Whip your boob out anytime, anyplace … mama has no time for crying babies when I can hardly keep my eyes open.
- Putting deodorant on over your shirt.
- Bring baby into bed because you can feel your body shake as you walk, you’re so tired. Baby nurses, falls asleep and you wake up to both your boobs outside of your nursing bra, and your husband’s eyes the size of golf balls on the other side of the bed.
- Become addicted to Amazon Prime.
- Become addicted to Pinterest and creating unrealistic boards of things you’ll do for your kids one day, then wake up and look puzzled at a picture of smiling broccoli.
- Nod off in public places.
- Polished off an entire bag of Cowgirl Bark from Trader Joe’s.
- Write out ideas for a mom’s blog.
- Watching an infomercial about PiYo at 3:00 a.m. and become completely convinced this will be the solution to all your baby weight issues. You mentally create a 12 week plan on how this will help you lose that 30 lbs by summer.
- Pray to the Lord above to help shut off your brain, so you can attempt to get some sleep after the 2:15 a.m. feeding.
- Search real estate listings thinking that you and your hubby could be just like Chip and JoJo and find the next Fixer Upper.
- Catch up on Netflix shows that my husband either refused to watch, or would would be snoring at 3 minutes in.
- Start planning what you would do differently with baby #2.
- Have a meltdown similar to your toddler when you are trying to find your phone and after 20 minutes of looking for it, you discover you are holding it in your hand.
- Scrubbing the entire kitchen floor at 3:30 a.m. because if you step on that sticky spot one more time, you will lose your ever loving mind.
- Load the kids up in the car, drive to grocery store, shop, and while standing in the check out line trying to peel your toddler off the floor while your baby screams, realize you forgot your wallet at home. Right next to your reusable bags.
- Rock your baby asleep, shushing Christmas songs, then when she falls asleep on your arm seriously debating pulling a 127 hours move.
- Nap while the baby naps. (I know, right? Finally was desperate enough to listen to that advice.)
- Brush your teeth with your eyes closed and accidentally use your husband’s after shave, peek at the culprit and continue brushing, because at least you attempted to brush your teeth that day.
- Crawl on the floor by your baby’s crib to avoid them from seeing you.
- Drive around your neighborhood in the wee hours of the night, when all the lights are flashing yellow, just so your kid will fall asleep and finally pull into the Starbuck’s drive thru to get a venti coffee.
- While feeding your toddler peanut butter and banana, you turn and give a bite to your eight month old without thinking. Luckily before you finger swipe that outta there the baby spits it out and you breathe a sigh of relief. But still wash their mouth out, just in case.
Sleep deprivation is no joke. At one point or another it seems the light at the end of the tunnel will never light up. But I promise mamas, this is just a phase. And before you start shooting eye-darts at me, remember my first-born didn’t sleep through the night, on her own, until she was two. So I know what being utterly exhausted and desperate for just 15 minutes of shut eye feels like. In the end, you will prevail.