Can you cope on very little sleep? I can for a short time, but after that I really begin to struggle! Who else is with me?
I had a break from the blog over the Christmas period as I needed to catch up on some serious sleep depravation!! Poorly children make for some long nights. Whilst parenting isn’t a competition, when you are sleep deprived, it becomes one (against your husband). Just for the record, I think we can safely say I win on the no sleep front.
Since we had a second baby I’ve learnt so much more… (I thought I knew it all from the first, turns out I didn’t!). For starters, the second baby will catch viruses/bugs and get ill much sooner than the first. Despite teaching your toddler to sneeze away from the baby, or not to wipe his bogeys in her hand, there’s no stopping the dreaded lurgeys and it means you might be in for some sleepless nights. Let’s not forget you now need to entertain the toddler during the day, which means catching up on that sleep is a thing of the past. (Attempts to train the older one to make his own breakfast have failed…although I did catch him helping himself to a nice healthy snack today. Progress right?? As he is only 3, I should continue to supervise!).
Rest assured though, there is some good news, you will feel more confident as a parent and won’t need to rush them off to A&E at the first sign of a high temperature. You may in fact neglect them for a few days and then think hummm…maybe I should get this checked out by the Doctor! Fear not, as a 3rd child, I can tell you this all bodes well for some great character building.
So whether it be an ill child, or a newborn baby, and sleepless nights are catching up with you, here’s some inspiration to get through the day:
- Get some extra sleep: Can someone take over first thing in the morning? Normally my husband is up early (well after he’s switched the snooze button on/off a few times). My saviour is passing the baby/toddler over & switching off for at least an hour. It might make them a little late for work, but trust me it will save you and give you that added boost to get through the day. If that really isn’t feasible, after all sometimes they are up helping out too, and won’t work get straight onto the next tip….
- Get a coffee: Once your up, get a coffee and make it strong… For those who say it’s best avoid, they clearly haven’t needed it like you do right now! So long as you don’t over do it, coffee can give you that boost just to get the morning going.
- Forget washing your hair, although I wouldn’t advise forgetting to shower. You most likely have baby sick over you and whilst you can’t smell it…other people can! Plus a shower really helps to wake you right up. Dry Shampoo will be your saviour though, helping you to speed up on getting ready & making you look rather presentable. Works every time.
- Eat properly, start with a good breakfast. However tempting it is to skip meals because you are tired and don’t want to make something, Don’t! I’ve done it, it isn’t cool and it won’t make you skinny. It will just make you very very miserable. Why not try putting some quick, simple & easy snack ideas on a piece of paper. Pin that paper to your fridge or freezer. That way you can quickly get some inspiration and pick something healthy on the go. If you are out and about, pop a snack in your bag which will help you to refrain from eating foods that won’t give you the energy you need whilst you are out. See my Pinterest board for ideas.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. I always fill up a water bottle in the fridge and my aim is to get through it. This will keep you hydrated. Get your water ready for the day & make sure you drink it all. A nice cold glass of water can wake you up as well.
- Take a nap: Can you get a nap? Even 20/30 minutes lie down can help you function properly again. When the baby is sleeping don’t go around tidying up. The house will only get messy once they wake up, seize the moment and just have a sit down. If you have a toddler that needs entertaining as well, don’t feel guilty about letting them watch a little tv. If it makes you feel better why not put something on in another language. Sometimes I’ll put Peppa Pig on in Spanish. I can’t teach my toddler, but Peppa does a great job! Just the other day he started calling a Dinosaur a Dinosaurio. It made me feel a little less guilty….
- Get outside One of the beautiful things about living in a warm climate means we can get out most days. Some fresh air will wake you up and if the baby’s unwell, as my mum would say, some sea air will do them good!
- Simplify your day: Did you plan to do the food shopping or meet up with friends in town, then take the kids to the park and then visit your family? If you are tired don’t feel bad if you need to cancel and just stay in. I was never very good at this, but I have become a whole lot better! There is nothing worse than feeling tired, taking your toddler/baby out when really you would be much better off having a quiet morning/afternoon in the house. Cancel those dates and hang out in your pyjamas. Of course… if you have work…hanging about in your pyjamas might not be permitted in the office. So in that case, simplify your day by assessing your to do list and tackling the hardest things on your to do list first, save the email sorting and easier tasks till the end of the day.
- Go to bed early and wind down. Sometimes its hard to leave the house untidy or put off that last wash/iron etc. But you have to cut yourself some slack. Get yourself to bed early after a nice camomile tea and fingers crossed you are in for a better nights sleep. Don’t forget to turn off your phone/computer/ipad at least an hour before. Who wants to speak to you when your tired and grumpy any how! If like me you then get those moments when you are so tired that you simply can’t go to sleep? It happens to me all the time. I’m so tired, but the minute I hit my head on the pillow, I can’t fall into that deep slumber I so badly need! Get yourself some deep pillow spray from this works. It is brilliant to help you get to sleep. See my review here. The Night Rescue remedy available at Holland & Barratt is also great at doing the trick too!
Sleep tight Mummies! (and Daddies)