Before I was a mom my daydreams were about traveling to far off places and going on non-stop adventures. After becoming a mom, my daydreams are about sleep…in my own bed…in my own house…without anyone bothering me for an entire 8 hours. I wasn’t blessed with one of those babies who sleeps like a little cherub for 12 hours straight. Sure, she occasionally sleeps through the night.
7 Things I've Learned About Sleep Since Becoming a Mother
Sleep is elusive when you’re a parent. You probably day dream of getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep. I promise it’ll happen one day. But, in the mean time, here are a few things I’ve learned about sleep in my journey of parenthood thus far. Hopefully they’ll provide a bit of encouragement for those who are sleep-deprived like myself.
1. You can survive with much less than you think
Sometimes I’m seriously amazed at how little sleep I an function on. I kind of consider it a skill at this point. Maybe I can write it on a resume one day and if nothing else, it will help me stay awake to defend myself should a zombie apocalypse occur one day.
2. Get it when you can
Obviously having eight hours of uninterrupted sleep that fell during the night would be most ideal, but that’s not always an option when you have a baby, so take sleep when you can get it. Even if it’s at 3:00 in the afternoon – soak up all the little moments of sleep you can.
3. Get it however you can
There have been many days when the only way my baby was going to nap was if she was sitting comfortably in my lap. I fought it and tried to sleep train, but it wasn’t for us. In the end I’ve learned to just do what works and take sleep however I can get it.
4. Don't fall prey to comparisons
It can be hard to swallow when you’re feeling completely replete of sleep and one of your friends posts on Facebook or Twitter about how their baby just slept through the night, but don’t let it get you down. All babies are different and that is a beautiful thing. Who cares if your baby doesn’t sleep as well as your friend’s – your little one is probably better at other things!
5. Midnight snuggles are the best
I’ve learned to reframe my thinking when it comes to lack of sleep. When my baby cries in the night for a midnight nursing session, I try to remind myself that this is such a short time and that I should soak up all the midnight snuggles I can in the here and now. One day she’ll be grown and I’ll miss our middle of the night pow wows.
6. They'll sleep one day
A friend of mine told me something when I was pregnant with my little one and I always remember it during times when I’m feeling discouraged and so, so tired: “They’ll sleep one day. I’ve never heard of a teenager who doesn’t sleep through the night.” One day the sleep will return…even if it’s years from now – there’s an end in sight!
7. It's all worth it
Even though I walk around half-dazed and with bags under my eyes, I look at that sweet (wide awake) face and remember that it’s all worth it. I’d take on all the sleepless nights in the world for this girl.