Well, well, well... this is a tough one. I truly believe sleep deprivation is a form of torture and if any mother found a magic wand; removing sleep deprivation will be the first wish on her list.
To put it bluntly, the problem with sleep deprivation is the fact we have no choice in the matter; if your baby wakes up so do you. Even when your baby starts sleeping through the night you can guarantee there will still be some form of broken sleep ahead.
This blog post isn't about how to get your baby to sleep better, I talk about baby sleep 95% of the time so this is a blog post all about you Mama.
I have no quick fix for you but I have tips and information which helped me cope with sleep deprivation as a Single Mother with a newborn baby which I want to share.
Sleep deprivation can cause the following:
Increased stress levels
Slower response times
Constantly tired and agitated
Do these sound familiar? Yep, I experienced each one too.
So here are my top tips to help you get through this phase, caffeine isn't on the list as I'm sure you already know this magic drink get's you through the day.
1: Fresh air
If you've had a rough night sleep and you can't nap when your baby naps, go outside for a walk. Fresh air and exercise will help you release endorphins and feel better in yourself
2: Shower in the morning
Have a shower first thing, the water will re-energise you and provided a new outlook on the day ahead
3: Write a to do list
A list of the tasks you want to complete during you day will help you prioritise what is important and prevent the feeling of going round in circles all day. Some days you will have a long list and some days you'll only have one thing and that's okay.
4: Take a break
If you have a partner or family member willing to help you, please accept. We all need a break sometimes, let's be honest looking after a baby or toddler 24/7 is exhausting.
5: Silence is golden
So if you're the type of person who is unable to sleep when baby sleeps, I am with you. However, what I found useful is simply laying in silence for 10 minutes (without my phone) while my Son napped. This quiet time helped me feel calm and relaxed, sometimes I even fell asleep myself which was magical.
6: Play some music
Everyone has that collection of songs which instantly lift our mood and bring back happy memories. For me, it's always cheesy 80's music!
7: Go to bed early
You're a Mum suffering with sleep deprivation, get those precious sleep hours in while you can. Don't waste your late evening scrolling on Social Media instead catch some extra Zzzz and treat yourself to an early night.
8: The housework can wait
When baby naps there is always a million things to do, the housework can wait. Taking a break for yourself and relaxing is equally important
9: Be kind to yourself
Stop putting pressure on yourself by thinking you must be doing something wrong as your friends babies are sleeping just fine. Every baby is different. In addition, unfollow any Mum type influencers who unintentionally make you feel like a rubbish Mother. Remember, it's very easy to display a picture perfect experience of motherhood when you're getting paid to do so. It's not real, every single Mother on this planet goes through different ups and downs within their motherhood journey.
10: It will not last forever
You are strong, you are a good Mum and most important of all you are human. Sleep deprivation is real and your baby will not be feeding round the clock forever