Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'll Sleep Someday: A Mother's Guide To Sleep

Not much sleep has been happening for me lately. I'm up early, I'm awake late, and I'm moving all day in between.

I'm exhausted. But that seems to be a pretty run-of-the-mill complaint for moms.

So I thought I'd write a quick handy-dandy sleep guide. Which, by the way, I'm doing instead of going to bed. Because clearly, I'm crazy.

For Babies:
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps is bullshit. It's the only time you can get anything done. That said, sleep when your baby sleeps, because it's also the only time you can sleep.
  • If you're not sleeping when your baby sleeps, wear your baby, and get stuff done. (Like sleeping)
  • At night, sleep close to your baby. Co-sleep, or roomshare if possible.
  • If you do not sleep well close to your baby, it's not the end of the world. Seriously, no judgment here. Wherever you both sleep best, is the best place to sleep and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I just like people to consider sleeping close. It makes taking care of a baby and breastfeeding so much easier during the night. Especially when you're so tired you can barely see straight. 
For Toddlers:
  • Insist on naps until they go to Kindergarten. I'm not kidding. If they're not in school in my house, then they're taking a nap.
  • Don't be afraid to make deals to make this happen. For example, if they don't want to sleep, no biggie, but it's quiet time. Find something you can play with quietly, and leave me alone for a bit. There's a yummy snack waiting for kids who are good at this game. Oddly enough, the usually fall asleep even when they promise they're not tired at all.
  • Know that if you lay on the couch or in a chair saying that you're just going to close your eyes for a minute, you will in fact fall asleep. And when you get up someone will be drawn on somewhere, and something will probably be broken. Play that game with yourself at your own risk. My daughters might have cut their own hair once when I tried it. 
School Kids:
  • By this age, sleep shouldn't be an issue. Shouldn't be.
  • If they wake you up on the weekend, give them some activities they can do, and a time in the morning when it's okay to wake you up. 
  • Make sure they always know they can wake you up if someone is bleeding or the house is on fire. 
  • Melatonin can be your friend. Even if it's just for a week to get their rhythm reset. Especially after Summer, sometimes we just need to rework their internal clock a little bit. It's also good when they're trying to sleep but can't because of some exciting thing that's happening.
  • Stop doing too much! Sometimes we get so involved in everything, we give ourselves more work than we are actually capable of doing. We don't have to say yes to everything. That said, I do not actually follow that advice. 
Bedtime routine is invaluable at every age. And while I don't recommend lying to your very young children about what time it is so that you can get them to bed earlier, I will say that it doesn't work if you have digital clocks anywhere. Not that I'd know from experience or anything. 

Sleep can be elusive, not just from kids interrupting at night, but just because of the sheer amount of stuff there is to do all the time. Sometimes I miss my bed so much, I just want to hug it and keep it with me all day.

But I'll settle for climbing in it now, with a cup of tea and some good shows in my Hulu Plus queue.  And I'll remember that this time is flying by, and it won't be long until no one wakes me up in the morning, or keeps me up at night. And because I'm never satisfied, that will probably make me sad, too.

If you're still awake after reading that, thank you for not closing your eyes, just for a minute. And if you like my blog, please click the link below which registers a vote for me, would you? Thanks. You're the best!
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