22 January 2013 by thaliakr
My toddler has been deeply asleep for two hours, and looks like he won’t need anything more than a lying-down, half-asleep feed between now and morning. So why am I writing a blog post instead of catching up on the sleep I missed last night when he was up every hour?
Because, like many parents, the few hours when he’s asleep and I’m not are prized and tagged for a million things I can’t do when he’s awake. Writing, reading, sometimes even housework. Facebook, for many of us, judging by the traffic in my news feed late at night in every time zone.
So here I am preaching what I seldom practise: get some more sleep, people! You’ll enjoy tomorrow so much more.
If you need a little more encouragement or information, you might like to check out some of these resources:
There are lots of reasons why parents of young kids might not get enough sleep, and I probably can’t help you with most of them. Your situation, if not unique, will be individual. But the one thing I can say right now that might help is that you very likely can choose, even just once a week, to go to bed when the kids go to bed and get a catch-up dose of sleep.
I know, I know, a) there are so many other things to be done and b) I don’t know the reasons why this is harder for you than it might sound. Both true.
Talk with a friend about how to get some more sleep in your particular circumstances. Do you need a babysitter during the day so you can nap? Or encouragement (even a phone call!) from a friend or partner to get off the internet and into bed at a reasonable time? Could someone even sleep over occasionally to help during the night?
What do you need? How can you make it happen? Whom can you ask to help?
If there’s no way of getting more sleep, at least while your kids are so young (and parents of babies, yeah, I know, it may well be pie in the sky), then repeat to yourself: this too shall pass. And consider increasing your caffeine/chocolate/jazz/prayer/Facebook/exercise/ intake in the meantime in partial compensation.
As always, your ideas are welcome. Please add a comment below if you’ve got sleep tips or other ideas for making parenting easier.
And here’s Big Runga with Get Some Sleep. If nothing else works, just imagine you’re sleep-deprived because you’re a star on tour!