Why sleep deprivation makes you a sucky parent

Today was a good day. Mondays are usually awful. Mostly because the cleaner comes on a Monday afternoon and I spend most of the morning trying to clean for the cleaner as well as parent a small baby. I sometimes wonder why I have a cleaner. Isn’t it supposed to lessen your work load and take the strain off me? It doesn’t.

For some reason I decided it was a good idea to book a new 10 week term of baby sensory and to attend the Monday morning sessions. I did not think it through. Now, not only do I have to clean for the cleaner, but I also have to get out of the house by 09.30am. That’s difficult to achieve on the best of days, so how I’ll manage it on Mondays for the next 10 weeks I have no idea.

Anyway, I digress. Today was a good day because the cleaner cancelled. Yay. So I didn’t have to clean for the cleaner.

And, I had an AMAZING night’s sleep last night. For the first time Annie slept through from 7.30pm until 4.30am, meaning I got 6.5 hours of undisturbed sleep last night. I woke this morning feeling refreshed and like a completely different woman. We breezed through the morning with ease. In fact, I was killing it at parenting this morning. If only I could get the amount of sleep every night. Because you know what? Sleep deprivation IS one of the main reasons why parenting is so hard. Sleep cures everything. It makes you more rational. It makes you more capable, patient and motivated. Put simply it makes you a better parent.

To prove my point a few nights ago I went out with the girls and consequently got home late, went to bed very late and still had to then get up with the baby as usual for night feeds. I had approximately 2 hours sleep the whole night and the next day I was a sucky parent. I was impatient with Annie and just couldn’t seem to cope with her usual routine. I didn’t want to play with her, engage with her and couldn’t wait for her to go to bed. There are often days when I feel like that, but not to that extreme. That’s because most of the time I DO get more than 2 hours sleep. Often undisturbed sleep, yes, but usually enough to be able to function and be a good mummy. So, really sleep is damn well important isn’t it?

So, today was a good day.

I’m absolutely under no illusions that I’ll get quite as lucky with Annie’s sleep tonight. I’m pretty sure it was a fluke. But I’m grateful for it. For anyone reading this and not yet a mummy this is my message to you – GET AS MUCH SLEEP AS YOU CAN. And appreciate it. Appreciate every single second!

 

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