I've struggled with insomnia since I was a pretty young kid, so I know what it's like to be tired as hell. I honestly only started sleeping soundly and fearlessly through the night about a year before I started having kids. Yeah, that timing sucks. I finally found out why people loved sleep so much, and then it was ripped from my grasp. I miss my newfound buddy, sleep. So I've invented six ways to be productive while you sleep standing up, because if you're a mom you've probably already learned that the new-mom life is no laughing matter.
Now, I won't say these are for everybody. Sometimes you need to just call in some back-up so you can get an actual full night's sleep. But if it's one of those days that back-up's not available, or you don't want cash in those babysitting favors until you absolutely need them — like when you start having sleep-deprivation induced hallucinations — then you might want to give some of my inventions a try.
I have three kids now so one might say I'm somewhat of an expert on sleeping while standing up. OK fine, I am the only one who says that. Still, my kids think I'm pretty smart so you might as well take a gander at these goodies:
Tape Your Eyelids Open
We used to do it when we were kids, right? No harm now! Besides, kids can't tell they'll just see your eyeballs and it'll all be fine!
Disclaimer: It will not all be fine if you actually do this. You may lose both eyelashes and skin. In other words, don't do this. Seriously. Don't.
Channel Your Inner Mountain
The new baby is down for a nap? Give your older kids some cars and lay on the floor with your butt in the air. "I'm a mountain." You'll say. The cars will feel like little rolling massages. It will be pretty great.
Perfect The Riker Lean
Lean on the kitchen sink while doing dishes. Lean on the bathroom sink while brushing your teeth. Lean on the tub while bathing bigger kiddos. Lean on your cubicle wall when conversing with co-workers. Lean on your desk when taking a conference call.
Riker's Lean, named after Picard's #1 on Star Trek: The Next Generation lets you take little cat naps each time you blink. It's not the same as a full night's sleep but it may just keep me from going insane from sleep deprivation. New motherhood is definitely the time for perfecting the Art of the Riker Lean.
Careful leaning on the stove, however, as the heat might disturb your mini-slumbers.
Get A Stroller With A Wrist Band
For my last baby a bunch of my badass mama friends got me a jogging stroller because we all share a passion for running. Or so I thought. Turns out, the stroller actually attaches to my wrist so that if I fall asleep while walking with it I don't lose my baby. Bonus!
Invest In Hammocks
I have two and they're the best investment I've ever made. When you just can't lean anymore, the hammock will hold you up, essentially making it possible for you to sleep just about anywhere you can set a portable hammock up. So-called "hammocking" is also apparently the new "it thing," so you'll look hip carrying one around. Bonus!
Take Up Yoga
Seriously, everyone applauds a new mom for exercising. They'll watch your kids and you'll get all this time by yourself. Plus, yoga has this little nap at the end, called savasana. No one even gets mad if you fall asleep. It's brilliant.
The shushing lull of the vacuum motor is lovely white noise for copping a few short Zs. And, bonus!, you can practice your perfection of leaning on the handle and still get the room cleaned!
But seriously, please get some rest. As a mother you absolutely do not do anyone any favors by turning yourself into a martyr. Just because you're responsible for another life doesn't mean you should automatically stop caring for your own. Enlist some help, have your partner take the baby, call in reinforcements; whatever it takes, just get some sleep. You've earned it. You need it. You deserve it.