Moms can sense when their baby wakes up. I swear sometimes I woke up a few seconds before my baby even cried. I just knew. My husband? Yeah, not so much. In fact, sometimes when I already got up multiple times throughout the night and was feeling exhausted, I would have to shake him awake and yell, "Your turn!" before he finally jumped into action.
So, there are just some things my partner will never understand about sleep deprivation. Things that take me way passed simply feeling "tired." The morning after a sleepless night I have felt extremely emotional and, as a result, burst into tears at the slightest provocation. I've also done some strange things, like put my coffee cup in the fridge only to fail to be able to find it again. Getting up multiple times a night to see to your kid's needs can make you feel like you're losing your mind.
If you're breastfeeding, even the lightest sleeping partner can prove a bit useless. After all, you have what your baby needs so ultimately you will be the one experiencing the most sleep deprivation. However, the health effects of sleep deprivation can be serious. Repeated nights of not getting enough rest can take a toll on your mind and body and even cause extreme symptoms, like hallucinations and delirium.
My husband is a great parenting partner, don't get me wrong, but there are just some things he will never understand about sleep deprivation. Sigh.
That I'm Aware I Should Go To Sleep Earlier
My husband gets annoyed with me when I stay up late watching TV or reading. He'll say, "No wonder you're tired. Go to sleep!"
However, these late evening hours are my only peaceful alone time I get to enjoy, so I treasure them. Although I know I would feel better if I got some more sleep, I need to do some activities that are for me and not related to mothering at all.
That It's Hard To Go Back To Sleep
It doesn't matter how tired I am, I always find it really difficult to get back to sleep after being up in the night with my baby. I'll toss and turn and by the time I am just drifting off to sleep, my kid will either wake up again or it will be time to wakeup and start my day. Sigh.
That Coffee Is My Salvation
After one particularly bad night, I woke to find we were all out of coffee beans. I had a big old ugly cry right there in my kitchen, and my husband looked at me like I was an alien.
Coffee is often the only thing keeping me from losing my mind, so keeping those beans in stock is a necessity.
That Grabbing A Nap Doesn't Always Help
Sometimes my husband would offer to let me go have a nap during the day while he took the baby.
What he didn't understand is, although even my bones were tired, it wasn't always easy for me to fall asleep in the middle of some random afternoon. There is such a thing as being "too tired" to sleep.
That Sleeping When The Baby Sleeps Is Impossible
OK, I get it and it sounds logical. In fact, I might have even said it myself. However, once my baby was asleep, the freedom I felt seemed wasted if I just went to sleep.
Besides, looking around my house I would always realize there were many other pressing duties to attend to. You know, like making dinner, doing laundry, and tidying up the whirlwind of mess that seem to accompany even the tiniest of babies.
That I Mourn The Loss Of My Brain
Sleep deprivation made me feel that I was no longer an intelligent human being. The "baby brain" symptoms of being unable to recall facts, names, numbers, or sometimes even finish a sentence can last years if you're also experiencing a lack of quality sleep.
That I Feel Guilty
Not getting enough sleep can make you feel that you are failing. When I am tired and I am irritable, I snap at my husband and lose my temper over the small things. This can make me feel that I am a terrible wife and mother. He can never understand how I can be so hard on myself, but sleep deprivation can make you mom shame yourself.
That I Would Do It All Over Again
As much as I have suffered from a lack of sleep since becoming a mom, I know that I would sign up for more of the same. My husband finds it difficult to understand how willing I am to throw my hat back in the ring, but you know what? It's because as long as I have a good supply of coffee, kids are worth it.