Being a parent is probably the most important job you’ll ever have.
It’s also one of the hardest, not least because you’ll be surviving on a minimal amount of sleep.
Babies are wonderful, but they’re really not the greatest when it comes to letting you enjoy a full night’s sleep.
You’ll have nights where you’re disturbed every hour or two.
Nights where you simply can’t settle the baby down (thanks, teething). And nights where the overwhelming sense of responsibility as a parent simply keeps you awake.
To summarise, you’ll be knackered.
On those days, exhausted from the night before, you won’t function properly. At times, you won’t even feel human. Here are just 10 of the things you can’t do after a(nother) night of no sleep:
#1: Recognise Yourself
You know in horror films, how they sometimes use surprise shots of creepy looking people to give you a fright? Yeah, well, that’s your life now. As you near a mirror, a terrifying pale haggard woman will appear, with dark eye bags and unruly hair. Her eyes will be angry and hateful, and you’ll be scared. Erm, that’s your reflection. That’s your face. Sorry.
#2: Rely On Coffee
Remember in the olden days how coffee was your crux? You’d party all night, skip the sleep and still function the next day at work thanks to your trusted caffeine intake? That doesn’t work anymore. You’ll still wake up and immediately head for the kettle (well, after you’ve changed a nappy and fed your baby, so not really immediately), but the caffeine just won’t work anymore.
It’s not that it’s not strong enough, it’s simply that you keep forgetting to drink it. By the time you finish that first cup of coffee of the day, it will be 5pm and you’ll have microwaved it at least four times. Yum.
#3: Be Nice
It won’t be all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows when you wake up after just four hours of disturbed sleep. Instead you’ll be starting your day with an argument about who got the least sleep (it’s you, of course it’s you). You won’t wish your partner a pleasant day of work, instead you’ll be jealous that he’s about to spend, you imagine, eight hours asleep at his desk. If only you had the luxury of eight hours sleep in a baby-free office, you’ll think as he slams the front door on his way out.
#4: Be Professional
If you’re heading to a day at the office, don’t expect to be in with a chance of winning Employee of the Month. You’ll be falling asleep in meetings, forgetting about important presentations and spending your day googling the age-old question ‘when will my baby sleep through the night?’
#5: Be Patient
Patience may not come naturally at the best of times, but during sleep deprived times it won’t come at all. You will be short-tempered, emotional and irrational. Simply put, everyone around you is in for a great day.
#6: Make Sense
Don’t expect to be at your wittiest or most hilarious after a night of no sleep. Instead embrace the fact that you’ll be struggling to put sentences together. You have little chance of following a conversation, because you’ll be too busy thinking ‘I’m so tired’ over and over again. You simply won’t have the energy to think anything else today. Your best bet is to hang out with your mama friends, the ones who are also struggling to survive the day.
#7: Get Things Done
It doesn’t matter what’s on your to-do list, even the simplest of jobs will require too much effort today. Whether you’re trying to finish your novel, paint the bathroom or do some laundry, it won’t happen. Just put that to-do list away, they are jobs for another, more energetic, day. Today is all about feeling sorry for yourself. This is your pity party, enjoy it. You deserve it.
#8: Speak To Child-Free Friends
They think they’re tired, but they don’t even know the meaning of the word. They spent the weekend partying, stayed up late working or simply struggled to sleep. It’s tough, but it’s not the same as the months of sleep deprivation you’ve endured. To avoid punching them in the face, simply take a day off from your child-free friends. They don’t deserve to be punched, but you’re too tired to control that exhausted fist of yours. Speak to them another day, when you’ve enjoyed a full eight hours of uninterrupted blissful sleep. So, in about three years then. They’ll understand.
#9: Remain Unharmed
You’re not going to get through the day without acquiring at least three bruises. Sleep deprivation causes clumsiness so before the day is out you should expect to have stubbed your toe at least once. You’ll probably also walk into least one doorframe and bang your leg on the coffee table. Spatial awareness is not your strong point when you’re tired.
#10: Stay Awake
It’s probably best to cancel your evening plans now, because there’s not a chance in hell you’ll be awake after 7pm tonight. Unless, you know, your baby decides to have another all-nighter. You’ll struggle through the day, just trying to make it until bedtime, and then you’ll collapse on the sofa until you’re rudely awoken, erm, twenty minutes later by your baby’s cries.
- If exhaustion is getting the better of you, check out BellyBelly’s article 4 Gentle Alternatives To Sleep Training.
- For more new parent sleep deprivation humour, take a look at 10 Things Not To Say To Sleep Deprived Parents.