Sleep Deprivation – a reality for many

Sleep deprivation, tiredness, exhaustion, too few hours in the day.  Call it what you will, many, indeed probably most if not every mother will have experienced this, at the very least in the first 6 weeks of baby’s wonderful life.

Some mothers are lucky and baby starts to establish longer sleeping hours within a few weeks, others must wait a few months, and then there are the few who have to wait years.  And I mean years.

Many of my friends don’t really believe me when I say that I can honestly count on two hands the numbers of nights in the last 2 years when Sunflower has slept for 9+ hours in a row, and because I don’t go to sleep 5 minutes after she does (I have done on occasion!), then the longest I have slept has been 6 hours, once, and that was wonderful!

The reality of it, however, is that sleep deprivation, especially over prolonged periods really impacts how we function, not just concentration and memory, but it affects our ability to think rationally, logically, to manage and balance our emotions. Personally, I have struggled to perform at work, and this has been noticed by the people I work with.  Before Sunflower, I was really “on the ball”, quick and accurate in the deductions I would make and made good decisions.  Now, I sometimes feel like I cannot make a decision at all! More on decision fatigue in another post at some stage.

So what can we really do about it? I know that I push on, I have to.  I must look after Sunflower, I want to look after my husband who is away from home at least 11 hours every day.  I am advised by “professionals” that it would be ok to leave the housework for a few days….really?  I actually find such advice patronising.  If I am in a tidy space, physically, then my mind can be much more at ease, and when I’m doing something, say cooking, then knowing the kitchen is a tidy space makes it a much more enjoyable and relaxing task than if the kitchen were a total mess with about 2 hours worth of cleaning to do.

With a tidy home, my brain can rest.  Over the last few weeks, Sunflower has been up again up to 5 times every night, first of all it was tonsillitis, then it was teething, and now it has been a tummy bug, with only brief interludes between each, meaning that it has been impossible to establish a proper sleeping routine.

And so I push on, I keep the house tidy, I enjoy my days, and form this week, I am only working for my “employers” for 1/2 day a week until Christmas, meaning I can spend my days when Sunflower is with the childminder to get the house sorted and find some “me” time – sewing, crafting, planning the next weeks food menu and my evenings are free to sleep, watch telly and relax….until I get that much needed rest!

I’m interested to hear other people’s experiences!

What a Mammy wants to do…

It’s been a long year, teething, back to work, overall exhaustion amongst much more means I’ve let this slip. I have not, however, slipped on my goals as a mum. I still want to give my little Sunflower the very best that I can. I am learning how to do this without spending hand over fist!

Over the last few months, I’ve started to get a handle on my role, and indeed Daddy’s role, as Educator in Sunflower’s life.  We are the primary educators until she goes to school, that said, we don’t plan on quitting this role ever and want to be there as role models and educators for her as long as she chooses! This means that we have to continue learning ourselves so that we can continue teaching! Sunflower also goes to a childminder 3 days a week which she loves. And this is not only good for her to have someone else to interact with other than me, it also gives me some time – for work, for rest, for chores, for play etc!

A fabulous blog I found last week is called The Imagination Tree. And the most interesting post, and probably important post I will read in a long time is on the Important of Play.  I suggest you have a read – the best 10 minutes reading any parent could do!

This, along with some other fabulous websites mean that I don’t have to do all the thinking for myself, instead I can learn from them and experiment alongside my daughter. I am truly looking forward to making and creating things with my baba, and learning and having fun with her through doing so. There is lots to do, and lots of time to do it. So bring on the fun!

 

Baby Feeding Part 1 – Feeding Mammy

The most important part of feeding baby is feeding mammy.

There is increasing evidence that gut health directly influences generalhealth, emotional health and psychological well-being.  The importance of establishing a healthy balance of the right bacteria for babies is being recognized and the opportunity to positively impact your  lifetime health is now – in their earliest years. Continue reading

Baby Sleep….or not as the case may be…

As I build up my blogs I’m sure I’ll cover much more than baby stuff, however, as that is what’s hot on my plate right now, that’s my area of focus!

My little one has had one 8+ hour sleep in her 7+ month life so far, and that was last Thursday. I know this because I’m addicted to tracking everything! I can go back in time to 3 weeks old for sleep records and to 3 days old for feeding. Continue reading

Breastfeeding Part 1

When I first told my best friend of my pregnancy news, to say she was overjoyed is a bit of an understatement. About 12 months previously, when I went to meet her baby girl and said I had news for her, I massively disappointed her with the news my sister was expecting! Not that she wasn’t delighted for my sister, but really was waiting for me!

The conversation immediately jumped to breast feeding. How fabulous it is, Continue reading