Tips for Surviving the Sleepless Stage

One of those things about being a working mom is dealing with a lack of sleep.

While I was on maternity leave, if I didn’t get much sleep that night I’d grab a couple hours in the morning after my husband left for work. Ironically, that was the only time the Jack actually slept well… so I could snooze for enough time that I felt human for the rest of the day.

But what about when you go back to work?

sleepless stage

Your baby doesn’t really know or care that you’d really like some uninterrupted beauty sleep before going into the office. Case in point, even though Jack was doing really well and giving me a three hour stretch and a four hour stretch of sleep in between feedings, he decided this week that he wanted to be up every two hours.

Every. Two. Hours.

Do you know how much sleep you get when your baby wants to be fed every two hours? I’m going to go ahead and say that it was probably three hours TOTAL that night. And I had to wake up at 5:00 that morning to work a 12-hour day.

So, how do you do it?

Granted, I just started back at work last week but I’ve come up with a few tips that make my life without sleep go a bit smoother.

My Fabulous Tips to Survive without a Full Night of Sleep:

Look to the Future
Okay, last night sucked and you hardly slept at all. You’ve got a few more days of work left before finally getting to the weekend where you will be able to sleep in and/or take a much needed nap. It helps me to focus on the next time I WILL get to sleep, rather than complaining about the fact that I didn’t get any shut eye last night. So, if I have off the next day I just think, “Okay, I’ll get through today and sleep tomorrow.” Somehow it really does help!

Dress for Success
You just had a baby. Maybe your body immediately went back to its pre-pregnancy goodness, maybe not. Either way, you’ll probably need to put on some clothes that are a little nicer than what you’ve been wearing around the house for the last couple months. Go out and buy yourself a couple new things that make you feel pretty. On those mornings where you’re feeling like a zombie, somehow having something cute to wear makes it a little easier to drag your butt into the shower.

Caffeinate Yourself
Caffeine is your friend, use it. I’m talking about Starbucks goodness, Monster energy drinks, soda, etc. Anything that it takes to get you going! For me, it’s a grande caramel macchiato from Starbucks – I take a couple extra minutes in the morning to go through the Starbucks drive-through and it’s just the kick in the pants I need to stay awake on my hour-long drive into the office.

Like Where You Are Going
If you hated your job before you had a baby, going back to that same job after popping your little bambino into the world isn’t going to be any easier. Think back to your early 20’s about how hard it was to drag yourself into work or class after a Happy Hour that turned into an all-nighter. Um, okay maybe you might have to think back that far – but it really was painful, right? Except this time instead of having  a night of partying and making out with boys to make the hangover  worthwhile, you were up feeding a baby and doing that little bounce-sway-back-and-forth thing that all moms somehow know. If you actually like the job you’re going to and the people you’re working with, it really does make things a lot better to crawl into work with your baggy eyes.

Have a Support System
Okay, you did it. You survived your day and you’re about ready to collapse into a heap on the floor. Now is the time that you could really use that positive reinforcement from your spouse, friend, parent, significant other or dog. My husband is pretty great at telling me how awesome I am and how much he appreciates my hard work. If you don’t have someone to do the same, go find someone! You need a cheerleader if you’re going to get through this. Frankly, if you took care of your baby all night, worked all day, did your home stuff on top of that, and plan to do it all over again tomorrow – you’re Superwoman and don’t you forget it!

So what about you? Besides investing in a vat of under-eye concealer, do you have any tips to get through this period of not sleeping? Leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page!

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