So as many of you may know, me and my kids are going through a love/hate relationship right now. For the past two weeks neither of them have been sleeping, at all. Through pure bribery, I’ve managed to get The Kid to return to her own bed and stay there by promising anything and everything. Trips to Peppa Pig World, chocolate, my undying love. Unfortunately, The Baby hasn’t seemed to grasp bribery, so in true Unsung Mum style I’m stumped. So through the haze of my heavy eyes, here’s a few tips on what NOT to say to a sleep deprived mum/dad/neighbour/anyone who can also hear The Baby scream bloody murder at 2am.
- “She’s probably just teething/having a growth spurt/playing you up.”
You think?! I’m pretty sure that teething would involve some sort of symptoms and the mega amounts of Calpol I have made her ingest would have worked by now. And why does everyone think that saying she’s going through a growth spurt is going to suddenly explain her abrupt awakeness at 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am and 5am.
- “Send The Hub in.”
What, and listen to her scream for a full hour to then be sent in anyway after he has lost his patience because she’s “not listening to him.”
- “It’s time to sleep train.”
Argh, do you not think I’ve already thought about that? Yes, I would love to do Gradual Retreat or Controlled Crying with her like I did with The Kid, but I just can’t face waking The Kid up every night. The Kid + no sleep = a complete brat that kicks, hits and bites 10 times more than normal. I just can’t handle it.
- “So she only woke once last night, you must feel like a new woman.”
Are you kidding me? Yep she may have only woke once but she was awake for three hours straight singing/babbling/banging her head against the cot bars then crying/checking I was still there every two minutes. Also, after almost 4 years of having messed up sleep, it’s going to take more then 1 night to make me feel human again.
- “Sleep when baby sleeps.”
And when you have 1 this is really helpful and true, as long as you actually do it and don’t spend the time enjoying the only free 45 minutes you will probably have that day. As a mum of two, sleeping when The Baby sleeps is downright impossible. Yep, the little monkey in question may have finally fallen into a deep slumber, but trying to persuade The Kid, 3, to take a nap just isn’t going to happen. I find resorting to ipad/TV/climb over the sofa time just to be able to sit down on my butt for a while.
- “Baby still not sleeping well?”
Have a look at these bags, do you think they are from a mum who has had eight hours sleep?! Seriously think before you speak!
- “Have you tried [insert the most stupid idea here]”
Let me reassure you all now that I have tried everything under the sun to get both my children to sleep at once, and after three years, four months and a god forsaken amount of hours and minutes being awake throughout the night and darting between rooms, I have researched every cock and bull way. Trust me.
- “It won’t last forever.”
Well, its lasted almost four years so far and let me tell you it feels like f*cking eons. Telling me it’s almost over is just leading me into a false sense of security and building me up for an epic fall.
- “Put her to bed later and she’ll be more tired.”
Said from the most annoying person ever. Nope. It doesn’t work like that, and if it does for others then my brats must have missed the memo. The Kid just becomes a sleepy bulldozer who thinks its okay to slam dunk The Baby or fall head first on purpose off the sofa I’ve asked her not to climb on. The Baby couldn’t care less, but when it hits 6.30pm I seem to have a magic switch in my head that clicks and says “this is your time” and I lose all the patience I have spent all day trying to keep in check.
And then my personal favourite…..
- “My kids have slept through the night since 4 months.”
Great. That’s just what I want to hear after being awake night after night for no reason what so ever. Pointing out that your perfect child slept through the night again is only going to fuel my feelings of jealousy and hatred toward you.
So random mums at preschool today, dad and my well meaning husband who I hate right now for having a full night sleep; please beware. I’m a mum on the edge, surviving on a stable diet of cake, caffeine infused drinks and carbs. Oh, and I just don’t want to hear how bad you have it because today I have decided that I have it worse. Thanks.