The Things This Sleep Deprived Mama Does to Get Through Her Day

Sleep Deprived Mama

“How do you function?”

This is the most common question I’m asked.

When people learn that I’ve spent the last six years plus existing on a minuscule amount of sleep, they are shocked, because I always seem so energetic apparently (they should see me at 3am!)

I used to love my sleep, and in my younger days had an uncanny ability to nod off just about anywhere – as demonstrated in the photo below.

Nowadays, because I’m so very sleep deprived, there are lots of little things I do to get through my day. So here we go… in no particular order…

Coffee. I’ve come to realise that I absolutely adore the black stuff, and that it makes me very happy indeed. I only drink freshly brewed, cap it at three cups per day, and try to be done with my caffeine fest by midday. Otherwise I’ll be laying in bed wired, unable to capitalise on the few precious moments shut eye I can snatch before the kidlets start their triple team sleep thievery act.

Extra long toilet breaks. How else would I get my blog written? In fact how do you think I’m writing this post?

Ren asleep at a barMaking my peace with having a messy house. I’ve accepted that my house will rock the just been burgled look most days, and I don’t let it bother me. My kids can trash the place in an exceptionally short amount of time, and I’m hardly going to waste my energy picking up toys all day long am I? Oh how the standards have dropped between child #1 and #3!

Catching up with good friends. Not the school gate mums, not the play group mums, but real mates. Gals that make me belly laugh, and know me inside out. I’m very lucky that I have lots on my doorstep with children similar ages to mine, and I make a big effort to regularly see the ones who aren’t so close by. Then there’s always Skype if distance is a problem (several of my besties live in Australia).

TV babysitter. I don’t beat myself up for sticking the kids in front of iPlayer or Netflix so I can do a bit of writing, cooking, or staring into space.

Not keeping a tally. I stopped mourning the lost hours of rest a long time ago, and see no value in banging on about the obvious. I’ve politely told all my friends not to ask ‘how last night was’ because there’s a 99% chance my honest answer would be ‘horrendous’.

Eating great food. I eat a super clean diet which keeps me level and boosts my brain. This means saying a big fat no to refined carbs and sugars and eating tons of salads and good quality proteins and fats.

Funky music. There’s nothing like a bit of Uptown Funk or Shake it Off to snap me out of a foul mood.

A little tipple. If all else fails and it’s been one of those days, then I’ll have a G&T (just the one) to help me survive the witching hour.

Going to bed as early as possible. I put my phone on aeroplane mode and head upstairs somewhere between 9-9:30pm. The bliss I feel climbing into bed and under the duvet is pretty indescribable. Even though in my heart of hearts I know that I’ll be woken up roughly 15 seconds after falling asleep, I shall remain optimistic!

How do you get through your day?

This blog can also be found on the Huffington Post

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26 thoughts on “The Things This Sleep Deprived Mama Does to Get Through Her Day

  1. Going to bed early is my saviour, but I’ve had a few nights recently where I’ve stayed up past ten working, and it’s killed me the next day! I don’t know how some people do it. My friend (mum of four) stays up way past 1am every night…

  2. Good list! I need to get better at going to bed early, but with a newborn I always think that I might as well stay up until after the late night feed…next thing I know it’s midnight and I’m regretting it!
    Must get better at eating better too. After a sleepless night I find it hard to make good choices though.

  3. Great post. I especially like the tip to let the housework go. I was good at doing this when our son was a newborn, but now it seems to have crept back in to my to constant to do list! It’s difficult sometimes to let things go, but I think as a parent especially you have to focus on what is important – yourself and your children. Thanks for this reminder. I hope that you start to get some more sleep soon! x

  4. Sleep is something that you have to sacrifice when you’re a parent, whether you like it or not, and you have no idea for how long. But it’s a sacrifice that no one can prepare you for, either! Sometimes I wonder how I got thru the day – and sometimes I still don’t know!! All of the above works for me apart from tea is my daily tipple of choice!


  5. I’ll count myself forever fortunate that I went on my real food journey and started coming away from processed food, refined sugar and carbs way before having kids. Otherwise I know I’d have been a fiend for the cake, which in turn would not be doing me any favours…

  6. I was a mess of tiredness when mine were young, but I swear I didn’t have to cope with half what you do… I think your diet must have a lot to do with that magic energy you have so much of. When things got tough in the old days, I used to try to skimp on looking after myself, including filling up with too much starch and sugar… not good in the long run.

  7. Love every single point bar coffee which makes me anxious. My boys aren’t the best sleepers either and diet makes a big difference. Love toilet blogging here too. Haha, that made me laugh. Love this post and you. Nothing like seeing real mates is there x

  8. Ah yes…eventually in many years this will all be a distant memory. I will have drunk several times my own body weight in hot chocolate by then!#TheList

  9. I don’t know how you manage on so little sleep, even with the things you do to get through the day. I would sleep 15 hours a day if I could. I wonder if changing my diet like you have will boost my energy levels?

  10. I think we naturally make sacrifices as parents, even if we don’t think of them in those terms, but sleep is a tough one as it effects so much else! Your approach is very sensible and probably the only way to manage it, you have to make sure that you are getting enough time to restore sanity (!), even if not enough sleep to restore all energy xx Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  11. We really do my lovely! I’m so pleased you’ve found that reducing sugar helps. I started reducing mine back in 2007, and cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone that will listen. Porridge before bed sounds like a good plan, might have to try that on my eldest to help her get some Zzzz’s! xx

  12. I can honestly say that vastly reducing sugar has helped me! I have some porridge before I go to bed now (no sugar) and I am sleeping. The dreams are still weird and wonderful but I have improved a lot. We really take a good night’s sleep for granted don’t we? X

  13. Sacrifices? Sensible parenting? It’s just being kind to yourself, and your family – after all they’re going to get the worst of it if you don’t have the things that keep you going. I let myself have a few staring out of the window or reading a book moments…xxx

  14. You have summed up so well the various sacrifices we have to make as parents. Most are made willingly but I never liked sacrificing my sleep! Hope you get some quality rest soon.

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