You’re not an idiot – you knew way before you ditched contraception that having a baby meant that both the quality and quantity of your sleep would be compromised. But somehow it still comes as quite a shock. Even if your baby is a good sleeper from the start (who is this mythical creature and where can we get one?), there will be days when you feel hit-by-a-ton-of-bricks exhausted. What to do?
You can barely find the energy to lift a finger of toast to your mouth, but you’ll feel so much better if you get up, out and move around. Even just a quick walk around the block will take the edge off. And they say that fresh air helps babies sleep. Got to be worth a shot (of espresso…), right?
2. Find some mum mates
You know who else is tired? Other mums. Drag your eyebags to the nearest coffee shop, children’s centre or someone’s house, and compare war wounds. There will always be someone who’s had a worse night than you, promise, and you’ll definitely find them on Mush.
3. Ring your favourite person
If you have a mum, sister or mate who always cheers you up, reach out to them. You never know, they might be at a loose end and come and hang out with you during your time of need. Or at the very least they can distract you by telling you funny stories/cooing over how cute your baby is.
4. Tackle the day strategically
If you’ve ever had a boring job, you’ll know that the best way to get through a rubbish day is to divide it up into manageable chunks, and avoid clock-watching as much as you can. Make a to-do list – even if the only things you manage to tick off are “eat sandwich”, “watch a bit of Netflix” and “buy more super-cute sleepsuits online” – and you’ll feel like you’re whiling the time away until you can get your head down again, or until someone else appears to hold the baby for a bit. Everyone likes ticking off to-dos, right?
5. All the caffeine and sugar
Nobody gets by on kale smoothies and love alone. Man-made energy boosts exist for a reason. Don’t overdo it so much that you crash and burn, but allow yourself some treats to perk you up. Happy mum, happy baby? We were thinking more “happy tum, happy mum”.