Alan is a pretty good sleeper. We put him down around 7:30 and he sleeps until 3:30, wakes, eats and sleeps until 5:30. Then he sleeps again after breakfast until 10 or 11.
My husband and I go to bed around 11, so our sleep is interrupted four hours later. Then our toddler daughter wakes around 7, so I am averaging about six hours of broken sleep a night. And I am someone who needs about eight to nine hours to function.
This long-term (3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days to be exact) sleep deprivation is no joke. In the past few weeks I have locked my keys in the house, sent numerous attachment-less emails, lost countless items, had to go to the grocery store 12 times to get everything I need because I keep forgetting, made coffee without the filter so I ended up with a pot of hot water and forgotten to add my tip to a receipt for my last pedicure (***see results below). Oops.
These are all small things, but it feels like a matter of time until something huge happens. And since my job is to be creative in text and I can barely form a sentence, this is kind of an issue.
What’s a gal to do?
I make lists. I keep an extra set of house keys on my person for when I lock my main set in the house. I try to laugh. Because really I am doing the best I can. The past few months have taught me that no mom should be expected to function at peak level until she is at least six months postpartum. And even that is pushing it.
I am just glad I do not have any interviews with Katie Couric scheduled in my first few postpartum months. I suggest all new moms forgive themselves a few slips, at least until their brain function returns—some time around when the last child ships off to college.
***The results of a pedicure on very little sleep:
Sasha Brown-Worsham is a freelance writer whose monthly column runs online at The Family Groove. Her work has appeared in Pregnancy, Runner’s World, Self and many other publications. She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, son (and a cat and dog).