How To Get Through Those Sleepless Nights

Last night, my spawn arose at midnight for happy happy playtime and answered a very defiant NO, whenever I asked her politely to go back to sleep. She finally gave in to sleep at about 4 in the AM only to rise for the day at 6 in the morning.

In my haze of near death this afternoon, I have decided to put together a helpful guide for those of you in the same boat on how to keep your sanity through such trying times.

1. Coffee

Get yourself a plunger, percolator, coffee machine, whatever you prefer or can afford, and find yourself a supplier of beans. This person will become your saviour in the coming months/years. Not only does a cup of coffee provide you with much needed caffeine to get you through your day, the ritual of making the coffee can allow you time to let go of the hatred you have for your spawn, take a deep breath and move on with your day.

2. Home videos

Times like this you are going to need a reminder of how much you love your child. Watch a video or look at photos of when they were new babies and they once made you smile and filled your hearts with joy. This helps to fight the urge of putting your child up for sale on Gumtree.

3. Google

There was a time when I used to Google things like why won’t my child sleep. That usually led to parenting forums where idiots get together to discuss idiot ideas of how to get your child to sleep. Those sites made me mad. Delirious with lack of sleep, the last thing I needed was to be aggravated. So instead I Google things like I hate kids or babies suck just to see what funny shit comes up. I smile momentarily, put things into perspective and move on.

4. Perspective

Speaking of perspective, this one is key. Ok, you have had a shit sleep for a couple of weeks but chances are you have a warm bed, a roof over your head and you know what your next meal is going to be. Watch the news for 10 minutes and see how bad some parts of the world have it. You could be homeless, you could live in a part of the world that doesn’t even know what a skim caramel Frappuccino even means, you could be living in the Arctic Circle with no thermals. The point is there is always someone worse off than you.

5. Booze

If you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding, it is totally acceptable to Irish the fuck out of your morning coffee. Let’s face it, if you haven’t slept, then technically your body clock is still at about 11pm. Party time! Take the edge off the day to follow. Again, this will contribute to not hating your child so much. You need not be judged.

Seriously though, just know that this won’t last forever. When you have morons trying to ram their own ideas of what you should and shouldn’t do just remember that these little creatures are going through a bunch of neurological development that seriously messes with their sleep. Babies are not designed to sleep through the night. Some might, others won’t. It could be days, weeks, months or years.

Most states and territories in Australia offer free services through Medicare. Look up your nearest child health clinic if you are really struggling for some help and support. Those guys really helped me out when shit got real.

Happy sleeping.

Suzi O’Shea

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