Everyday Moms: How I Survived the Sleep-Deprived Years

Image via Mindi Stavish
Image via Mindi Stavish

This post originally ran January 25, 2014.

Confession: I hate coffee. No, that is not a typo. When I tell people this fact about me, they look at me as if I have three heads. They typically respond with, “You have three kids under the age of five, and you don't drink coffee? Poor woman!” It’s not that I haven’t tried to love java. I have tried all the various flavors, sweeteners, and special coffee drinks with no dice. Oddly enough, I love the smell of coffee brewing. It’s almost hypnotic, yet as soon as coffee touches my lips, I am immediately turned off.

Currently, my 7-month-old is going through a rough patch in the sleep department, and there are times when I wish I enjoyed coffee. Like at 2:00 in the afternoon when I'm sitting at work, trying to pry my eyes open while teaching my first graders how to say their “k” and “g” sounds. Instead, I turned to social media to see how other parents cope with sleep deprivation during these early years of their children's lives so I might find some hope of making it through. 

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Can you relate to any of these moms?

1. My little one suffers from terrible anxiety at night. Additionally, she has had constant colds and ear infections, so she wakes up 2 to 3 times a night. My husband and I take turns sleeping. One night he will take care of her, and the following night I do. – Kathia Castro of Pink Little Cake

2. I had to have a drink that I was excited about, be it coffee, tea, a smoothie, or even Coke. Those sleepless, nursing nights commuting in DC were so hard. A friend of mine told me to “never quit on a bad day,” so that kept me going for awhile. Also, I made it a point to shower every morning, it at least gave me a bit of energy. – Brandi of Little Brim Baby

3. When my son was an infant and sick, I was sick as well. My husband needed to sleep because his job as an electrician required him to be fully alert. My remedy was to ask for help! My mom came over and stayed the night many times so I could sleep. Don't be too proud to ask for outside help. Your baby needs a healthy mama. – Housewives of Fredrick County 

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4. My husband and I take turns with baby duty. I care for her until he gets home from work around 11:00 PM, then sleep for a few hours. When he comes to bed, it's my turn again. Then during the day when she naps, I'll take a short nap as well. When all else fails I'll, babywear her and, without fail, she falls right to sleep. Sometimes I get chores done, but other times I sleep in the recliner with her on my chest. – Britt Brownmarsh

5.  My husband and I are good with taking turns, which is how we got through the the early infant days. He'll do one wake-up, then I'll do one, etc. He sometimes does more shifts at night because he doesn't need as much sleep as I do. Also, he can fall asleep quickly after being up with the baby. Once I'm up, I have a hard time falling back to sleep. – Lori Bollinger of I Can Grow People

 6.  I am constantly reminding myself that this won't last forever. Also, I make it a point to get out of the house. Even when exhausted, getting away from the place of insanity is a breath of fresh air.  – Candice of Mommy In the Midwest  

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What keeps you sane during sleepless nights that seem to last for weeks and weeks?

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What do you think?

Everyday Moms: How I Survived the Sleep-Deprived Years

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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8 comments

  1. Profile photo of Brittney Brittney says:

    I always felt like I must be the only mom who doesn’t like coffee. So many of my friends swear by coffee to get through sleep deprivation, while I just try to muddle through.

  2. Profile photo of Taneeka Taneeka says:

    I started taking power naps during my breaks.

  3. Profile photo of bmattler92 bmattler92 says:

    all of the suggestion in this article are wonderful. my son is seven months old and has yet to sleep thru the night so i havent had a full eight hours of sleep in over nine months, couldnt sleep my last two months of pregnancy either. to get the most sleep i can i go to bed as soon as he does and i nap with him.

  4. im geting as much sleep as i can now cuz i no im not going to be geting much soon.

  5. Profile photo of Alanna Alanna says:

    I love my sleep 🙁

  6. Profile photo of jesster131 jesster131 says:

    The trick there is find another caffeine form you do like for the occasional pick me up. I found a tea by TAZO called awake. It has a little more caffeine than the normal teas. I do like my coffee but some days I’m just not in the coffee mood. Just don’t get hooked into the energy drinks & shots they can be worse as you crash from them. My guy is almost 2 now & refuses to nap. Plus he fights falling asleep at night now as well. Last night it was almost 11:00 by the time he surrendered. I know it won’t last forever but it’s tough when mom have to be up for work at 5:15.

  7. Profile photo of LIZ says:

    Some times you think its gonna be forever but i just look at those eyes and that smile, and it make me start all over again

  8. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    True, never quit on a bad day. Don’t dwell too much on frustration. It could only drag yourself down. I try to focus on things that could lighten up my mood like looking at our family pictures! But hey, I am a coffee lover 🙂

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