10 Ways to Survive the Day When You've Been Up All Night
If you’re a new mom, this is going to happen to you. (If you’re a mom of anyone of any age, you know what I mean.) The baby is teething, the baby is sick, the baby is on a mission to drive you insane, whatever the reason, that little bundle is going to be up all night long at some point and you’ll be right there with him. But here’s where your experiences part ways: You are going to have to function the next day as though you’ve actually had sleep–you know, like everybody else at the office/grocery store/normal world did.
My third baby is 15 months old and last night he did it again. Up. All. Night. Today is mercifully Saturday so my husband is home, but we also have all three kids home too. And at some point yesterday I foolishly invited a couple over for dinner tonight. To our new, totally un-decorated house. And get this, it’s the couple we bought the house from. No pressure! And have I mentioned, that I didn’t sleep last night? So here’s my plan, something I’ve leaned on many, many times over the last four years with all three kids.
- Recalibrate. Today is going to be a little slow, a little hazy and that’s okay. I still have to get things done, but I’ll give myself a break and understand that I’m not playing with a full deck. Make no big decisions today! Just keep moving.
- Simplify. Anything that can be crossed off the list and plunked down onto tomorrow’s already scary to-do sheet will have to do just that. Ditto for any activities planned for today. Now’s not the time to shop for long sleeve onesies for fall. That errand can wait.
- Phone a friend. Making contact with the outside world will rejuvenate me, for at least a few minutes. And bonus, I won’t even have to strap anyone into the car for this visit.
- Do focus on getting one thing done. It can be something simple: fold the clothes. But if I can conquer one thing today and let myself off the hook for everything else, I’ll feel much better about how this whole thing is going.
- Take a mini nap. The little guy is going to go down for a nap at some point today. (Not last night, while it was dark and everybody else was sleeping, just to be clear.) I actually set the alarm on my phone for 25 minutes, which for me, is enough time to feel sort of replenished but also allow me a few minutes to get my things done. At least a few things.
- Applaud myself for making it this far. I ran the NY Marathon a few years ago and while I was training, I always thought it was amazing any time I made it past five miles. Like the rest was gravy. That’s how I feel about functioning without something as necessary as sleep. If you’re up, you’re awesome.
- Get giddy. I also try to see the humor, the absurdity of it. When you’re really tired, punchy isn’t hard to do. Just go with it.
- Don’t forget you’re tired. I don’t actually hate my spouse and my friends aren’t jerks. I’m just tired. Tomorrow I’ll feel better.
- Caffeinate accordingly. I’m not breastfeeding now, so no one is directly affected by my coffee intake. (If you are, be careful because your baby doesn’t need an extra cup of Joe.) But if I have a chance to get a pick-me-up by way of an extra cup of coffee, today I’m doing it. Ditto for chocolate and even a little carbo-licious cookie or two. The big thing is, I don’t want to get all hooked on this crazy way of getting through the day. This is only for days when the night truly didn’t involved more than a couple of hours of shuteye. That’s actually torture, you know? So today I can give myself a little extra TLC, in whatever form that takes. And that leads to the last tip…
- Baby myself. I’ll do something, any little thing, that makes me feel good today. It can be depressing to walk around exhausted so I’ll make sure to carve out time for something nice later on. Maybe it’ll be back-to-back episodes of something decidedly girlie on Netflix, going for a walk (sounds counterintuitive but exercise is a proven pick-up), taking a hot shower or best of all, asking my husband to do something nice for me. After all, he got a full night’s sleep.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN