This is not going to be a smug my-baby-sleeps-through post, partly because he has reverted to waking before 6am and we are feeling a little frazzled. Still, we have our evenings back which is fabulous.
This brings me to the point of today’s post: the other things that fall apart when you’re not getting enough sleep. The obvious candidates are housework (what housework?), laundry, co-ordinated outfits, pampering (remember when your sole aim wasn’t just to get vaguely clean before you had to leap out of the shower or bath?), hot meals, any meals that involve more than 5 minutes preparation, polished shoes… and functioning relationships.
After a whole, ooh, month of time to myself in the evenings and sleep at night (OK, slap me now) I’m wondering how I managed to get through that first year without getting divorced, sacked, ostracised from my family and losing all my friends. I put it down to being surrounded by exceptionally nice people. Relationships are hard when you’re not sleeping. Marriages are particularly tough, especially if as in our case you’re co-sleeping and sharing childcare so neither of you are getting a break.
I’m not sure I have any answers, especially as I suspect I made a balls-up much of the time, but here are some things that might help.
1. Do not make any life-changing decisions when you are going through this. Your partner does not hate you, your friends aren’t ignoring you and your family aren’t being any more irritating than usual. Step back from edged weapons and anything involving a lawyer.
2. Be kind to each other. Really, try. One good tip I heard is try treating your partner like a work colleague and be polite. This is harder than you would expect. Also, think about your family and friends once in a while. They’ll probably forgive you for neglecting them, but you might miss something important.
3. Remember that this will not last forever. At some point you will be sleeping for longer than an hour or so at a time and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. In the meantime, give yourself some slack and afford the same luxury to others.