I know I’m not the first person out there to write about being a sleep-deprived parent. If you have kids, there is a 99% chance that you’ve had a period of time where you weren’t getting enough sleep. And if that’s not true, I don’t want to hear about it from you; you and your smug face can leave.
But there is something strangely satisfying in either writing about it or reading about it. Something to do with misery loving company, perhaps? I don’t know. Either way, I am here to tell you you’re not alone, and I have probably done something dumber than you, due to sleep deprivation.
- You have children.
- You find a sippy cup filled with milk. It’s been put away in the cupboard with the clean sippy cups.
- The empty mug next to you smells like coffee, and has coffee residue at the bottom, but you don’t remember drinking that first cup.
- You find yourself counting down the minutes until your baby’s first nap, from the moment he wakes up for the day.
- You fall asleep one paragraph into your new book. Every. Night.
- You can’t remember if what you just made for dinner is exactly the same as the night before. You don’t care.
- In fact, you’re too goddamn tired to cook anything for yourself at all, so you eat cereal or some Goldfish for dinner (locked in the bathroom, so your child doesn’t see you eating them and ask for more) while the kids eat a balanced meal. They’re more important than you anyhow.
- You actually master the art of micro-napping while doing pretty much anything. People don’t know it’s a thing, but it is. All you need is 3-5 seconds at a time. In fact I just did it while writing this particular point. I laughed out loud when I realized this.
- You look at the clock to check the time, go back to doing what you were doing, and then realize you didn’t actually register what the time was. You find yourself doing this multiple times in a row.
- Your spouse says something to you, and you find yourself staring blankly at them, because your face didn’t respond at the same time as your brain.
- You find yourself being an Asshole parent, because you can’t think straight around your kids at ALL.
- Micro-napping. Did I mention that already? Sorry, I just did it again.
- You laugh at the articles everywhere telling you that you’ve been drinking coffee wrong this whole time. Why? Because those people are clearly not measuring cortisol levels in a parent who has been up 18 times during the night with one child and is then woken up at 5:15am for the day by another.
- Never mind forgetting why you came into a room. You often forget why you’re leaving a room, as you’re leaving it.
- You start getting your children to make day to day decisions for you. You call this “teaching them independence and life skills,” but really, it’s because you can’t think straight.
- You enter the wrong number in the title of your blog post about being a sleep-deprived parent. Oddly fitting, no?
So we all know there are WAY more signs that you’re a sleep-deprived parent than what I’ve listed. The problem is that I’m too bloody tired to think of the rest right now. So have at it in the comments: what are the signs that you’re a sleep-deprived parent?