When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep?
Last night? Last week? Last year?
If you’re a regular follower of the blog you’ll know I talk about sleep – a lot. Mainly because I’m not getting any.
What with a breastfed baby who likes a 3am top-up, a threenager who has never slept through the night either and a six-year-old who likes to bed-hop getting anywhere near the magic eight-hours-a-night is nothing but a distant memory.
It occurred to me, as I led the oldest back to her bed after an aforementioned bed-hop, that there are certain defining moments of sleep deprivation, key stages that have repeated themselves after baby number one, baby number two and now baby number three.
The 10 stages of sleep deprivation
1. You haven’t slept properly for days, possibly weeks, and then you’ve been up for xx hours pushing a human being out of your lady bits. Yet you feel on top of the world and like you’ve totally got this.
2. You surprise yourself at how little sleep you actually need. They might be feeding every few hours, it might be weeks since you had any meaningful sleep yet everything is going swimmingly. Perhaps Margaret Thatcher was right – 4 hours sleep a night is all you need.
3. Margaret Thatcher wasn’t right (there’s a surprise). Four hours sleep a night is definitely not all you need. It turns out sleep deprivation is cumulative.
4. You wake up and wonder how on earth you’re going to get through the rest of the day. Even getting them dressed – nevermind yourself – seems like a gargantuan task. You totally haven’t got this.
5. You can’t remember the last time you woke up and felt better.
6. You’re so tired you weep. Probably while on the loo, or into (yet another) cup of cold tea. Or both.
7. You have total memory wipe-out. After several hours at a National Trust property recently I commented on how nice it was and Misery Guts looked at me like I was mad: it turns out we’d been there before and I had absolutely no memory of it.
8. You feel like you’re already tired tomorrow.
9. You can’t remember the last time you said ‘I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep’. And you could cheerfully throttle anyone who says such a thing in your presence.
10. You could sleep for 10 years.
Are you a sleep deprived mum or dad like me? Which stage of my list are you at? I’d love to know!