Sleep-Deprived Mama, I Feel Ya

By Alla Zaykova

Many of us gentle mamas of non-sleepers have learned to suffer in silence.

We’ve learned to bite our tongues rather than open up about our sleep-related struggles to friends, family and health professionals. This is because instead of sympathy and support, we tend to receive judgement and unsolicited advice.

Advice that we are either unwilling to take (on moral or other grounds) or that we already tried and found ineffective for us and our little ones. But society will surely say we didn’t try hard enough.

And the worst stings often come from fellow mothers who believe they’ve got parenting all sussed: “My baby sleeps through the night. And it has nothing to do with luck! I’ve done the hard work and now reaping the rewards.”

“Of course,” you agree, “whereas I’ve been lazy, daft and generally undeserving of sleep.”

Because any talk about the differences in babies’ temperaments or the countless things you’ve actually tried, will simply be taken as poor excuses for your complete incompetence as a parent.

So then, can you blame us if we become a little spiteful when the know-it-all mother’s flawless sleep strategy turns sour? When she complains that her former sleep-all-night-baby, now a toddler, missed a nap due to an unexpected trip and will now take a week to get back into his routine, being a grump and sucking the joy out of the holidays in the meantime?

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