“Sleep when the baby sleeps," new parents are advised from almost everyone who’s been there. This is actually the advice most often given by well-seasoned parents (based on my own experience, no stats here).
The trouble is the best time to get things done IS when the baby is sleeping. Especially to an obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist workaholic, this advice seems counter intuitive.
And then the mini meltdowns/breakdowns start to hit. At first, you might just be cranky. A couple of outbursts, short-tempered moments, inability to laugh at misgivings.
That’s not so bad right? Manageable?
But if you let this go long enough, you are causing longer-term problems, both physically and to your relationships. You see, getting enough sleep is non negotiable. Once you accept this fact, you can start prioritizing it, strategically planning for it, and flexibly working around it.
So you can be a happy mother, partner and business woman.
I’m not kidding.
After having my first baby in 2003, I disregarded this advice as “optional” and not for me. A few years later, I succumbed to a nervous breakdown in 2008. Lack of sleep was a major contributing factor. Now that I’ve had a second baby 14 years later, I realize my memory has grown dim of how bad it was the first time around. Our brains are good at smoothing things over or deleting those hard times and difficult experiences — otherwise there would be no second children! (Arguably, that’s why there was no second child for me sooner.)
I need to explore how I can both follow this advice and also have time available each week to work on my business.
Getting others on board
I find that the fathers/your partner may not fully understand the importance of helping to ensure you get enough sleep. Right now, my 10-month old’s daddy has to get up at 4 am on weekdays and go to work. Hence, he rarely has had to deal with any…