My favorite act of support is bringing a meal to the family of a newborn. Why? Because I remember. I remember the piles of laundry and dishes. I remember that crazy insatiable hunger of early breastfeeding. But more than anything, I remember the free falling fatigue—and the creeping terror that I would never be able to sleep for more than three hours ever again.
We’ve just recently had a run of challenging nights, which puts me back in that familiar fog. I feel unable to track my own thoughts, I struggle with patience, and more than anything I just want to be able to lay my head on my pillow. (And I find myself daydreaming about unexpected opportunities to nap.)
I cope by just accepting the fact that I have no control over sleep—and many other parts of my life now that I’m a parent. Also, I rely on caffeinated beverages.
How do you deal with exhaustion? Are you lucky enough to have family members that can provide you with a break? Are you naturally nocturnal? Are you currently in the middle of sleepless struggles? Do tell!
For more sleep-deprivation support, read Pregnancy Exhaustion and the Importance of Self Care, Post Partum Exhaustion and Coping With Less Sleep, Exhausted Eco-Friendly Motherhood, and Sleep Vs. The Planet.