Perchance to Dream

Perchance? Fat chance. Sleep is not happening in my household.

The fantasy of a good night’s sleep is a distant memory as I consider keeping my eyelids open with toothpicks. Yea, it’s that bad.

On a recent work night, I had the honour of being woken up at 1:24am, 3:27am, 4:17am and 5:20am respectively. The last occurrence was the one where I threw in the proverbial towel, made myself a huge pot of coffee and jumped in a steaming shower with hopes that all of these remedies would stave off the impending sleep that was bound to get the better of me. Forty winks is not an option Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. But I digress.

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The journey through young childhood, specifically baby-dom which continues into toddlerhood are some of the most trying times of a parents’ life. In addition to the change to one’s lifestyle - the inability to be spontaneous, the addition of a huge responsibility and the financial pressure that accompanies progeny, there is the agonizing reality of living in a sleep-deprived trance for what seems to be an indeterminable sentence. Birth a pair of twins and you have the honour of doubling the fun!

What incited this brutal waking regime? An evolutionary imperative, otherwise known as “teething.” To be more specific, emerging back molars on toddlers are a nightmare!

But this post isn’t really about the teeth, is it? It’s really about coping with very little sleep and trying to function in a world that, during these times, seems to be passing you by.

Which brings me to the point of this post. So many of my fellow moms have told me that hands down, the sleep issue is the one that is the most difficult to deal with, the most divisive in terms of their relationships with their spouses, and the one that causes the most damage, not only physiologically, but emotionally as well. Think about the times where you have not slept enough. We can all recount instances of being overly-emotional, sometimes weepy, irritable, angry and otherwise, just due to the sheer lack of zzzz’s. Add children and a full-time job to the mix and you might go off the deep end. Okay, maybe not quite, but it is definitely hard.

Which brings me to my question this week:

How has the lack of sleep related to parenting affected you? 

How do you cope/function on a less-than-ideal amount of sleep?

Looking forward to your comments

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  1. Melanie says

    Sleep deprivation really sucks! I definitely don't cope with it well. I try to fit in naps wherever I can. And, this might sound crazy, but if I'm having a bad bout of sleeplessness - either from my schedule being interrupted too many times or from stress - the only way to get back on my schedule is to work out in the day. It exhausts my body even more, so that when I finally do hit the pillow, I fall asleep quicker.

  2. Samantha says

    Thanks for the tip, Melanie!

    Napping whenever possible seems like a great strategy…if one can pull it off. Unfortunately during the week, it's a more challenging feat. Snoring at my desk at work wouldn't go over well 😉

    I haven't considered the workout option, but it seems like a good tact. The rationale of getting to that point where your body is BEYOND exhausted sounds like a good one. Now if I can get my act together and start an exercise routine (maybe not a gym as I won't go regularly), then this might work. A brisk walk in the evening may be enough to push me over the edge 😉

    Will report back with results….. :p

  3. Brea says

    I totally agree with working out! It helps you sleep better, and you feel like you've done something just for you :) I'm one of those unfortunate mamas who NEEDS 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep…suffice to say I'm ALWAYS exhausted!! 😉 I figure that I'll sleep when my little one moves out! LOL

    Following you from Bloggy Moms!


  4. Samantha says

    Thanks, Brea!
    I would love to be healthier and work out often. I had planned to start a walking regime and am more motivated now that I hear that it might assist in allowing me to sleep through the middle-of-the-night scream-fests 😉

    Nine hours of sleep sounds like heaven! Not sure when I will experience that again…may be some time!

    Thanks for following

  5. Holly Ann says

    My husband and I are always exhausted too! We're in the same boat as you. We both work (different shifts so we don't have to pay for childcare) and take care of the kids. Honestly, there have been a few weekend occasions where we've just hired a morning babysitter in order to get some rest - those nights when neither one of us got more than 2-3 hours of sleep. I mean, what good are we to the kids if we just keep passing out on the couch anyway?
    What helps in terms of our marriage is understanding that we're both in this together and it's no easier for one partner than it is for the other.
    I really hope you can get some rest soon! I empathize wholeheartedly!

  6. Mika says

    My kids are 19, 17 and 10 so I don't have that issue anymore. I do have a new papillon puppy though who is keeping me up these days though. 😉
    I'm following from the blog hop.
    I'd love a follow back at
    Thanks, Mika

  7. Beth C. says

    Hey Sam - Love the blog! I do remember those days - though past them thankfully. But one of the best pieces of advice we got at that time was “alternate nights.” One night would be my night to get up with the kiddos, the next night would be my husband's. As you know, we don't have twins, so it might not work so well, but it meant that at least every other night, I'd get a decent night's sleep, while my husband dealt with whatever. Sometimes you luck out and no one wakes up on your night, but even if they do, you can console yourself knowing that the next night, you'll snooze. (Husband's business travel did through a wrench in this at times…)

  8. Callie says

    I wish I had some advice on this. One thing I can say is that reading posts like this makes me feel so much better because I know that other mothers are going through the same thing as me. Not having enough sleep is torture for me, but when I know someone else feels the same way than in some way that gives me a little more strength.

    Oh, and the fact that the folks at Starbucks know my drink and have it ready for me when I walk in (a lot of time in my PJs) helps too.

    So glad to see you on Bloggy Moms! I'm your newest follower. Feel free to check out my blog at:

  9. Samantha says

    @Holly Ann
    Thanks for your comment, Holly. I have definitely thought of hiring a babysitter just for the express purpose of getting sleep! It's amazing how desperate you can become when you're exhausted.

    Agreed - you do have to have a “united front” with your partner with the mutual understanding that you are indeed in it together - in the trenches in this case - and that it will pass. Hard to do when you're exhausted and cranky, but necessary nonetheless!

  10. Samantha says

    Hi Mika,
    I'm sure you're happy that you've passed the “no-sleep” stage. Can't say it's too much fun…I know that it will pass but it won't be soon enough for me!

    Thanks for stopping by and I will check out your blog :)

  11. Samantha says

    @Beth C.
    Thanks, Beth!
    I think that is a great idea - we will definitely try it! We've been alternating during the night but it results in neither one of us sleeping which is not opportune. Anything that works at this point!

  12. Samantha says

    Hi Callie,

    Funny, the folks at my local Timothy's (Canadian coffee shop) have my coffee ready as well. Scary…

    Yes, it is good to know that you're not alone in this madness of non-sleep, and that it does end. I do know this from personal experience with my older children, but it doesn't make it easier to live through when you're in the thick of things. That said, it is good to know that there's light at the end of the tunnel in this situation!

  13. Jennifer says

    Following you from bloggy moms. Check out my blog:

  14. Kathleen says

    This post made me laugh because I can relate! My two year old wakes us up at 5:20 every morning. We've taken to keeping an activity book, flashlight, some teddy bears, etc. in our bedroom to keep him occupied and to give us a few more minutes of sleep!

    I found you in the Ontario Moms group on bloggymoms. Your newest follower!

  15. Samantha says

    Hi Kathleen,

    So glad to hear that I'm not the only one! It's amazing what you will do for those precious few minutes of extra sleep. Whatever it takes, and if it's a flashlight, activity books and teddy bears, more power to you!

    Thanks for your comment :)

  16. Samantha says

    @NayLahKnee LahKnee
    Not many of us are, NayLahKnee! Just doing what we can to get through the day (often through bleary eyes..).

    Thanks for your comment :)

  17. Closer to Lucy says

    I have nothing to offer…I'm worthless without enough sleep.

    My kids are at an age were it should affect me but seem like each one takes his/her turn in sucking the sleep outta me!

    Lucy is out hopping. Come on by when you get a chance Closer to Lucy

  18. Samantha says

    @Closer to Lucy
    Thanks, Closer to Lucy. I think most of us are worthless without sleep. The less you get, the more you need and appreciate it when you are well rested.

    Thanks for stopping by!