We know that you like to hear about the latest hospital events, as well as up-to-the-minute health news, but blogs should also be more personal. With that in mind, we are starting a monthly feature called the Mommy Blog. It is written by Jennie Canzoneri, a wife and mom who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll hear all about her everyday life—with son, Kyle Parker, husband, Mike, and even the dog, Molly.
You can also follow Jennie on her personal blog, She Likes Purple. Have a question or a comment? She’d love to hear from you!
Getting Enough Sleep as a New Mom
My son, Kyle (see photo), began sleeping through the night when he was five months old. (I nearly threw a party the day after his first full night’s sleep, let me tell you.) But, five months—or even five days, truth be told—is a long time to go without enough sleep. You think about going to bed the moment you wake up, and I often tell my friends that no one can be the best version of themselves between the hours of midnight and 7 am.
Unfortunately, your employee or your mortgage company or even your laundry pile doesn’t care how much you slept (or didn’t sleep!) the night before. The laundry can be so unsympathetic, am I right? So, you have to figure out how to function on much less sleep when you have a baby. Thankfully, those infants can sure be cute. Also, caffeine exists. Those are two very bright silver linings in my book, but I actually have a few silver linings beyond baby smiles and Diet Coke. Phew!
Now, you won’t hear me say what a bunch of others might and that’s: Sleep when the baby sleeps! That’s a really nice piece of advice, in theory, but babies are slightly unpredictable, especially when it comes to nap time. If I lay down when Kyle went down, he would often wake ten minutes later. When I was certain he’d wake any minute, he’d sleep for three hours. No matter how much I pleaded for my six-week-old to give me a heads-up about his sleep plans, he wouldn’t comply. Frustrating! So, I set a bedtime for myself. If I put Kyle down at 7 pm, I’d go down an hour later. I had one hour of good quality time with either American Idol or a sink full of dishes, and then I’d collapse in bed myself. No matter how often I was up in the middle of the night, the early bedtime helped me feel better the next day.
Also, I let myself off the hook. Kyle is now two, and these days when he sleeps I do a million things—blog, clean, watch American Idol (fine, some things never change), but when he was so little, I just accepted there were plenty of things I wouldn’t get to do. Some of these things made me feel slightly guilty, like cooking dinner for my husband. But, I told myself I’d cook again someday, and that helped me check my guilt at the bedroom door and embrace sleep instead. This also went for socializing or thank-you note writing or vacuuming or a dozen other things.
Finally, my husband and I did something that really helped—something we still do, actually. We gave each other one morning off. Either Saturday or Sunday morning, I got to sleep in until I woke up, no matter when that was. No matter how tired I happened to be Wednesday afternoon, thinking about all that glorious sleep I’d get on Saturday morning got me through.
Eventually babies sleep through the night, so there’s always a light at the end of every sleep-deprived, exhausted tunnel. And until then, have I mentioned how cute babies can be?