Written by Leslie Kennedy for BabyPost.com
Whoever coined the term "sleeping like a baby" clearly had no children. It is amazing how much being sleep deprived can affect one's ability to function. You assume it will be hard but you'll manage. In reality, often times managing would be an improvement. Here are some things sleep-deprived parents feel that they don't always share.
It may be like this for a long time
If parents who have late sleepers, constant wakers or early risers all banked on that day that their child went to bed at a reasonable hour and hoped they sleep through the night to a reasonable hour, they might be waiting a long time. Sometimes, kids just really like their sleep pattern. Some kids are just really bad sleepers.
You really do become less coherent
It's not that the words aren't there somewhere in your head. But it is not unusual during the worst days of sleep deprivation to be halfway through a sentence and entirely forget what you were talking about. It's also not unusual to forget the simplest words. "I needed bread so I went to the.....um.....what's that word again? You know, where you go to buy stuff?"
Even if you hate coffee, you will find an affinity for it
There are parents out there who survive sleep deprivation without coffee but they are few and far between. Even life-long coffee refusers suddenly learn its value. People who never set foot in their local coffee shop before kids will often end up being on a first name basis with the entire staff after kids. It happens.
You will be okay with having the same bedtime you had when you were four
Especially when you have a newborn and they're up constantly, what was once the perfect time for a dinner reservation becomes the perfect time for bed. For the first time in 30 years, an 8 p.m. bedtime will seem not only reasonable, but entirely necessary.
Also, the naps you remember hating as a child will become the best thing in the world.
You will be grumpy
There are parents out there who ride the wave of exhaustion better than others. But sleep deprivation is seriously a form of torture. You will very likely want to punch the next person who says "welcome to parenthood" when you say you're exhausted. And you will be entirely justified.
Not everyone gets used to it
Not only do people like to say "welcome to parenthood" but you will also and absolutely hear 'you get used to it.' No, you don't. Some people, do sure, but lots of sleep deprived parents go about their days as coffee-holding zombies desperate for that moment where head meets pillow.
You will pray for the day you have a teenager
You will of course regret this later because teenagers will exhaust you for other reasons. But sleep-deprived parents can't wait for the day they need to drag their child out of bed at noon.
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