It was part of kateonthinice's Groovingmums blog hop, where Kate is encouraging you mums to do something new, take care of themselves and generally inject a bit of 'Vim' into their lives.
As it's been a little while, I thought I should update you on our progress thus far. Before I go any further, I'm sure some of you will be asking:
"What has sleep got to do with money saving?"
The answer, to any Questioning Quentins, is that sleep deprivation affects every aspect of your life, really and truly. You can be as frugal and determined as you possibly can be, but if you're sleep deprived, your budget can quickly be busted by ready meals, expensive coffees (to keep you awake), poor meal planning and generally going for the easiest (often expensive) option out there.
Anyway, the sleep training has been going well. Our little lad still wakes at 5am, and screams his head of until 6am, but this is major progress.
When you consider that he had previously woken every two hours, it is nearly miracle territory we're experiencing.
That was until we had two days of relapse to previous sleep behaviour. We stuck to our guns, and he is back to his new, sleepy routine.
The morning after the first relapse, I sat upon the bed with our little lad, just having waved mr mammasaver away to work. I was exhausted - heavy, slow, easily muddled. Part of me even slightly dreaded the day ahead, knowing that it would be an upward struggle from the word go.
Then it struck me - that had been my life for the past 18 months. Each day, facing an immense struggle to keep going for our little boy, to provide stimulation, food, structure, clean nappies... all on broken sleep and for all of 18 long months.
Along with the struggle came an immense feeling of guilt that I wasn't 100% fun, exciting mamma all of the time. All of my energy went in to trying to be just that while he was awake, and trying to find ways to save money when he was asleep. To say that I was tired was a little bit lacking in accuracy.
However, since I have been getting regular sleep, lots of things have changed:
- I have baked. BAKED, for goodness sake! It was a disaster, but gave it a go anyway.
- The daily chores aren't so much of a grind any more. This is a big change.
- I feel alot more capable, less worried, more relaxed.
- I don't feel so overwhelmed with ridiculously small tasks.
- Our meal planning has improved, and with that our finances.
These improvements are substantial. It got me thinking about sleep deprivation and how little attention is paid to it, in the early days of parenting.
Our ante-natal classes were purely focussed on the 'get the baby out' scenarios, and did not mention anything about how serious the effects of sleep deprivation are.
I understand that it comes with the territory of having a baby, but the lack of awareness of its effects is surprising, considering the detrimental effect it can have on a family.
Have you had any experience of managing sleep deprivation? What advice would you give a new parent? Please comment below.