So I just read this article on 9 Things Not to Say to a Sleep Deprived Parent. It had the typical kind of guff you would expect to read - comments along the lines of "it will pass" and "sleep when the baby sleeps"...you know the sort of stuff that people with the best of intentions tell you, while you are secretly rolling your eyes inside your head and wondering if it is possible to learn to power nap with your eyes open when people give you well intentioned but thoroughly useless advice. Oh, that's just me?
As a well seasoned sleep deprived parent I have these to add to the list:
- "And it never stops - when they get older and go partying at night, you lie awake until they get home" (er, which I'm sure is true, but I imagine it would be quite different - that is unless your child is a member of the Rolling Stones and they actually party for nights at a time).
- When a married/partnered man at work complains how tired they are because it was their turn the night before to get up for the baby so their wife could sleep (hey firstly, kudos to the guys doing this and I mean no disrespect - I think it's real awesome that you do this, but I'll fess up and say it really irritates this single mum purely out of jealousy - hey, I'm honest!)
Not that I would give away my irritation of course when having these conversations in the work kitchen while I make my fifth coffee of the day. At 9am. Out of respect that we all have our different journeys and challenges in life. But also because the one benefit of being sleep deprived is the constantly slightly dopey look my eyes have, so even if I did drop my jaw in shock or my eyes bulge open, I just look more awake.
Instead I let people give their advice, relay their personal experiences or bemoan that they have to bathe and feed their children for one night because their husband is going out that night. And smile when they compliment me that I'm looking really perky that day.