How to rock sleep deprivation – a handy guide

Sleep deprivation is a pretty horrifying affair, and doing the whole responsible adult thing after yet another bad night can be extremely hard going. Sometimes I think I am on top of it, and can find humour in my son’s night owl patterns and knackering habits.

But then other days I am so tired that NOTHING is funny and even caffeine doesn’t work, and I do stupid things like cry at Postman Pat and drive off with the boot open.

Yep, some days it’s just a bit crap.

The upside is, over the last two years I have gathered some tips for combating this beastly battle. Wanna know them? Read on my yawning friend, read on…

  1. Play Hide and Seek with your offspring, but instead of seeking, use the time to have a 30-second nap. Kids are notoriously rubbish at a) hiding and b) waiting to be found, so you won’t get very long. But the time you do get, will be amazing. Save precious seconds in the morning by not brushing your hair. It will allow you an extra minute in bed, and have the added bonus of scaring away any crop-seeking birds you might otherwise encounter.
  2. Use marker pens to draw various pretend stains on your clothes, including bogies and milk. This way every outfit will be coordinated and you won’t ever again make the mistake of attending a meeting with baby sick on an otherwise clean top…it will from this point on just be part of the unique design.
  3. Enjoy the power of caffeine, but don’t let it trick you into believing you are more capable than you actually are. In other words, don’t down a coffee then kid yourself you can handle soft play. You can’t – aim lower. Much lower.
  4. Let your child paint your face after a particularly bad night. Their unskilled efforts will serve as a handy distraction from your actual zombie face, and save you the energy of applying concealer. This is us courtesy of my four-year-old. Good, eh? And no, that’s not actual poo on the toddler’s face, I to rock sleep deprivation family with face painted
  5. Fresh air is great for making you feel more awake. But instead of spending precious energy reserves going for a walk, just stick your head out of the kitchen window for 30 seconds and scream. It’s SO invigorating – and you don’t even have to get dressed!
  6. Style out your inability to walk into a room and remember the reason for doing so by performing a speed round of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes each time. It will make you feel better about your failing memory, and provide priceless entertainment – particularly if you are at work.
  7. Instead of cooking a healthy meal your kids will reject and you will weep over, save everyone the stress by offering a repeated cycle of fish fingers, beans on toast and pasta and cheese. You can also chop up some cucumber and crack open a punnet of strawberries if it makes you feel better. (They won’t eat them though.)
  8. Avoid having to hold a conversation by loudly apologising about the smell every time someone approaches. (You don’t actually have to stink but, you know, no judgement if you do.)
  9. In the interests of saving your relationship (which can take a battering thanks to lack of sleep), do not actually kill your partner when they tell you they’re tired. You can swear at them a lot though, and maybe undertake a spot of Voodoo. It’s quite a relaxing side-hobby, so I’ve heard…

Follow my Facebook page, Big Trouble in Little Nappies  for more on life with littles.

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