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How on earth do you cope at work when dcs don't sleep through the night

(12 Posts)
janx Wed 29-Oct-08 10:51:43

Going back to work in Dec after a year. DD 4 sleeps v well, Ds 11 months is appalling.....he wakes two times a night - sometimes I can get back to sleep sometimes I can't. Am dreading going back as I feel after the nursery run and commute in the West End I am going to be completely knackered and stressed out....any top tips for appearing to manage?

CaptainKarvol Wed 29-Oct-08 11:04:25

Are you going back full time?

I've been back 3 days a week since DS was 10 months and waking 6-8 times every night. I have a 45 min each way motorway commute. We survived.

He still wakes between 1 and 4 times a night and he's 2.7 so my view is you just get used to it and cope.

Tactics...
Don't even think about trying to stay up late. Ever!

Sleep whenever you can at weekends / on your days off.

Ummm, apart from that I guess you could try any sleep training that you haven't already tried, but I honestly think you just get used to it.

janx Wed 29-Oct-08 11:26:27

No luckily 3 days...omg your ds still wakes up at over 2.
We have done sleep training and he has got better...but he is ok some nights and bad others.
No chance of sleeping on days off as I have a 4 year old

LOL about staying up - learnt that one a long time ago and never having a drink - fatal

snickersnack Wed 29-Oct-08 11:50:12

Buy some decent concealer and drink strong coffee. I work 4 days a week, ds always wakes at least once (and the past few days has been ill so we've had almost no sleep!).

To be honest, I find work much less tiring than being at home. Once I get to the office I perk up and forget how utterly knackered I am.

My absolute top tip? Cycle to work. Sounds crazy, but it really perks me up and gives me enough energy to get through the day. Bike seat on the back for the nursery run, then in to work. Depends how far your commute is - I've got a 4 mile cycle from home to the West End, which is do-able in 30 mins. Has the added advantage of meaning I know exactly how long my commute will be, as I'm not reliant on public transport.

Avoid stress and be organised. That is tiring. Have good childcare, shop online, plan ahead, use Google calendar so you both know where you are and who's doing what at any one time. Stock up on birthday presents and cards so you're not panicking at the last minute. Etc etc.

Honestly, when it comes to it I think you'll find it much easier than you think. If you'd asked me 9 months ago how I'd cope with working on the back of 4 hours sleep, I'd have said "not well". But I manage. Not brilliantly, but I manage. Keep telling myself it won't last forever....

CaptainKarvol Wed 29-Oct-08 11:55:14

Janx, you'll be OKsmile.

I'm sure your DS will be sleeping through before long - my DS moved from unbelievably bad to the bearably bad he's at now at about 14 months - a similar shift would see your DS sleeping right through!

Yes to no alcohol too, I quite agree. Sadly...

janeite Wed 29-Oct-08 11:55:45

Some really good advice already. I went back fulltime(teacher) when dd2 was 10 weeks old. I breastfed until she was 13 months. Looking back, I don't know how on earth I did it but tbh at the time I just got on with it.

Online food shopping is a godsend; children's TV or videos used at crunch times can give them a chilling time and let you rest; plan easy meals that don't take too much effort when you get home - make pasta and homemade soup your new best friends!

scattyspider Wed 29-Oct-08 12:05:48

Mine have been/are chronic poor sleepers. In some ways its easier when at work because you are busy. Its when you get home that you feel shattered. If dh is around in eve, have a little nap otherwise go to bed early (no life, Iknow sad.

If you've had a really bad night, tell your colleagues, you'll still have to pull your weight but at least they'll understand why you are a bit quiet (grumpy). If lack of sleep gives you headaches (it did me) take paracetamol.

When every night is a bad night you do adjust to it. Now ds sleep fine and dd sleeps well for 2-3 nights then has a bad couple of nights, those nights kill me!

Lower your standards in every other aspect of your life sad. You can pick it all up again when finally the nights get better.

janx Wed 29-Oct-08 19:05:32

Snickersnack - decent concealer - I was thinking of a mask. My dp cycles and is the same as you - I am a bit of a bike virgin and having two children on a bike would freak me out....at the moment my journey is a bus to nursery, bus to the tube station and tube in Leicester Sq. Maybe you could give me a backie to work grin

Already do online shopping - its more the journey that I will find stressful - not really a morning person

Scattyspider - I have already lowered my standards - I dream of a tidy home, but ds and dd think otherwise

beforesunrise Wed 29-Oct-08 19:14:55

i dont know, but you'll survive. i did (dd1 atrocious sleeper) and even managed to perform better than before having her. just dont dwell on it and get on with it- it wont be forever (i hope!)

MrsGhoulofGhostbourne Wed 29-Oct-08 19:26:01

Totally sympathise - DS2 did not sleep through the night till he was 2, and I was a zombie, particulary as DH did not help at all, and I had a full time job as awell as DS1 and renovating a house etc.
My total wardrobe consisted of jeans and tee shirts, with five 'smart' work outfits for visits to customers - reduced decision making (and in the office we used to wear jeans then, which helped).
All the above advice - especially sleep when you can, get a cleaner, you don't have time to waste cleaning, forget ironing completely, feed yourself properly ( batch up adn freeze stews etc @ weekends, or get dh to do it otherwise ou will resort to ready meals and put on loads of wieight as i did initally. Don't accept any forward invitation unless its something you would do if was happening that night (I still use that rule - works wonderfully!) - and keep faith that it WILL get easier!!!!!!!

IAteDavinaForDinner Wed 29-Oct-08 19:39:02

janx, it will work out. You will wonder how, but somehow it does.

Honestly, I thought I would die (I went back when DS was 6.5 months and he woke 4+ times a night) but here I am, 9 months later, he only wakes a couple of times most nights and I feel like a new woman! wink I really believe you just adjust to it. I am permanently tired but I don't ever seem to get more tired.

They say "the less time you have, the better you manage it" and it's true.

Get accustomed to earlier bedtimes. Cosleep if you need to. Depending on when your kids are most wakeful get things ready the night before or in the morning - whatever gets you the most rest. You may find lowering your standards of general order and tidiness in the home is helpful - I did grin

If it's a long commute, try to make it enjoyable in some way so at least it counts as "you time" - listen to music, read a book, whatever.

Good luck

Pria Wed 29-Oct-08 19:44:46

Mornings have to be planned the night before,laying out all clothes, packing all bags (3 dc at 3 seperate schools - I know I know atrocious planning!, and baby girl at childminders.)
Wardrobe consists of anything likely to conceal smeared food and snot.
Do get completely knackered at times so you just have to be kind to yourself when you can, relaxing lunch time manicure anyone?

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