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If I'd known how little sleep I'd be getting

(29 Posts)
pfrench Sat 28-Nov-15 11:36:20

I don't think I'd have had children. I feel a bit of a failure for saying that, but at 3am this morning when I still hadn't been to sleep dealing with a 1 year old with a cough and cold, that thought just came to me.

I wonder how many relationships crumble due to lack of sleep caused by children? We've pretty much stopped communicating other than for the basics, because between child care overnight and work, we just don't have the energy for anything. Not exercising, not able to cook proper food - either don't have the time or just can't because we don't get a proper evening to do adult thing. Even when we do get evening time, it's spent on catching up with work.

Feeling pretty flipping miserable really. And it's all because I haven't had more than 3 hours sleep in a row for 18 months.

Any advice?

VocationalGoat Sat 28-Nov-15 11:54:46

No advice. Just hugs and total, utter sympathy. My youngest is 18 months old and I don't think I've had more than two hours uninterrupted sleep.

It is utterly, miserably soul destroying. 18 months later, I am riddled with anxiety, I feel unwell all of the time, I hate the parents at the school gate because they have the audacity to try and be warm, friendly, and engaging with a mother who can't even string a sentence together. By some miracle, my marriage is surviving, though I can't even remember what good sex is like, let alone sex in general. I feel like shit. I look like shit. And whatever spare time I have is never for sleeping but just dealing with a life hanging off the edge of a cliff.

And yet I still absolutely adore and snuggle up and live for the source of all of my misery: my sleepless 18 month old (and the elder two of course!) grin
I think we all have "WTF was I thinking having kids???" moments.

But honestly, the day will come OP when you'll think, "Oh I'd love another one!" The great stuff definitely outweighs the 'down in the trenches' moments.

As my mum says, if they weren't so gorgeous and lovable, we'd have thrown them out with the first bath water.

The only advice I have is try a night out. Honestly, I went out with a couple of my dear girlfriends last night, who are equally stressed and exhausted. I was dreading it all day thinking, "I won't manage tonight. I can't even walk a straight line (like you, I've been up all night for a week with my youngest two)." But I showed up at this restaurant. We're all in grubby clothes, no make-up, no one scrubbed up, the wine was open and I thought, "This is perfect!" And it was. It has cheered me up no end. I never go out. It's expensive and we're knackered. But it was so nice to meet up with other friends and just be our real selves, no airs and graces. I think I can only do this once every blue moon though. grin

flowers Onwards and upwards soldier! wink

Chosenbyyou Sat 28-Nov-15 19:13:44

Aww I know how you feel and Some good words from vocational!

I am in a similar position, both work full time with one DC 14 months old. Ill constantly and awake for hours during the night most nights, won't co sleep or accept anything but rocking. Worst thing is I think she can sleep through or at least til 4 but ill so often I can really tell!

We go to bed v early every night and barely exist outside childcare, chores and work. The thing that keeps me going is that 14 months in the whole big scheme of my life is actually not much! But tough all the same, we said before this DC that we wanted a second but we are no where near that point yet!!

Hope you are ok now, can you get any day sleep on the weekend or even a slight lie in? X

WanderingTrolley1 Sat 28-Nov-15 19:16:27

Sympathies, OP.

I haven't had a fill nights sleep in 3 years. It's bloody draining.


nutbrownhare15 Sat 28-Nov-15 20:07:55

I've been there op. You need a break. Can you carve out small chunks of time for you and your relationship? A lunch date, a swim? Anything to help you to feel the joy in life again. And can you get any help from your OH to help you get some sleep? Talk to him and arrange a date night in type thing once in a while. Can relatives help at all? I now try to focus on one moment each day when I'm happy and hold on to that in the hard times. Most days that moment is when I've made my daughter laugh or she has made me laugh. It will get easier as she gets older I'm sure. So hang in there smile

shutupandshop Sat 28-Nov-15 20:11:02

Dd3 was like this. It gets better. i had a 4th grin

shutupandshop Sat 28-Nov-15 20:11:32

Oh and I second the odd night out although it can take ALOT of effort to get going. It makes me feel better!

Moohoomeltdown Sat 28-Nov-15 20:18:19

flowers and sympathy. It is hell on earth. Other people shrug it off and they forget but when you're living it, it is completely devastating. There are days I spend all day thinking about the night before or the night to come, very unhealthy, but you start to obssess over sleep.

I totally agree about an evening out. Me and my ante natal friends meet once a month. It's such a thought, going out when you're shattered, but honestly, seeing them is a life saver. And it makes me feel better about my DS, a bit of distance and perspective can do you good.

LibrariesGaveUsP0wer Sat 28-Nov-15 20:25:15

My children generally don't sleep for the first 1.5- 2 years. That means, in the last 6 years, I reckon I've had 5 of bad sleep. DS still very hit and miss.

I feel your pain.

Fairylea Sat 28-Nov-15 20:34:04

I know how you feel. We have two dc, the youngest has severe autism and never really sleeps. We've just spent the last hour trying to get him off to sleep and he will wake up between 2 and 3am - if we're lucky we may get him to sleep until 4.30 / 5 when he's up for the day. Same every single day. Soul destroying.

I love my kids to the moon and back but lack of sleep is torturous. It's the worst part of being a parent by far.

HalfStar Mon 30-Nov-15 11:40:38

Lots of us here who get it OP flowers

I think the hardest part is the world having to go on as normal with work and pick-ups and all the domestic tasks. Pre-kids, if you ever felt half as shit as you do now, you'd crawl into bed for hours with a book and a cup of tea.

I've planned a night out with my DH in a few weeks and am already feeling intense anxiety about the kind of dramas our non-sleeping 1 year old will pull for my family who'll be minding her. But I know it'll be good for us to get out.

alltouchedout Mon 30-Nov-15 11:51:59

Sleep deprivation with DS1 hit us like a tonne of bricks. I know people tell you about it, but until you've actually been through it, you don't really understand. How can you? It amazes me how we all keep going. Pre children I would not have thought going to work on 3-4 hours sleep as a regular thing was possible. God, pre children I felt exhausted and over worked if I did a weekend half day shift in addition to my regular hours!

AndNowItsSeven Mon 30-Nov-15 11:57:05

Your dp needs to alternate waking with you. Go to boots buy muffles ear plugs and don't get up on " his" night.

DustyMaiden Mon 30-Nov-15 12:06:44

It's not something I ever experienced with my DC although I had three. I am truly grateful.

Now caring for MIL with dementia and haven't slept more than 12 hours this week. I totally get the picture you are painting.

I'm thinking about sneaking off to a hotel, to go to sleep.

Sorry not much help but you have my sympathy.

splendide Mon 30-Nov-15 15:07:04

I am not having a second because I can't handle the lack of sleep. Mine isn't even too bad now (at 13 months) but I am completely traumatised by the early months. I was hallucinating and couldn't eat I was so tired.

yorkshirejo Mon 30-Nov-15 15:17:31

Also won't be having another. 16 months here and regularly wakes every hour - 2 hourly overnight. So utterly fed up of this misery...

ToastMakesMeHappy Mon 30-Nov-15 17:52:27

Completely sympathise with every one of you posting on here. I am in the same boat, DD (18 months) can sleep, but it seems she is always ill and not sleeping. It's hit me today that I've developed anxiety due to lack of sleep. I feel jumpy and anxious most of the time. flowers cake brew and of course wine for all of us!

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 01-Dec-15 07:55:13

Oh gosh yes. My 'why did I do this to myself' moments are always in the small hours when I start to panic about how I'm going to function through the day without sleep.

I'm not sure that sleep deprived thoughts 'count' OP. They are very much liked calories on a Friday night.

Sympathies flowers

Tallulahoola Wed 02-Dec-15 15:14:06

I totally sympathise. DD (now nearly 3) was a terrible sleeper for the first two years, cried constantly, and I would look at friends who had it easier than me and despair. Relationship with OH was non-existent and all conversation was about how tired I was, what a tip the house was because neither of us had the energy to clean it, etc. I promise the sleepless nights will pass.

Going on the occasional "date night" once every 6 months was totally pointless because all we did was talk about childcare all the time aware we were paying a babysitter by the hour... BUT The best thing we did was to have a weekend away when DD was 18 months. Left her with the grandparents and flew somewhere sunny. For two days we did all the normal things we'd basically given up since DD was born - dinner! Bottles of wine! Sex! Lying in til 9am! Reading a magazine without a little person demanding attention - and I can't tell you how much good it did us. If there's any way you can do it then I'd really recommend it - cheapo easyjet flight somewhere relaxing. One night isn't enough to decompress, you need two or three. We'd never left DD before but I forced myself not to be anxious and she had a whale of a time without us, much prefers her grandparents' company because they let her mainline Haribo and eat ice cream twice a day...

spillyobeans Wed 02-Dec-15 15:27:09

No advice really as i have a 6 month old who doesnt sleep. At.all.

Last night started trying to get him to sleep from 7pm, he didnt go down till 3.30. Then up at 6 for the day and has only just had a nap now, and i couldnt sleep because im so exhausted that im too overtired to be able to sleep.

It sounds horrible thinking that...but i do too. If id have known the reality i dont think i woukd have had kids. I would go through the pregnancy again, i would go through the birth again (and thats with no pain relief an episiotomy and ventouse ) but i would not go through this sleep deprevation again!

And people wonder why i will only have 1 kid, "aww you need another one spilly junior cant be an only child" , alright you going to do the nightshift then? No? Didnt think so.

romanrainsalot Wed 02-Dec-15 15:44:06

you have my sympathy. Its why we only had one DC. Never again! I still don't sleep properly now and DS is 4. Coughing all night. Kids and coughs aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

It does get a bit better, but then they get ill and its starts again. Hence I have been known to put DS to bed and then flake out on the bed myself at 8pm...and not wake up until 6am the following morning...Riveting Friday nights in our house.

spillyobeans Wed 02-Dec-15 15:45:17

Also pisses me off how any leaflets or books and health visitor say "by 4 months lo should be sleeping through, with maybe 1 wake between about 7pm and 7am". Excuse me? And seeing all the posts on mumsnet that is obviously the exeption and not the rule! On a good night my one wont go down till 1am. He then wakes at 3. He is then up from 3 till about 5.30. He will then go down from 5.30-7. That is a good night. A bad night he sleeps for 30 mins then is up for an hour and repeat. In between this hes not even happy, he wants to be held. Also healthvisitor kept saying you cant let ds sleep in pram you need to try cot. The only way i can get him to sleep is by putting him in pram and walking around the house for atleast an hour.

It really is soul destroying. I hate the fact im so grumpy and snappy at everyone. My hair is falling out. Ive aged about 10years in 6 months. I always look haggered. Even when gps look after ds so we can go out together i spend the whole night thinking whats the point as im not getting a nice sleep tonight. sad

lljkk Wed 02-Dec-15 15:46:10

I don't think my brain really function until my youngest turned 4.

BasinHaircut Wed 02-Dec-15 15:55:41

Yep, I hear ya! People don't say it in real life though and when the 'when are you having a second?' Brigade start on me and I respond 'never, it's too much bloody hard work I couldn't do this x2' I get such horrified looks.

People think if you admit this it must mean you don't love your kids but it totally does not. It's just being honest about how fucking hard it is.

PitBlackwell Wed 02-Dec-15 15:57:15

I feel your pain. I haven't slept properly for years. Even if the children don't wake up, which they do nightly, my 'D' H wakes me with his snoring. I told him he was destroying my life. He thought I was being dramatic. I absolutely am not. I feel ruined.

My only advice is caffeine tablets. But that's probably not recommended or wise. confused

Feel your pain.

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