Surviving the day on too little sleep

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sleepy womanWhen you have a brand new baby, everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps. It's important advice, and if you aren't following it, I have just one question: Why not?

But once you go back to work, or become a parent of two or more, napping during the day isn't usually an option. Nobody ever informs the baby (or toddler or preschooler), however, and so they go right on waking you up at regular intervals. And you become a zombie version of your former self, stumbling and grunting through your day.

What's a parent to do?

We seem to be just wrapping up six weeks of pretty severe separation anxiety with my three-year-old. She couldn't sleep unless I was right next to her, holding her hand. But she's so restless at night, there was no way I could sleep while sharing a bed with her. It was just like having a newborn again, only without the previously mentioned naps.
So how do you cope on too little sleep?

If you're a working parent, BabyCenter has some tips for coping while you're at work, including rearranging your responsibilities for the parts of the day when you have the most energy, getting up and walking around, and trying to adjust your schedule to allow for more sleep.

If you're a stay-at-home parent, life might be a little more flexible. Still, if you have an older child that doesn't nap or go to school, it's not like you can just nod off. I rely pretty heavily on green tea (I'm not a coffee drinker) for a mild caffeine boost, and am pretty good about not doing the laundry or the dishes not being too hard on myself when I'm sleep deprived. Getting outside, especially when it's sunny, is a great pick-me-up, as is forcing myself to get showered and dressed, no matter how badly I don't want to.

How do you cope the day after your kids kept you up all night?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.