‘I have not had a good night’s sleep for almost a year’, says mom

Moms should not hesitate to ask for help with their babies, say experts. Picture: Instagram

Sleep deprivation is a reality for a lot of new and older moms.

Puseletso Kobedi, a South African mom vlogger, shared a post on her Instagram of how she has not had proper sleep for the entire duration of her second child’s life.

Puseletso, also known as Mzansi Mom, is a mother of two children, almost 4-year-old Oagile and 8-month-old Aneya.

For the first year of Oagile’s life, Puseletso, like many moms, was still getting into the routine of adjusting to a new human life. Oagile would wake up every two hours for a feed, and would not take long afternoon naps. The 30-minute cat naps were his thing.

When she had her second child, she thought to herself; there is no way this child could be worse.

Unfortunately, she had a repeat of Oagile’s sleeping patterns, but this time it was more challenging because she was no longer a stay-at-home mom.

Both Puseletso’s kids slept better when they were in her arms, which is counterproductive because there is work to be done.

Also Read: Honestly, how can I get my baby to sleep without rocking them?

“You must sleep when they do” continues to be on the biggest lies of parenting.

Moms like Puseletso push through the day from sheer love and reponsibility because fatigue is a constant theme in their lives.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need more than seven hours of sleep a night. On average, Puseletso gets four to five hours of highly interrupted sleep a night, an hour or two at a time.

Also Read: Sleeping soundly: The importance of a good night’s rest

Causes of sleep deprivation in moms

The two main causes of sleep deprivation in moms are insufficient sleep and anxiety.

Insufficient sleep

Waking up every two hours to feel a baby can be challenging when you can’t instantly go back to sleep. Puseletso struggles with this a lot, and at times, could be up and would have to go to work the next morning. Patterns like this can easily trigger moods in moms and may lead to unproductivity at work.

Anxiety

Puselesto and her husband have decided on a routine where she can sleep during weekends. They don’t live in a big house, so she can easily hear what is happening around the house, and thus cannot rest properly.

Concerns about the wellbeing of the family, balancing home and work life, and financial concerns contribute to the anxiety that moms may experience, which leads to their lack of sleep.

Tips to manage sleep deprivation

  • Stay-at-home moms are more flexible, so it is possible to fit in some nap times during the day. According to sleep experts Sleep Resolutions, it is important to pick your struggles. “The dishes and laundry can wait,” they say.
  • For working moms, if possible, negotiate flexible hours like starting later than your usual time, if possible.
  • Booking a night out of the house will also work because moms are unable to rest when they are with the children in the house.
  • Ask for help from friends and family members, or if you can afford to, hire a nanny that will be hands-on while you rest. You don’t have to do it all.
  • According to Sleep Resolutions that no screen-time rule before bedtime should apply to moms as well. “All that exposure to blue spectrum light from backlit electronic devices wreaks havoc on your circadian system and guarantees you will struggle to fall asleep.”

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