Today we had about 20 mamas in moms group, and let me tell you, they were a tired bunch. Some had babies who changed their sleeping patterns for the better, and they were refreshed and positive. But many others had babies who were waking frequently, some as often as every hour or more ALL NIGHT LONG! They, of course, were doing a lot of crying. A LOT of crying, and for very good reason. Tired mamas cry. We love our babies so desperately that we let their needs so consume us to the point that we can't function very well to meet our own needs. (Now some would say that we meet their needs and it nurtures us, which I agree with to a point, but sometimes we do it past that point.) I just want to go on the record to say that we all need to sleep. We don't need 8 hours straight, but we need at least a few in a chunk. I would say 3-4 at some point in the 24 hour jumble that looks like newborn parenting. And when we don't get it, we start losing things. Control over our emotions, for one. Our short term memory, for two. Enjoyment in our relationships, for three. (I could go on....) Suffice it to say that the reason they use sleep deprivation for prisoners of war and brainwashing is because IT WORKS! So please, when you or your partner gets to the point when you/she can't do anything but cry, consider getting some sleep. Beg your partner to take a shift, plead with family to help, raise the white flag with helpful friends, hire someone to hold your baby if you have to. Get back the rest you need to function. Because your job as a mother is important, and you are important. Don't think that because your baby is 6 weeks, or 4 months that you don't deserve some rest. You do. And giving others a chance to help with the babies reaps many benefits for everyone. Give it a chance, and get some restorative rest.
(Not that you can't come back to mom's group and cry! We welcome you...crying can be a big release for tough mamas holding it all together night and day.)