It makes me so sad when I see other mommas holding their sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. Sleep deprivation is real and it sucks. Sleep deprivation is detrimental in many areas of your life. And sleep deprivation can be really lonely.
I could go on, but I think you get it.
In many Mommy-groups, sleep deprivation gets held up like some kind of symbol of being a good mom. Staying up all night with the baby and making cupcakes for your older child’s bake sale and then wading through life like a zombie because you are so exhausted you can’t see straight doesn’t make you a good Mom. Yes, the mom who does this is definitely an absolutely amazing mom! But is it because she barely makes it through each day’s to-do list on little to no sleep? Or is it because she loves her children more than anything in the world and always does her best to be the best mom she can be for them?
I’m going to go with the latter and I hope you all agree.
Mom Guilt and Sleep Deprivation
Why does our society try to make moms feel guilty about wanting and getting the sleep they need to be happy, engaged, and loving parents to their little ones?
The lack of education about sleep, sleep patterns and sleep hygiene for postpartum moms blows my mind. In the flood of information out there on social media, you can see all sorts of opinions. They are contradictory, overwhelming, confusing. Often they leave you feeling guilty and worried that you are being a “bad mom” or in some way hurting your child.
Thinking that Moms somehow deserve to be sleep deprived because they decided to have children is incredibly shortsighted and ridiculous. Moms (and dads) are doing their best every day to raise the future of our world, our country and our communities. Remember, it takes a village. In our very connected, social media world of mom-shaming, we are not building a very strong village to support each other with this kind of thinking!
Every new mom experiences some degree of nervousness and self-doubt when embarking on this journey called parenthood. We learn to do what works best for our unique family, we will make mistakes but we become stronger, better parents because of them.
Let’s Support Each Other in Motherhood
When I see a sleep-deprived, exhausted mom almost at her breaking point asking for advice in a mom’s Facebook group just to get the replies of “Just Enjoy it” or “Welcome to motherhood!” I really want to scream. And then give that brave momma who asked for help a great big hug. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This advice is NOT helpful. It’s a recipe for pushing that momma who is already almost at her breaking point, over the edge, feeling isolated, hopeless and questioning everything. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sleep is necessary for maintaining our mental health, immune system and more. It helps us be more patient, think clearly and helps our brains and bodies to work at an optimal level. So wanting to get better sleep as a mom is normal and perfectly reasonable. It does NOT in any way lessen your status as a great mom.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Let’s stop pedaling this idea that chronic sleep deprivation is a badge of honor or a sign of great mom. It is detrimental to the mental health of mommas everywhere.
Build your Motherhood Village
Let’s stop beating each other down and start lifting each other up. Let’s stop trying to make moms feel guilty for wanting and needing sleep. After all, it is a basic human physiological need for survival! Stop judging each other, because we don’t know how many times that Mom got up with her kids last night.
We need to trust each other, support each other, help educate each other because it really does take a village! And who wouldn’t rather have a strong, supportive village that focuses on educating, empowering and supporting each other instead of a village where you have to hide part of yourself in fear of being shamed or made to feel like a lesser mom because of decisions you made for you and your family?
Being able to help and support families become happier and healthier is why I am here. As a Child Sleep Consultant, I am here to coach and help take the guesswork out of making a plan to help your little ones and the whole family (you included!) get the sleep they need. If you need help – I am ready to join your village and be with you every step of the way! Schedule your free sleep evaluation call today to get started on reclaiming your sleep while helping your little one get the sleep they need for you both to thrive!
Cheers to healthy, happy sleep!