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Thread: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Unhappy Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    My 6mos old DS does not sleep for more than 2hrs at a time. The first 4 mos when I was at home I was tired but nothing like this. Even in the early weeks when DS was only sleeping 45min at a time around the clock. I didn't have to think about anything other than taking care of baby. Now I have to get up, get dressed and ready for work, drive there (1hr each way), be sharp and do my job effectively. I have to use other parts of my brain; not just "baby brain". I am not succeeding at this. I'm in survival mode - just doing what I have to in order to get by. The reason I went back to work was so I could finish my PhD. That isn't happening. I cannot find time to write a grocery list let alone a dissertation!

    How are you other working moms doing it?

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    I know what you mean. None of my 4 kids have been big sleepers.
    My dd is 3 and she still gets up at night. She is mostly night weaned but on the nights were she is up alot I just don't get much done during the day.
    If you feal like your loosing it is there anything that you can cut back on?
    You can always change your goals and not have to feal guilty about it, things change when little guys and little gals come along and thats just fine.
    Things seam to take 3 times as long with kids! And thats ok. Your sons never going to come to you and say "Mom you spent way to much time with me when I was a baby!"

  3. #3
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    Jun 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    Hi Jennifer,
    I'm sorry to hear that you still aren't getting sleep. Feel free to vent all you want. You more than deserve it. I'm not sure if quitting work is the answer, but as long as you mentioned it, is it really a possibility? If you are not getting your disertation done, or even the work that you are completing isn't the quality that you want, would it be worth putting it off for a couple of months? If you stayed home that may not even solve the sleep issue, but at least you would be able to put off the disertation until you can do the best work possible. You just want to be careful that you don't begin to resent your son because you put off something that you have worked so hard for up until this point. I wish I could come up with a solution for you. Feel free to PM me if you need to rant some more or need someone to bounce ideas off of.

  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    I know some mother's are against but does your baby sleep in a crib in another room or are you co-sleeping. For awhile after going to work I co-slept and it helped. Now we're trying to phase him into a crib. He starts out in the pack and play and when he wakes up the first time he's in bed with us. He still only sleeps for 2 hours at a time but I can nurse him back to sleep without fully waking up. You might want to experiment with sleeping arrangements, either co-sleeping or moving to a crib. I don't like the cry-it-out method so whatever works for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    I am in your boat, Luke's mom. VENT AWAY. . . I am in your exact same situation except with a shorter commute, working on Master's degree at night and full time work during the day.

    Try focusing on forcing yourself to live with a DAY BY DAY approach. I have, especially with the illnesses in our house these last few weeks. My DD is the same age as your DS and wakes frequently now.

    It is hard to merge work and family for me because I have always worked very very hard. Now I have to consciouslly put myself and my family first. It isn't going to do anyone any good to get run down and sick. Trust me, it happened to our family. The guilt I feel about calling in sick has GOT TO GO.

    I am not sure how I am going to survive these next few months, to be quite honest. But here is what I'm going to do:

    #1: If I'm sick, I will stay home from work until I get well. That is why there are substitute teachers.

    #2: When my DD wakes up, I will nurse her.

    #3: I will ask for help at work when I need it, leave early if needed.

    #4: Take time for myself. Even if I"m attached to the pump, get a warm drink, thumb through a magazine or two.

    #5: Find a way to nap when I'm desperate (leave work early, call in sick, lie to my boss if necessary. I really don't care.

    GOOD LUCK. I hope this helps you (It better help me )

  6. #6
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    I second the suggestion about co-sleeping. With my DD I was completely in your situation, feeling tired all the time and like I wasn't doing anything at work or home extremely well. While we were both against it in the beginning (due horror stories of my six year old nephew still sleeping with his parents), my DH and I decided it would be best to bring her to bed to allow me to sleep more. It worked beautifully for us. AND we had no trouble migrating her to a crib when she started sleeping longer than 6 hours overnight. Cosleeping was truly a lifesaver in our house!

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    Thank you, everyone for your support. I have a thread in the sleep forum (of course!) which explains what we've tried ect.

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/vbullet...ead.php?t=8127

    We have tried to co-sleep and still do for a couple hours a night but It doesn't work for us. It's more like co-wake. Neither of us sleep but at about 3am I bring him to bed knowing that I have to get up at 5am for work. At least I can lay down even if I don't get any sleep. I have brought his pack-n-play into our bedroom and set it next to the bed (he grew out of the bassinet). I'm hoping that will help us both for now.

    Again, thank you! I know I'm not alone. It's nice to know I'm not the only zombie out there!

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    Jennifer, I feel your pain. Truly!! I don't have alot of answers, but I can empathize and reassure you that you are not alone. Exactly one year ago, when J was 6 months old, I was still getting up 3-4 times per night with him and nursing him every time. Even if I fell into bed at 8:30 or 9pm - after putting him down, getting things ready for him for the next day, getting things ready for me to get out the door the next day - I was still averaging a total of 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Pain!! At the same time, I was preparing to teach several lectures in a course that I had never taught before, in an area that was very far removed from my area of speciality --- i.e., I was learning it all a few weeks before the students. FEAR! So, sweetie, I really can empathize. It's so hard to need to solidly rely on your capcity to think and integrate new information when you are so desperately sleep deprived.

    Skip ahead a month or two. Jared started to sleep in longer blocks. We have always been very lucky in that he WILL go to sleep easily in his own crib (a trend that started, sadly, because I was rehospitalized shortly after he was born, but that's a different topic), so he does sleep there at night. When he wakes, I go to him, try to comfort but if it's obvious that he needs more, I nurse and he goes back to sleep - and then back into the crib. I'm way too light of a sleeper and he is way too much of a wiggle worm for us to co-sleep. At 9 months, he had a few glorius weeks of sleeping in 7-8 hour blocks. That went all to h*ll when he got his first cold and fever - and has never happened again !

    Skip ahead more months. We're down to two wakings per night. I did both. The blocks of sleep were more like 4-5 hours at a time. Now I was getting close to 6 hours of sleep, total, per night and i started to function better, but this made me realize how insanely exhausted I was and then I got fussy at DH to help me more. Our deal became that DH HAD to get up with J in the AM on the weekends so I could sleep an extra hour or two. That helped a ton.

    Fast forward to about 2-3 months ago. J is still waking 1 or 2 times (usually 2) per night. I know he doesn't need to nurse for hunger both of those times. So, I get up with him the first time, whenever it is, and nurse him back to sleepiness and back into the crib. Second time, DH gets up and if it's not an easy comfort-back-to-sleep in the crib situation (it usually isn't), DH and J co-sleep on the futon in J's room until morning. DH is a much heavier sleeper than I am and he can deal better with J's wiggling. And J can deal better wtih DH's snoring, so it works OK... At that point, I turn the monitor off and SLEEP. There are exceptions, of course. This morning, J would NOT settle. So I spent another whole hour with him from 3-4am getting him nursed and sleepy and back into the crib...

    OK, that was alot of "my story" info, but there is a point. The point is that picking up ANY additional sleep, wherever you can, is crucial for getting your functionality back. Putting together a dissertation - and a science one at that - is HARD. It takes alot of detailed thought and hon, that is just too hard to do when you aren't getting rested. I've had a blasted manuscript to get done forever....as in, it should have been written when I was pregnant with J. But, well, it didn't. I tried to read part of a draft that my collaborator sent - back about 8 months ago - and it made no sense to me. This is my area of speciality and IT MADE NO SENSE. Then, about 2 months ago, I picked it up again and it was like "Duh! Of course!!". The difference: a slightly decreased sleep debt.

    Sleep matters. Your body and brain knows to conserve your rest-gained energy for critical functions and survival. Thinking about and writing a dissertation, sadly, don't fall into those categories...so that will surely take a hit. But.....if you can.....hang in there. It *will* get better. It *will*.

    good luck.....PM or e-mail me if you want to vent more offline. hugs to you.
    -linda

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    4

    Red face Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    Hi Jennifer ~
    I'm in the exact same boat as you this morning. My little 5-month-old angel has decided to wake every hour or two and nurse, it's been really difficult as she had been sleeping 5 or 6 hours before this. I'm so tired and now I have been sick with a drastic cold this past week but I can't get enough rest/sleep to kick the cold. My husband's been as supportive as he can but it's been rough. This morning I'm at my office and just in tears, as I feel horrible and rather than be optimistic and think it will end any time soon, I'm already dreading this evening and going to bed. My husband thinks I should just let her cry but I can't let her, as I know she is really eating, not just sucking for the sake of comforting herself. So, I'm assuming that she really is hungry every hour or two which I know my husband has a hard time understanding/believing.

    All that I can offer is the fact that you're not alone and perhaps by you and I both reading everyone's suggestions and words of support, we'll hang in there and things will change soon - the continuous changes have been amazing to me, let's keep our fingers crossed that the next change will be for the better.

    We'll get through this, we HAVE to!

    Lynda

  10. #10
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    Aug 2006
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    Default Re: Sleep-deprived working mom needs to vent

    Lynda,
    I totally know where you are coming from. I do have a suggestion that might help. This only applies if you don't normally co-sleep (we don't). If this 1-2 hour waking pattern has been very recent, it might be teething, a growth spurt, or baby might have caught your cold. For me, these are the 3 most likely culprits when my DD wakes that often. It is hard, but one thing that makes it bearable for me is to just co-sleep for a night or two until she is feeling better. That way I don't have to get out of bed to BF, I barely have to wake up. By co-sleeping and using the side-lying position you won't have to get up at all. When we do this, my DH sleeps in the guest room because it is disruptive to his sleep, but after a night or two we've been able to move DD back to her own room without a problem.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

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