Six Tips for a Sleep Deprived Momma: How to Go from Mombie back to Mommy
I’m so tired.
So outrageously tired.
I would love to sleep like my hunk, who’s currently asleep next to me on the couch while we are ‘watching tv’. I’m not even sure how my brain is coherent enough to type these words to you.
I’m a mom. At the time I write this, I have a four year old who has nightmares, a two year old who doesn’t like to go to sleep and an eight month old who still gets up multiple times a night. And of course, the days I’m most exhausted, are the days none of them nap at the same time.
When all this happens, I become what I call a Mombie.
A mombie is a mom who is sleep deprived. She doesn’t get to sleep at night. She has to wake up for her children. And because she has said children, she is no longer afforded the luxury of a nap.
Besides sleep deprivation, her symptoms include:
- being short with her children
- being irritable with her husband
- being lazy at homemaking
- forgetting to take frozen meat out to thaw for dinner
- misplacing her cell phone and keys
- relying on a planner to help her remember anything she’s supposed to accomplish in a day
- scrolling facebook endlessly without being able to comprehend what was seen
- complaining about being tired
- getting short with people who slept at least 5 hours and complain THEY are tired
- forgetting to shower, brush teeth, shave legs, or care for other hygiene issues
- and so much more.
What’s a mom to do in a situation where her tiny humans are creating a mom who more closely resembles the living dead than their nurturing caretaker?
First, they get some rest. Momma, when you’re tired, sleep! Don’t let the enemy guilt you into getting up at the butt crack of dawn to be supermom. Get up when you need to. For me, I HAVE to get up before my kids, not to my kids. I need a few minutes of alone time before I’m attacked with the constant chorus of ‘Mommas’ and demands. Introverts all around the world understand. But on days where my sleep has been consistently interrupted, I turn my two and a half hour me time into a thirty minute me time. Mombies know that sleep keeps them from insanity.
Second, they drink water before coffee. I know, the coffee is vital. It needs to be available in IV drip form for all mombies. But water is truly the fuel for the body. Our body is made up of water and without it, the organs within us can’t function. Your brain? Yea, it’s an organ. Plus, you need to make sure to feed yourself some good food at least three times a day. Your body needs good fuel. Don’t be so tired that you only feed your tiny humans. A mombie’s body needs energy through healthy calories, too. So drink eight ounces of water before you fill that coffee cup and eat some sustaining meals.
Third, they ask their husband to help them practice self care. Guys, my showers happen at night. Morning showers are my preference, but they just don’t happen in this season. My hunk watches our girls after dinner when I am starting to feel a little, shall we say, greasy. He offers it every night. But, sometimes I’m just too tired and my hair can totally make it another day. My hunk also lets me sleep in on Saturdays. He lets me sleep until I wake up, even if that wake up time isn’t until their nap time. This helps me recharge my batteries. The hunk also brings home pizza on Fridays and cooks on Sundays, allowing me those evenings to just rest. Husbands get to sleep at night, so talk to yours about how they can help you practice self care so you’re not such a mombie. You’re worth it, Momma!
Fourth, they give themselves grace, not guilt. This is a season. In another couple of months, all my nighttime snuggles will be gone with my baby. I’ll get sleep, but I’ll miss it. In a another couple weeks, my two year old will stop with this phase of being super, yet adorably, headstrong. She won’t be calling out until ten at night asking for me to blow her more kisses so she can put them in her ‘art’ (heart). Sometimes, TV is my babysitter so I can focus on getting the dishes done when my brain can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. And that’s okay! Mombies know how to give themselves grace on bad days.
Fifth, they know when to ask for help. Sometimes, it all becomes too much. Sometimes, you have to admit you can’t do it all. When that happens, reach out. Call on family or your tribe of friends to bring dinner, watch your kids, or pickup groceries. Heck, if you’re that tired, ask them to watch your kids so you can sleep! There should be no shame in that – and if someone gives you guilt about it, they are NOT your people. When you’re in mombie mode, break out of it by relying on others. It takes a village!
Sixth, they rest in Daddy God. The only way that I’ve been able to get through these season of fatigue is with God’s help. I never miss my Bible and prayer time, even if the tiny humans must watch TV for me to get it done. Because without arming myself with the Word, my tired brain is more susceptible to the schemes of the enemy. I refuse to allow my fatigue to be a foothold for the enemy to use to steal my joy, memories, and times with my precious tiny humans and hunk. The only way to protect myself, is arming myself daily with the tools God has given me. Plus, crying out to Him? It can give you more energy than you ever thought possible. When my youngest was born, for example, she never slept. She had terrible reflux and her days and nights were totally switched. But, the Lord sustained me. I had so much energy and patience for all my kiddos. Some may call it delirium, I called it the power of my God. Mombies meet with God every day in order to become Mommies again.
Momma, I know you’re tired. I’m right there with you. If you’re an introvert, like me, you’re refueled by alone time so you tend to stay up even once everyone is asleep, just to fill your soul with quiet. But even if you’re smarter than me and sleep when you’re able, it’s just a season. This too, shall pass. And when it does, you won’t even remember the sleepless nights. But you will miss the midnight snuggles, extra songs for the crying preschooler, or the ridiculous and yet hilarious tantrums of your two year old who doesn’t know how cool it is that she can go to bed at 7:30 pm and sleep until 8 am. Take care of yourself, momma and remember mombie life isn’t forever. Enjoy the moment. Because, one day, your sleep will return, but the tiny humans that stole it won’t be as little anymore. And you’ll miss it.
How do you deal with mombie mode when you’re in a season of motherhood that’s stealing your sleep? Comment below and let us know!
1 thought on “Six Tips for a Sleep Deprived Momma: How to Go from Mombie back to Mommy”
I needed this post this morning. I’m in totally Mombie mode, have been all week and this popped up first when I went to like your blog. So now I’m going to go get a glass of water before I drink a second cup of coffee and dig into my Bible study. Maybe I can reclaim my day after all, and come back to the living.