Forget the baby. Are YOU sleeping through the night?
Raising children is NOT easy. While it can be really fun and rewarding, it's probably also the most stressful thing you will ever do.
The stress begins in pregnancy while you're nurturing the growth of the baby. Once the baby is born, you get to experience why sleep deprivation was used as a means of torture.
This is when equal parenting becomes very important.
Nursing moms need to get up every two hours to feed the baby, but rarely get back to sleep quickly because of the diaper changes and rocking that follows the nursing. Dads that help get mom back to bed will have a less resentful and sleep deprived wife. Those mothers that do not nurse ... well it's obvious how dads can be helpful and not helpful and the resentment and sleep deprivation could be amplified.
Right out the gate, (or womb in this case), it’s best to have equal parenting.
How? Priority number one: you both need sleep. Sleep equals sanity. Sleep equals peace. Sleep equals taking care of your marriage and yourself. And guess what? Sleep is the key to continuing to have a sex life with one another. So here's how to get some (sleep that is):
1. Pay for sleep. Yes, seriously.
The cost of sleep and sanity is something to consider. Whether in or out of the home, both parents work. No matter your circumstances, you'll be faced with an obvious challenge. You can't work if you don't sleep.
For those parents who can swing it, a night nanny could be a solution. It's a way to ensure that you'll get sleep even if the baby doesn't.
2. Sleep in shifts.
Support one another. Let your partner know you can see it's difficult to be sleep deprived. Acknowledge that they're doing a great job.
Talk through the situation. Think about whether it makes sense to come up with a sleep schedule that affords both of you some sleep. You're in this together!
3. Get a babysitter and go have some fun.
Get help from a caregiver. Get out of the house. Spend time with one another. Forget about sleep and the baby for a little while. Coming back with a clear head will make everything seem easier.
Your relationship with yourself and your partner is as important, if not more important, than your relationship with your children. Love is a mutual exchange and children are the expression of that love.
As you move through the sleep deprived stage, you will feel discouraged at times. Just keep reminding yourself of these things:
- Sleep deprivation is BAD! Working together to make it through will keep the beast at bay.
- When it’s difficult to be equal, have conversations about it so the other person does not feel less valued or taken advantage of.
- Put your relationship with your partner and yourself first. Parenting is easier when each person feels supported and that they are on a team and not flailing alone.
- Remember that the two of you got yourselves into this situation and the two of you have the ability to make it amazing.
- If you want more sex, parent equally!