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A sleep consultant’s letter to a mama in the middle of sleep exhaustion

Remember when you used to wake up when your body said it was time? When you slept in a little later on Saturday morning after one too many glasses of wine the night before with your husband on date night?


Remember when you stayed up until 11pm to watch just one more episode of your favorite show and you weren’t worried about it because you knew you’d still get a solid eight hours of sleep?

Now here you are. Holding your beautiful, perfect baby. Your entire world has changed. After much anticipation, your little one is staring back at you and you are bursting with joy.

But why, if you are so happy, are you also feeling sad and irritable?

Why did you snap at the store clerk earlier for something that didn’t really bother you that much? Or cry when you realized you were out of coffee creamer?

How can you possibly feel so much happiness and at the same time anger and frustration?

Oh yeah, because you never sleep.

Your day consists of feeding and changing and loving on that perfect baby. And you are doing a fantastic job.

But even though you were “warned” and even though it’s worth it, exhaustion is even more intense than you thought it would be and you are smack dab in the middle of it.

Let me tell you a thing or two about exhaustion—

Exhaustion by its own definition is a state of extreme physical or mental fatigue.

Exhaustion affects you in every conceivable way— mentally, physically, spiritually, sexually—the list goes on.

Exhaustion can cause your mind to feel jumbled, your blood sugar to spike, your heart rate to increase, your speech to slur; shall I go on?

You are running on fumes (and probably adrenaline) because you have this really important job you have to do. You have to be a mother! Arguably the most important job there is, and there is so much pressure to be the BEST mom to that sweet little nugget of yours.

But listen, I am here to tell you that NOBODY can operate at a normal capacity without sleep. Not your super-mom neighbor, not your sister, not your OBGYN, not Giselle—no-one!

Sleep is vital to restore our bodies and our minds, and every single person that is living and breathing must get rest in order to function like a normal human being, including you.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “yes I know all of this but how do I get it, I have a small child, remember?”

I hear you Mama, and I’ll get there, I promise.

First, let me tell you that I’m not only writing to you from a professional stand-point, as a sleep specialist, but more importantly as a mom who has been exactly where you are right now. Wondering if I would legitimately ever sleep again. In fact, that’s what led me to this profession.

So believe me when I say “I get it”.

I wish I could sprinkle fairy sleep dust on your entire household. If only. But I do want to give you a little bit of hope and affirmation that this sleep misery will end.

Listen, I know you want to be the perfect mom. You probably feel this intense pressure to keep up with all of it. The laundry that is piling up, the dishes that are waiting to be done; all of those things that feel important and seemingly are your responsibility. This is your moment, when you want to prove that you can juggle anything and everything even on minimal sleep. Yes, you have super-powers and yes you can do all of that.

But, you have got to make sleep a priority.

This means, sometimes letting the laundry go.

Sometimes ordering pizza three nights in a row because instead of preparing dinner you are sleeping.

It might mean skipping your afternoon walk some days or missing every single social event for a few months because you are just too damn tired.

It also means asking for help!

Being honest with your husband and letting him know if he ever wants to have sex again he has to share middle of the night wake-up duties. Kidding… sort of.

Utilizing friends and family and graciously taking all of the help that is offered.

Girl, you better believe I accepted every single meal my church told me they would bring over! And when people asked me “what can I do?” I basically broke out the list. Asking for or accepting help does not make you any less of a Rockstar!

Your new, sweet little sunshine needs you at your best, and I for one realized that once I started accepting help, in any form or fashion, I felt like I could actually enjoy more moments with my baby.

Stepping out of survival mode is sometimes easier than we think if we stop trying to live up to everything society tells us we are supposed to be, or worse, the standards we have set for ourselves.

Lastly, remember that this too shall pass. Although it doesn’t feel like it, this is a relatively short period of time that you might feel way out of sorts but I promise you will experience a full night of glorious sleep again.

Have grace and forgiveness for yourself and ask others to do the same!

I once got home from getting groceries and left them all in the car while I went inside, and remembered 3 hours later once everything had pretty much melted.

Another time I drove to the wrong house, thinking I was home, and couldn’t figure out why the garage clicker wasn’t working.

We do crazy things when we haven’t slept! At least I had a good laugh.

Right now you’re in the thick of it so cut yourself some slack and remember how amazing you are!

You’ve got this.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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