Jersey Shore‘s Deena Cortese and her husband Chris Buckner welcomed their first child, Christopher James (or CJ, for short), on January 5.

Cortese, who just turned 32, has been loving life as a new mom but admits that in some ways she wasn’t fully prepared for how challenging it can be. She recently shared some family photos on Instagram, noting in the caption “Having a baby is like falling in love again. Both with your husband and your child.”

But when a fan pointed out that eventually, lack of sleep during those first few months can have new parents feeling less than loving toward one another, Cortese clarified that it’s not all love and rainbows in her house, either. There have been plenty of sleepless nights and feelings of frustration.

data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);">

“I’m def starting to learn how to function on no sleep,” she wrote in the comments section. ” CJ has been getting better at night but it’s still been a struggle .. been almost 4 weeks and we’re just starting to get into a decent routine .. motherhood is def harder then I expected and I never understood ppl telling me while pregnant to get sleep now lol bc while pregnant I thought I wasn’t getting good sleep but it’s all so worth it .. he’s my little side kick.. we got this ❤️”

You absolutely do, Deena, but if you get too tired mama, don’t hesitate to call in some support

New parents lose about 44 days of sleep during the first year of parenthood. Experts estimate we lose an average of two hours of sleep per night for the first five months, and then one hour per night until our baby is two.

Sleep deprivation is somewhat inevitable when you bring a new baby into your life, but mamas are still human. We do need sleep. Going on too little sleep for too long puts us at risk for accidents, mental health issues, and poor performance at work.

Research also suggests that while today’s dads do a lot, mamas are still the ones who lose the most sleep in heterosexual couplings. So, if you’re too tired mama, it may be time for dad to tap in (or time to get a baby sitter, even just for a few hours).

It does get easier

According to a 2010 study published in the journal Pediatrics, babies’ sleep habits rapidly improved in the first months of life, so the sleep deprivation you’re experiencing at four weeks postpartum likely won’t be as bad by the time your baby is four months old. By baby’s first birthday, 85% of parents say they consistently get uninterrupted nights of sleep. That doesn’t mean they won’t be waking you up at all, but six or seven hours of uninterrupted sleep is a lot better than just two or three.

You might also like: