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Mum and Dad

8 things not to say to a sleep-deprived parent, 5 alternatives

8 things not to say to a sleep-deprived parent, 5 alternatives


Deidra Romero

posted in Parenting

I have been in the depths of sleep-deprivation so severe that I had dreams with my eyes open. 

With an 18-month-old and a 5-year-old, I almost forgot what that sleep deprivation felt like. Don’t worry, I was recently reminded after my baby decided to stay awake for hours in the middle of the night. Night after night after night.

I took to my Facebook moms group for a little pep-talk and maybe some advice. What I got instead was lots of unhelpful comments. Clearly, these moms were sleeping through the night.

If you are reading this from a happy, well-rested state you will think I’m just being mean. But for all you parents reading this bleary-eyed with a cup of coffee… you know this is true.

exhausted dad holding baby

Here are 8 things you should never say to sleep-deprived parents.

1. “It will pass.” Yes, I’m well aware that all things in this life have an end eventually. Sometimes in death. 

2. “It’s just …” JUST?? JUST? Do not minimize my pain! Do you remember what it’s like to try to take care of children when you can’t string together two consecutive thoughts?

3. “My baby didn’t sleep until she was 1.” Do not give me timelines. I don’t want hope or goals or guidelines. I want sleep.

4. “Hang in there.” Super. K, thanks. 

5. “Try to get some rest.” DUH. That’s all I want to do is rest. I’m not staying awake because I enjoy torture.

6. “Is she teething?” Like who the hell even knows! I’m sure she is. They always are. 

7. “Have you tried …” I’ve tried it all. Trust me. I have tried it all.

8. “Oh, that’s so weird.” *Emoji of a knife*

tired mom holding baby

Instead, here are some great alternatives you can try.

1. “I brought you fresh cookies just out of the oven. Careful, they are still warm.”

2. “Would you like coffee or wine?”

3. “I’m coming over so you can take a shower and rest for an hour.”

4. “I’ve got dinner ready for you and I’m bringing it right now!”

5. “I am so so sorry. I wish I could give you a magic sleep pill.”

How many of you are so sleep-deprived and SO over all the unhelpful comments?

Images by iStock

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