Surrender to Sleep

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” It’s the one piece of advice I’ve heard the most since becoming at mum…the trick to surviving the lack of sleep. And yet this particular piece of advice makes me sigh. In fact, more than that – it makes me dive straight into an inner monologue rant “but what about the washing up that needs doing, clothes that need washing, food that needs to be picked up off the floor? How can I rest when I know I should be doing that?!”

Yes it’s fair to say that apart from the first few months of being a mum – when my body was making the nap decision for me – I don’t do this at all. I grab a strong cup of coffee and crack on. I blog. I put the washing on. I shove everything in the dishwasher as fast as I can. Because those sacred naps are the only way to get stuff done sometimes, to stop the house looking like it is an absolute pig sty (to be honest it’s not great even at the best of times!). And to be quite honest, I am dreading the day that those naps disappear…I wonder what we do then.


But some days, your body says no. Your eyelids go heavy and your legs achey…it means only one thing – sleep it taking over and the best thing you can do is surrender and rest. It’s like those early months when your body is leading the way, it needs you to rest and you have no choice but to go with it. I have to say I still try to fight it…maybe it’s instinctual. I can’t help it, I find myself falling asleep on the sofa, determined not to have to retreat to the bedroom…convincing myself I’m just closing my eyes for a second.

It feels like a defeat, you can feel the guilt creeping about what is not getting done. In our house, it only takes one meal for the kitchen to suddenly look like my old student houseshare at university. All the things you put to one side to crack on with when the baby is asleep – the washing up, the clothes washing, a crucial sweep underneath the highchair to prevent the toddler from eating off the floor when she wakes up. Suddenly the plan has gone down the pan and what has to be done, will just have to stay there for a few more hours.

So the other day this happened to me, I was at the end of the road of keeping on with everything and suddenly my body said ‘no – bed for you’…I felt the guilt, but surrendered to sleep anyway. I woke up feeling a million times better for it. It made me more patient and just gave me a bit in the tank to keep going for the rest of the day…because those 5:30am wake up calls are bound to take its toll after a while, they make for very long days. We’re all Supermums running around doing things at 100mph, but sometimes a rest is in order and there’s absolutely no reason to feel bad about that.


Diary of an imperfect mum


  1. October 19, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    Dave and I were chatting about this the other day. All those wakes in the middle of the night got on top of me and I just felt tired and rubbish all weekend. In the end I slept and i felt better for it too. We should listen to our bodies more often!! #triballove

  2. October 19, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Absolutely agree – some days your body is screaming for an early night and if you ignore it, you only end up crashing the next day anyway.

  3. Anita Mcgrath
    October 19, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    I am so glad you listen to your body and have realised the huge benefit.

  4. October 20, 2016 / 9:30 am

    I think about sleep about 17 hours a day I reckon – the result of six and a half years of interrupted nights. Isnt parenting awesome?? when my two were at napping stage, I used to always have my cuppa first, then do my chores to make sure I definitely got to put my feet up! #ablogginggoodtime recently posted…10 lessons learned after an ASD diagnosisMy Profile

  5. October 20, 2016 / 9:44 am

    I sleep well, yet always seem to need more sleep. Right now I’m exhausted and I don’t really have much reason to be! It’s annoying and I feel a little guilt because there’s supermums like you out there juggling a demanding career and parenthood, as well as household duties. You’re amazing. #ablogginggoodtime
    Sarah – Mum & Mor recently posted…My Fondest Halloween MemoryMy Profile

  6. October 20, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    I agree – it’s so hard to allow yourself a nap when there’s housework and chores to be done. But you have to listen to your body – if it’s telling you to sleep, then sleep! The washing up can wait. #ablogginggoodtime
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…Parenting: the art of forgetting selectivelyMy Profile

  7. October 20, 2016 / 3:44 pm

    Absolutely spot on hun. That mummy guilt can take a hike. we all need to stop and rest at times and that washing up will still be there when you wake, you’ll just have more energy for it! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime
    An imperfect mum (Catie) recently posted…A Blogging Good Time #21My Profile

  8. October 20, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    This is so true most of the time you just crack on but there are times when the pull to sleep is just too much and you simply can’t fight it and it’s the sweetest surrender! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely lady xx

  9. October 20, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    I literally cannot wait for bed tonight! I am so bad at going to bed on time and always find things to do instead. This is spot on! #coolmumclub

  10. October 21, 2016 / 10:08 am

    I was never one for midday naps. I just cannot do it. It’s not because I feel guilty for not doing EVERYTHING that needs doing, but I just can’t sleep. It’s all about the coffee for me. Although I could be accused here of burning the candle at both ends. My problem now is it looks like the afternoon nap is on the way out. I’m going to have to give the toddler a feather duster and a lesson on using the Dyson! #CoolMumClub
    Harriet – Coffee & Bubbles recently posted…Plan to parent – That’s the best you can doMy Profile

  11. October 21, 2016 / 11:21 am

    All my friends used to suggested me that I should also take a nap along with my babies. But I never managed to do that as I had things to get done. Eventually, they grew up and stopped taking naps but also became lot more independent and I got my little bit of free time.
    Marissa recently posted…How To Pump More Breast MilkMy Profile

  12. October 22, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! I so believe in the power of sleep. I suppose you just learn when to plough through and when you have to prioritise your health and your mind to get some rest. How can we be effective parents otherwise? So glad you got to enjoy some shut eye.
    Thank you for hosting. Yvadney #DreamTeam

  13. October 25, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    I can completely, whole-heartedly relate to not being able to sleep during naps. It’s a BIG JOKE. My only free time and I’m going to sleep HA, well f**k you too mom! ; ) I’m glad you finally were able to do it though, you’re totally right it feels so much better when you have good sleep, and most likely very much needed sleep. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!
    The Mum Project recently posted…Do you need help? Your shiny white knight is here.My Profile

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