Sleep Deprivation is Real, People

I contemplated taking my most recent sleep deprived embarrassing story to the grave, but decided to own it.  Lack of sleep often leads to a navy seal-like ability to work through extreme circumstances, such as keeping your kids miraculously alive while you forget to do basic things like put a shirt on over your bra, or you lock yourself out of your house…without a shirt on over your bra.

Here are some funny stories (at least in retrospect) that parents shared that happened while running on lack of sleep.


First time parents were taking turns in the night rocking the baby back to sleep after feedings. It was the dad’s turn to rock the baby. The mom was still resting in bed and trying to fall back asleep, but she heard the baby still crying. She went to check on things, and her husband was rocking a pillow in the rocking chair.

I poured my coffee in my cereal bowl once, and it made me cry.

Took my 15 month old and 2 week old to the grocery supermarket. I got home with the babies intact, but left the full cart in the parking lot. I always felt that at least I didn’t forget one of the babies.

Drove halfway to work with no bra and no socks.

I put milk in the cupboard. Then I put cereal in the fridge.

My dog usually eats twice a day. One day after my second was born, the dog probably ate at least 5 times that day. I couldn’t remember if I had fed her or not, but I was keeping track of how often my baby was eating.

Drove 6 hours to visit family. Got there. Realized we forgot our dog. Had to go back and get him.

One day I was getting ready for work, and was putting on deodorant. I was thinking to myself that something was off, and that it was taking kind of a long time. Then I realized that I wasn’t using deodorant, it was one of those under eye rollers for puppy eyes. Aaaaaaaand then I did the other armpit for some reason.

I poured my coffee into a lit candle instead of my cup.

I washed my hair with face wash.

I was rubbing lotion into my baby’s face when my 7 year old said, “Wow. That’s really white. Is it supposed to look like that?” I told him in an annoyed voice that it just needed to be rubbed in. I looked over and realized that I had grabbed the diaper rash cream, not the lotion.

I put the frosting covered beaters in the cupboard and the electric part in the fridge.

With newborn twins, I started to brush my teeth with zit cream. I was proud that I even remembered to brush.

Got a call from the elementary school secretary that my kid didn’t have shoes. I asked which one, and she said, “All three.”

I answered the door to the UPS guy after nursing, still exposed.

Pulled off shoes and pants of poopy diapered 2-year-old. Pulled new pull-up over old. Put pants and shoes back on. Noticed there was no dirty pull-up in the garbage. Dismissed puzzled feeling. Noticed diaper looked full. Repeated diaper change. Realized mistake.

Could not find the remote anywhere. It was in the freezer.

When I got done working a 12 hour shift, I pulled in the driveway and walked in the front door of the house we sold 3 months before. Lucky for me it was friends that we had sold it to, and I called to tell them that I had a breaking-and-entering situation.

I put our kitchen sink strainer in the dryer. Cried because I couldn’t find it.

Sat on the toilet and peed…while the lid was down.


And here’s my story. This is a post that I wrote on Facebook after my husband and I stopped at a cell phone store, with our baby boy (who had a terrible, terrible night the night before).

sleep deprivation

We were in a hurry to pick up older brother from preschool, and I realized that I didn’t have the keys.  We walked around a bit, mostly to keep me from crying hysterically in the parking lot.  We decided to stop at the next door sandwich shop for lunch and consider options.  The best bet, after stupidly posting the above on Facebook, was calling a cab. The cab driver said he’d hurry so we could make it to picking up older sibling from preschool.  As cab driver pulled up, the cell phone store employee walked in with our keys…which I had forgotten on the counter.  We bought lunch for the cab driver and cell phone employee, who both joined my husband in mercilessly laughing at me.

What’s the lesson in all this? Catch naps when you can.  I fully realize that sleeping while the baby sleeps, especially when you have kids and/or work, is nearly impossible. Tag in help when you can, and nap where you can.  Sometimes that looks like a nap in the middle of the living room floor. Sometimes that’s the reason you’re not in family pics. And sometimes you sleep on your baby’s head in the waiting room of the doctor’s office.

sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is real, people. Catch those winks when you can, and just try to laugh. You’re not alone!

What’s your best sleep deprivation story?

Jen is a good friend to have, even remotely. She’s full of awesome personal stories, research to back up her facts, and is always good for a perfectly timed pun. She’s also a mother to three little ones, who are often underfoot, generally when she’s *trying* to work. Her work includes: co-owning a private practice clinic in the Iowa City area called Encompass Lactation where she works as a Lactation Consultant, moonlighting as a freelancer for a few mom/baby magazines and product lines, and furiously working on publishing a book due this fall. When not hovering over a laptop, Jen is sitting with a glass of wine in hand, watching tv with her husband, Matthew.