‘How to survive when your children won’t go the f*** to sleep.’

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Step 1. Gather all the parenting books you have and set them on fire. Ask your children to dance around it like the cult masters they are – it may wear them out.

Step 2. Stop googling the effects of sleep deprivation. It basically says you’re going to get fat, have anxiety and depression and fantasize about killing your partner. Saved you a click. You’re welcome.

Step 3. When people tell you that you’re making a rod for your back because you’d basically lick poo to get a child to sleep more than 1 hour, whack them with said rod. (Don’t lick the poo, it’s gross)

Step 4. Throw out all your clocks. Counting how many hours you’ve had or could potentially have is just upsetting for everyone involved, including your eyelids.

Step 5. Sleep, eat and do laundry while you’re in the shower for the 5 minutes your child is asleep.

Step 6. Um…what was I saying?

Step 7. Don’t close your eyes to make your baby close theirs. I promise they’re still open.

Step 8. Lie to yourself. Lie like the person who really stole the cookie jar. Look yourself hard in the mirror, give yourself a big slap and say, ‘YOU ARE NOT TIRED, ya hear me??? NOT. TIRED.’ Then brush your teeth with coffee.

Step 9. Go to bed in clothes that could pass as day wear and buy yourself some big sunglasses that hide your face.

Step 10. Accept, respect and forget. Accept that your life is now eating protein bars, chips, cookies and coffee. (If you don’t drink coffee, you’re seriously missing out) accept that tiredness is going to make you look like a shriveled prune. Respect yourself for being the champion you are, and don’t for a second doubt your parenting skills… and forget any advice on ‘how to survive’ that anyone gives you. Including me.

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run, where it originally appeared. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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