Parents are getting burned out these days with children and babies up at all hours, making uninterrupted sleep a bygone memory. There is a lot of professional advice for parents about how to stave off fatigue. But my family and friends tell me they have abandoned the experts, and are living in a state of sleep-deprived despair.
How can these desperate parents get some relief?
- Reach out to a local church. There are more than enough nurturing grandparents in the congregation who can cuddle and play with your children, while you lie down in the nursery and get some quality shut-eye. Who are we to judge if you sleep through church? Think about all those Bible characters who had visions in their dreams.
- In the car. Wrestle the wee mates into their car seats, drive until they go to sleep, and then sail into the first available parking lot. Cling to that steering wheel like a life-preserver, and allow the current to carry you into the sea of tranquility. Be sure to put a sign on your windshield that says, “Napping, do not disturb” so no one bangs on your windows, wondering if you’ve succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning or an overdose of Captain Crunch.
- In the laundry room. Nail a gate securely to contain the children in their captivating baby-proof play room, and announce that you are going to do some laundry. Unfold your LL Bean cot, and catch some Z’s in front of those matching Whirlpool wonders. I bet you can even sleep through the agitation cycle, resting in the knowledge that you are not only napping but doing household chores at the same time.
- Teach your children phrases like, ‘Don’t hit me!’ and ‘Don’t pinch me!’ Coach them to scream these phrases loudly in public places. You would be surprised how much sleep you can catch up on while the Department of Human Services completes its investigation. Once nothing turns up you can reunite with your cherubs, refreshed and renewed.
- Consider a basement nursery. Insulating yourself from unnecessary noise can go a long way toward creating a peaceful environment for sleep. Basement nurseries could also launch a new trend in decorating themes. Think “Dungeons and Dragons,” Alice in Wonderland’s “Down the Rabbit Hole,” and “Oliver Twist.”
- Flat Mommy and Daddy. For those children who need to see the reassuring presence of their parents when they open their angelic eyelids in the night, how about flat mommy or daddy sitting in that nursery rocker? Wrap it up in a familiar afghan and I doubt it will look that creepy to your precious offspring.
You may not see suggestions like this in Parent Magazine, but I can see real potential for happier parents if you try out these practical tips.
Can my readers offer more ideas to help save the stewards of our next generation from total collapse?