The ever elusive, highly desired, wonderful thing called sleep, that parents of newborns lack. Sigh.
The saying they tell new moms, "Sleep when baby sleeps?" Yeah. That's a good one. Wise advice. You really should do that. If you can. And I can't. Usually.
Since my older children don't nap, there are no naps for mama. However, I do need to learn to go to bed when everyone else does. But it's that struggle between 1. finally having some quiet moments to yourself, and not wanting to "waste" them sleeping, 2. getting caught up in all the things you need or want to do (Facebook, laundry, blogging, watching Grey's Anatomy), and 3. realizing that you need to go to bed, but being so tired that you do not (have the capability to realize it). (And why am I writing a blog post at 11 pm instead of going to bed? Oh, yeah, that quiet/to-do/realizing thing.)
What happens if you do not get enough sleep? For me, I am a monster. Today, I am a monster. And it sucks. I hate being that way. It's a Dr Jekyll - Mr. Hyde thing for me. One minute I'm fine, next I'm some crazy, screaming lunatic. It really is scary.
At the same time, it's predictable. As is the mommy guilt of an afternoon/evening of having blown it. Multiple times. ugh. sigh. Then you get people who say, "oh, you're such a great mom" while you're sitting there reviewing the day's terrors and thinking "no, I'm really not." So then there's this weird awkward silence. Yippee.
I remember one time after George was born, him being the king of long mid-night stretches of fussiness or awake-ness from 2 to 4 am. I didn't always do well during those times, being so doggone tired. Frazzled doesn't even begin to describe it. Lots of tears and gnashing of teeth were known to happen. This one time, I had done my doody in the bathroom, but the toilet had previously been clogged and not properly unclogged by the previous user. Also, our plunger sucked (or rather, didn't suck) so bad and I couldn't get it to work. And I freaked. Poor Kong was rudely awakened by his screaming, frantic, lunatic of a wife shouting up the stairs at him to "come down here right now and fix this *&^% toilet." Did I mention it was 4am? Yeah. Good times.
So all you new mom's, tired moms, overworked moms, and any other kind of mom, dad or person responsible for children, my BEST advice to you is to get your sleep. It's the best thing you can do for yourself and your family, and it may just be the difference between Child Protective Services getting called on you or not. Srlsy.