How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation as a Working Mom

Here’s a fun topic for today, ladies: what are your best tips for dealing with sleep deprivation as a working mom? Do you nap at work? Do you have a system worked out with your partner for sharing this parenting duty (such as where one of you “falls on the sword” to deal with the sleepless kiddo, letting the other one get sweet sweet sleep?) Whether you’ve got a newborn, a teething toddler, or a kiddo who’s afraid of monsters, this comes up from time to time for all of us… so let’s discuss.

For my $.02, my youngest, H, is dropping his last nap. Yaaaaay… not. On the nights that we don’t get him to bed super early to make up for the lost nap we often get nighttime wakings — like last night when he came into our room at 4 AM and was pretty much up for the day, despite my best efforts to convince him that it was still time for sleep. My husband happened to be out of town — so right now I feel like the walking dead. In general, though, my husband and I thankfully tend to complement each other here — my husband is an early bird by nature, so by 5 or 6 he’s up and playing with the kiddos — but he loves a good nap later in the day if and when he can.  On the flip side, I’m not much of a napper unless it’s truly desperate times — but if I’m still in bed I can go back to sleep, and my husband will often let me catch another 60-90 minutes of shuteye. While our default move is to pull the kiddo into bed with us, once it becomes clear the kiddo is going to be wiggling more than sleeping, one of us (usually my husband) will go find another place to sleep, such as the kiddo’s vacant bed or the couch — and then if the next night is also a bad one, whoever didn’t deal with the sleepless kiddo the first night takes their “turn” if at all possible.

How about you, readers — is sleep deprivation a problem you face? What are your best tips for how to deal with sleep deprivation as a working mom?

Psst: we’ve talked a LOT about pulling all nighters for work-related reasons over at Corporette, including tips for looking great the day after the all nighter, how to nap at work, and our best tips for surviving the day after an all-nighter. You can also check out some of our top sleep tips for working mothers!

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How to Save Money on Baby Gear

Save Money on Baby GearWhen you’re pregnant, it can be overwhelming just thinking about all the stuff you’ll have to buy and get ready — but thankfully, parents can find plenty of ways to save money on baby gear. Before you run out to start your registry at a baby gear superstore like Babies “R” Us or Buy Buy Baby — or before you click over to Amazon — do your research and think about what you’ll really need. If there’s something that you won’t use right away (i.e., something for an older baby, not a newborn), consider putting off the purchase until you know whether it’s really necessary.

To complement our baby registry series, we thought we’d gather some money-saving tips for new parents and parents-to-be. Please add your own in the comments! What are your favorite ways to save money on baby gear? Did you (or will you) set a budget for pre-baby purchases or just play it by ear?  

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Do, Delegate, NOPE: Holiday Edition

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on holiday delegating ideas, but you may also want to check out all of our posts on holiday business etiquette.

Let’s brainstorm, ladies: what are some of your best ideas for holiday delegating (or ignoring altogether)? I was thinking about that old game “F–, Marry, Kill” the other day (maybe it had something to do with our celebrity crush open thread over at Corporette) and thought we should start a new series here on CorporetteMoms that’s kind of in the same vein, but about work/life balance instead. For the moment we’re calling it “Do, Delegate, or NOPE.” Here’s the idea: as working moms we all have a ton of things on our calendars and to-do lists at any given time — some can be delegated, some ignored, but some you have to do yourself (or want to do yourself). We’ve talked about being overwhelmed at the holidays, picking the best gifts for your child’s teacher, etc., etc. — but let’s talk about the holiday to-do list in general. These are your options:

  • do — do it yourself, either because you enjoy it or want to make sure it gets done right
  • delegate — outsource/assign the task to someone else (partner, caregiver, third party) because you can
  • NOPE — just ignore the task completely because there’s no room for it in your life

I drew up a list of holiday-related tasks for moms, and you can comment below. For each category (do, delegate, nope), choose at least one of the tasks in the list. (It has Christmas-related things on there just because it takes a lot of bandwidth for me personally, but if you follow another religion please use those to-dos and traditions as well!)

I’m hoping this will be kind of fun — but maybe also we can learn a little from each other, recognize that some things can be delegated, and so forth. It can also be a helpful list to sit down with your partner at the beginning of next year’s season and say “OK, these are the things on my radar — what can you do, what can someone else do, what can we ignore?”

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Seasonal Decor — and Working Moms

Seasonal Decor and Working Moms | CorporetteMoms2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on seasonal decors and working moms, but you may also want to check out all of our posts on holiday business etiquette.

Ladies, how much do you get into seasonal decor around the house? Do you feel like seasonal decor is harder in some ways for working moms? I’m starting to get into it — when we visited relatives in Texas, my husband’s cousin had the entire house decorated for Halloween, and my older son really liked it. I’m just starting to collect stuff, and it feels like this IS the season — you’ve got Halloween decor, followed by fall harvest/Thanksgiving decor — and, if you celebrate, Christmas decor. (Pictured.)

I like the idea of making our home look nice for the various holidays, and I like the tradition aspect of things, but I will admit, it does seem kind of onerous from a few different angles:

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Get Better Sleep as a Working Mom by Using These 6 Baby Sleep Tips

Sleep Tips for Working Mothers: Get Some Zzzzs Tonight!2017 Update: We still stand by these sleep tips for working mothers — you may also want to check out our most recent discussion of how to deal with sleep deprivation as a working mom.

If you search on Amazon for “baby sleep advice” books, you’ll find more than 200 books. Google “baby sleep advice” and you’ll get almost 35,000,000 results. As a mom, did you ever think you could use some of those tips to get better sleep yourself? OK, maybe you won’t be swaddling yourself, using a pacifier, or gazing at one of those pretend aquariums anytime soon, but many other baby sleep tips can help you get better sleep. Some great sleep tips for working mothers include:

  1. Stick to a regular bedtime routine. For babies, a bedtime routine might look like bath-book-feed. You can create your own routine to signal to yourself that it’s time for sleep. Try something like this: 1) Put away your work and stop checking work email. 2) Write a list of things to do the next day so they won’t be swirling around your brain when you want to relax. 3) Change into your pajamas. 4) Do something relaxing and screen-free, like reading a book, journaling, or coloring. 5) Go to bed at roughly the same time every night (even on weekends). 6) Listen to something relaxing and/or boring, like “the most relaxing song ever,” a relaxing or purposely-boring podcast such as Sleep With Me, a white noise app, or an ocean-sounds Spotify playlist.

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How to Make Mornings Easier As a Working Mom

Make Mornings EasierIt’s every working mom’s goal: to make mornings easier, both for YOU and for the family/kids. So how do you do it? What hacks and tips have you found? What are you considering?

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg shares the story of a woman who put her kids to bed in their school clothes to save 15 minutes in the morning:

One of the other panelists, an executive with two children, was asked the (inevitable) question about how she balances her work and her children. She started her response by saying, “I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly . . . ,” and then she confessed that she put her children to sleep in their school clothes to save fifteen precious minutes every morning. At the time, I though to myself, Yup, she should not have admitted that publicly. Now that I’m a parent, I think this woman was a genius.

It’s too true!  Some tips I’ve tried over the years to make mornings easier (particularly as someone who is not a morning person):

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