We're pretty sure you know by now that it's true, motherhood is endless. Once you pop you can't stop—the moment the doctor placed that little bundle of joy in your arms in the delivery room, the game is on and it will go on and on like an energizer bunny on steroids. You will feel like a sleep-deprived "mombie," running on insane amounts of caffeine on autopilot during your first few months. Stuck in an endless cycle of feeding and changing diapers on loop, you're probably thinking: "When will this ever stop?"
Most people will tell you to sleep while the baby's sleeping. It's a great idea because you get to save your energy when it matters. But the problem most of the time is figuring out a way to keep yourself wide awake, so you don't nod off at the most inopportune moments.
Take Mommy Andrea Francisco Noda's experience for example. She recalls how one time she and her husband were lying on a mat on the floor beside the bed, and her husband had their then newborn baby sleeping on his chest.
"We were both so sleep deprived that we fell asleep right there. I woke up a few minutes later, and our baby was nowhere to be found. She wasn't on the bed and wasn't on the mat on the floor with us. After awhile, I found her under the bed. She must've rolled off, pagkuha ko puro alikabok yung buhok nya pero tulog pa din [when I got her she had dust all over her hair, but she was still sleeping]," she recalls, chuckling.
It can get lonely when you're the only adult up in the wee hours of the morning, so you have to find ways to keep yourself entertained. And sometimes you have to be creative about it.
#1 Cliffhangers will keep you awake Ever tried binge-watching a new series at night? Those cliffhangers can keep you wide awake because you just have to know if it ends the way you imagined. "I was able to finish rewatching all 10 seasons of Friends and a little of How I Met Your Mother during those times," mommy Andrea remembers. "I relied on sitcoms and strong coffee, as in my coffee-needs-coffee-levels."
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"We were asleep on the mat. Then I woke up, and our baby was nowhere to be found. After awhile, I found her under the bed."
#2 Start a Mombie journal Document all the #feels! When you're sleep deprived and exhausted beyond belief, you'll have a million and one thoughts going through your head. Write those silly thoughts and rants down because it can keep your sanity intact.
#3 Scare yourself silly Fear beats coffee anytime! Nothing keeps a person wide awake, like watching an evil nun, a killer clown, or a possessed doll in the wee hours of the morning. "I used to watch Ghost Whisperer sa madaling araw. It's not really scary, but the effect is different when you watch it at 3 a.m.," Mommy Erika Guarino recalls. "So when my baby would start crying, I didn't get irritated because I was distracted by the fear!"
#4 Document hubby's snoring At a certain point, you need a major distraction for those all-nighters. So, yes, start a video journal of your hubby's snores. If he's not the type who gets easily offended, he will get a laugh out of it, too. We don't recommend sharing on social media though.
#5 Challenge yourself to a game of Sudoku Force your sleepy head to solve puzzles. Once you get the hang of it, you'll get through the hours without even noticing it. The only problem, according to Mommy Marianne Bernadette Garcia, "Kaso after makatulog ni baby di na ako antukin kasi na addict na sa paglalaro [the problem is, after the baby slept I couldn't go to sleep anymore because I got so hooked on the game ]," she says with a laugh.
#6 Learn a new language Like we said, keep your mind stimulated. Download a language learning app on your phone, which you can listen to while feeding the little one. Who knows your bébé d'amour too could pick up a word or two. And you can pass on your baby to your husband when it's his turn in the morning in style, "Care for my bebe por pavor?"
#7 Have pica-pica party for one For some people, keeping yourself awake means a bowl of pica pica by the bedside. "I used to eat peanuts. They say it also boosts your breast milk, so that's a plus," Mommy Arianne Madrilejos shares. And no, you don't have to stick to just peanuts, which brings us to the next tip.
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Start a video journal of your hubby's snores.
#8 Treat yourself to some sweet bites Desperate times call for desperate measures. Mommy Cherry Crisostomo recalls spending hours on website Reddit and munching on chewy cereal bars while in bed. "I remember eating choco banana flavored ones. Masamid-samid ako sa tamis. I had to force myself to be wide awake to chew on them and swallow properly," Cherry recalls, laughing.
#9 Chat with a friend overseas on a different time zone Waking up your husband, your one true reliever who'll take over for a few hours isn't the best idea. But thanks to technology, you can now fight sleepiness off by annoying people overseas who are in a different time zone. Do this every night and pretty soon that friend will realize what you're doing. And then she just may willingly help you keep sleepiness at bay by keeping you entertained and stimulated with gossip at three in the morning.
#10 Get up, move around and do some jumping jacks When coffee isn't working anymore, the best thing to do is get the blood flowing through your body to keep you awake. And, no, we don't mean a full workout routine, but just a quick walk around the house while lulling the baby to sleep. You can also do some jumping jacks and wash your face with cold water.
The key to surviving the energy-sapping and sanity-testing early days of motherhood is to remind yourself it won't be like this forever. There is light at the end of your puyatan journey—in a few months your baby will start establishing a regular sleep schedule, and he'll start sleeping soundly through the night. But until then keep your pica-pica, coffee, and Netflix close.