On the Couch with Jasminda



Do you have a pressing problem, annoying anxiety or community conundrum? Jasminda Featherlight, our resident roving Agony Aunt, is here to help. Jasminda will be responding to questions from our News Of The Area papers on a rotating basis. Send your concerns to Jasminda care of edit@mcnota.com.au and include your title, initials and suburb.

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Dear Jasminda,
I adore my newborn, but she won’t sleep and I am suffering from severe sleep deprivation. It means I’m having trouble doing anything fun during the day because I am too tired.
Help! Mrs KF, Medowie

Dear Mrs KF,
Sleep deprivation is horrendous whether it is from working night shifts, waiting up for wayward teenagers or looking after an elderly relative. A newborn takes it to a whole new level. The exhaustion can make you feel as though you are walking on air. Your brain doesn’t run on all cylinders and it can be hard to have the energy to find things as pleasurable as usual because you are just too fatigued.

My advice would be to let normality fly out the window for a few months. Sleep when the baby sleeps, take up babysitting offers while you get some rest, accept meals and be a bit kind to yourself. Don’t try to be Wonder Woman because from memory she didn’t have a screaming baby, mastitis and vomit-stained clothes to contend with.

That feeling of sinking into an exhausted stupor can take the shine off motherhood. I remember in those days feeling like I could give my babies to the highest bidder, or even the lowest bidder, in fact on some days I would have gratefully paid someone to take the darlings off my hands for a week. My daughter, an insomniac, almost broke me. At three am I’d say to my husband, ‘Take her away’ and to his credit he would walk our daughter around the neighbourhood or dance with her to Rage, which is probably why she now knows so many song lyrics.

This too shall pass, Mrs KF. My children are now teenagers and would happily sleep until midday if I let them. Life is calm again, well it was, until I did something really stupid and bought a puppy.

Carpe diem,

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