For the last 8 years I have been woken up multiple times every night by one of my children. I have had times where I have been on my knees with sleep deprivation, and feeling completely desperate for rest.
My personal life has suffered, my self esteem has suffered, my career has suffered.
These are the challenges of being a parent. These are the challenges of trying to hold down a career, or run your own business, when the fog of sleep deprivation is so thick, you can barely make it through the day.
Pre-kids when you're tired, you have an early night and a late morning, and bingo! You're refreshed. When you haven't slept in months-years, it feels impossible to refill that reservoir. One good night's sleep barely scratches the surface.
The uncertainty of not knowing every time you go to bed, how many times you will be woken in the night, and the not knowing what time your day will start for good each day, can make you feel incredibly powerless.
And it's not for trying. I've tried the controlled crying technique - I didn't like it / agree with it / feel comfortable with it. I tried cranial therapy, homeopathy, falling asleep with them, bedtime routine etc etc. In fact for my eldest, it was kinesiology that finally worked when he was 3.5 years old (but that's a whole other wonderful story).
Luckily my just turned 4 year old was never as bad as my first - he doesn't wake up screaming in fear in the night, he wakes up moaning and stirring, and then settles back very quickly, often without any input from me. But of course I'm already awake then.
I've been through phases of getting depressed about it, feeling like a failure, and wondering what I have done so differently to my friends which means my children don't magically sleep through the night.
As I write this today, my youngest has slept through solidly for the last 5 nights...result!!! The fog is lifting and I can feel the real 'me' slowly emerging... the energetic me, the not constantly exhausted me, the ambitious me. Is this the start of proper sleep for all of us...?!
So when people ask why I created Making Mumpreneurs just for mums - this is why. We have a very unique set of challenges that we face trying to build a business around our families. And I get it. And I'm here to listen.