9 Bizarre Mistakes Sleep-Deprived Moms Make

by Leigh Anderson
Originally Published: 

No mother gets though the baby and toddler stage without losing some shut-eye. And when you’re short on sleep…well, you might be able to function on a basic level—feed the baby, change diapers, maybe even pay a bill or two—but you’re not exactly living your best life. Mistakes will be made. My awesome, supportive Facebook moms’ group recently shared the most absurd things we’ve done due to fatigue. Below, the nine most ridiculous screw-ups moms make due to sleep deprivation.

1. Language-related screw-ups. You may find yourself stuck in opposite world, where your brain retrieves the opposite word than you intend, e.g., “Okay bye! See you yesterday!” or “Excuse me for a moment, I’m going upstairs to eat the baby.” You even ask another mother how old her baby was when he was born.

2. Shoe-related screw-ups. You may leave the house with two different shoes on, while wearing slippers, or without shoes at all. You may care so little that you don’t even bother to turn around and go home—you just teach the class or sit through the meeting with your fuzzy bunny slip-ons front and center.

3. General clothing screw-ups. You’ll go to the store in your pajamas. You may struggle to get a dress on and attribute its tightness to weight gain, and endure the weird constriction around the neck and the binding around the upper arms—in fact, you may even play an entire violin concert like that, as my friend did, before realizing the dress is on backwards. Or, as I did, you may try to put on a pair of your son’s underpants. He’s five and weighs 40 pounds. I am 41 and weigh…something more than that.

4. Coffee-related screw-ups. You may run the coffee maker with no coffee in it and wonder why the coffee is all water. You may pour the grinds from the grinder directly into your cup, bypassing the coffee maker entirely, and then wonder why you’re eating grit. You may forget to turn it on entirely and then collapse into a weepy puddle.

5. Sensory screw-ups. You will say, “Where’s the baby carrier? I want to pack it for our trip,” while you are wearing the carrier—and holding the baby.

6. Generally forgetful screw-ups. You might find yourself standing in the living room with dental floss in your hand and have no clue as to why, as you’d given up on flossing ages ago. You wonder if perhaps you were trying to hang yourself.

7. Laundry screw-ups. You put a load in but forget the soap. You put the clothes in the dryer but forget to turn it on. You put a shopping bag of groceries, including a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of vinegar, through the wash cycle.

8. Perception screw-ups. You will look at the clock to try to time a feeding and not be able to figure out which way the hands are moving.

9. Name screw-ups. You’ll call your friends by their kids’ names. You’ll call your kids by their siblings’ names. Or, like my friend did, you’ll sing a lullaby to your baby, but forget your baby’s name and just use someone else’s. Got to hurry up and get that kid to bed. After all, you need some sleep, too.

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