Love For The Mama Chats to Emily Jane AKA Stolen Sleep
Something exciting is happening for Emily Jane. This lovely mama of two is also known as Stolen Sleep on Instagram and she has written a book called Sleep is for the Weak, a book on How to survive when your baby won't go the Fzzk to sleep, which is out in May. I and many other mothers can relate to Emily-Jane's experience of sleep deprivation but the Stolen Sleep writer turned her non-existent sleep torture into something that could give hope, humour and inspiration to others who are going through the same thing. I will let this talented Mama do the talking and let her tell you her story...
1. When did you become a Journalist and Writer?
I got my first job on local newspaper after I finished university, then worked as a feature writer on magazines until I had babies, stopped sleeping and everything changed…
2. Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
I have always kept diaries and written little stories and plays butI actually wanted to be an actress! That is until I moved to London to seek my fortune and ended up working in Mcdonalds. I did three years as a holiday park entertainer (Red Coat!) until I decided to get a degree in English and drama to fall back on, you know, ‘just in case’ I didn’t make it in Hollywood! It was as a student I decided I preferred writing words to acting them out (basically i was a bit crap at acting).
3. When you became a mother, did this change your attitude towards working?
YES! I planned to go back to work after six weeks. Seriously, SIX! I was an idiot. Six weeks went by and I was still in my pyjamas! So I planned on six months…six months later I was still in my pyjamas. My baby didn’t sleep so I didn’t sleep and things were MUCH tougher than I had envisaged! I was severely sleep deprived, overwhelmed and ended up becoming really ill with PND. In the end I decided I would rather be skint for a while rather than stress myself out trying to go out to work on barely any sleep. Money was really tight but I had to put my mental health first. I had to take care of myself so that I could take care of my baby.
4. Why did you decide to write Sleep is for the Weak?
Both of my babies laughed in the face of sleep from the beginning. I bought all the books and tried everything in the hope of getting a few hours of respite, but the more I tried, the more stressed I became. The more I felt like a failure. It eventually took its toll on my mental health, my marriage and my work. I didn’t need any more advice. I needed to know that this was normal, my baby was normal and that people actually survive this torture!
By the time my second sleep-hating baby arrived, I had decided that enough was enough. I stocked up on coffee, threw out all the parenting manuals and vowed that although I would probably be tired for the foreseeable future, I would no longer let it define me. I would make peace with it, talk about it and try to find humour in it. So I launched my blog stolensleep.com and started to write a book that would provide hope, humour and inspiration (NOT advice) to exhausted mums AND dads!
5. What can readers expect when they get their copy?
Hopefully something to make them smile after being up all night with the baby!
6. When and how did you write this book? Did you do it on your maternity leave or in your spare time? In the middle of the night?
A lot of it was written in my head during those long nights up with the baby. I kept a notebook by my bed and scribbled down random thoughts in the early hours – so at least the sleepless nights came in useful! Then it was down to snatching any spare minute I could type up the manuscript.
7. How did you feel when you got the book deal?
Weird!! I think until I actually hold the book in my hand it’ll feel like a dream!
8. How do you relax when you are not working?
I mostly hide from the kids and drink wine.
9. What's do you hope for, for the rest of 2017?
Well, most importantly we need to find somewhere to live (landlord is selling up so we need to be out of the only house our kids have known by JUNE) so trying not to panic… Then more writing! I have written a sitcom so I am currently working on that and also a dark comic novel about motherhood and apparent psychopaths – loosely based on my own experiences.
10. What's the best part of being a mother?
Potato waffles, gaining the ability to kick arse and I suppose the kids are kind of cute ;)