One day at the gym, Vander Schaaff was so tired she worried she would actually pass out. When someone called an EMT, she says it was a "wake-up call" that she had to take care of herself in addition to her child.
After writing about the experience, Vander Schaaff says she got advice from readers who told her that “the parent's number one responsibility right then is to find a way to take care of himself or herself, and then find the solution for the child, because you’re just no good to anyone if you’re that tired."
Comparing herself and her husband to "walking zombies," she tells Redd the couple "never slept for more than two hours at a time" during the worst part of the ordeal.
And what's the most ridiculous thing Vander Schaaff did to try to make her daughter sleep?
"Every parent does this, but at some point I think I drove around in the car with her in the car seat, and I went to Dunkin’ Donuts and got some really, really bad tea … and just kept driving and driving to nowhere, waiting for her to fall asleep in the car," the mom says. "Which would do me no good because I couldn’t fall asleep at that point.”