No! Sleep! Til Bedtime!
I'm not gonna moan cos I promised myself I wouldn't be a moaning mummy - but OH MY GODS I am tired! I wouldn't have it any other way, I'd never sleep again to have Phoenix in my life but is it just me? Please tell me that parents every where feel like they've just been hit by a truck and then done a marathon every single day.
This tiredness started from my labour. By the time I got home from the hospital I remember thinking, all I need is a days sleep and I'll be able to heel and get back to normal. NORMAL - what the fuck is normal? That lazy ship sailed a long time ago.
Of course, that day of sleep still hasn't come and it never will. I still haven't caught up from the energy the birth and surgery took out of me and now I know that's just tough. Days of sleep and films under duvets are a thing of the past!
If you're pregnant with your first child and reading this I implore you - have as many days in bed, pleasing yourself as you can fit in. Watch as many back to back box sets as you can and phone your friends and chat to them for hours and hours because sister them days will soon be a thing of the past. Your future is so much better and you won't miss those luxuries but you will wish you had made the most of them when you had the chance.
I used to spend days just re reading Harry Potter books, Not anymore. We were addicted to watching The Walking Dead, we still haven't seen the last series now Phoenix is here. I chatted to my friends for hours on the phone. Now I make business calls while he's asleep and my friends get a whatsapp when he's in bed finally, often at 1 in the morning.
I don't really have sleepless nights anymore with Phoenix, so I don't know why I'm so tired now. I wasn't this tired when Phoenix was doing night feeds every few hours when he was tiny. I thought babies probably just got breezier and breezier as months went on and in my case, surely my life shouldbe breezier. Phoenix has slept right through til 10 am since he was 10 weeks old. You'd think I'd be skipping around rubbing other mums, whose babies don't sleep, noses in it but not me and not because I'm kind and sweet but because I am physically wrecked.
I totally get why I have the mental fatigue. I'm writing, hustling, planning new ventures and my mind is on constant overload just trying to build the best future for my baby, so he can have a worry free existence (as all children should have). Then there's cleaning the house, washing for the boys, doing the shopping and trying to make sure domestic life doesn't catch up on me as it so easily does. We all know that crash that happens when you don't put that washing load in, only to find it's raining the next day and now it's gonna be hell to get what is now two loads of washing dry. Or the way your heart sinks when you realise you haven't rinsed the bottles and got them ready to go in to the steriliser. That domestic shit alone can suck the life out of you.
Maybe it's because I don't want to do any of that stuff that I feel weary. I just want to make my little power pod baby laugh and smile at me all day. That smile is the refuel that makes me carry on though. I'll do what ever I have to just to see one of those smiles and if that means spending all day playing and all night cleaning and writing I'll take the assignment, bags under my eyes and all.
What I don't get about this exhaustion, is the physical wipe out I'm experiencing. Maybe it's my age? Maybe it's because Phoenix is already half my height and lifting him and a buggy and shopping and washing is an, all you can exert exercise buffet? I get in to bed at night and my limbs and muscles actually ache. I am bruised all over and it hurts to even think about moving.
I mean, I'm not shy of exercise, I was in Cats The Musical for gods sake! That is supposed to be the equivalent of running 8 miles a show and is a full on, full body work out.
Let me lay it down here fellow parents.
Having children is ten times more physically exhausting than doing Cats The Musical and yet you don't get the bonus of your bum getting toned taking the washing off the line or the groceries out of the car while your 11 month old hangs from your hair like you do dancing the Cats Jellicle Ball.
I'm putting it out there, doing a west end musical is a piece of piss compared to having kids. Kicking your legs up to your face ain't got nothing on lifting a buggy in an out of the boot 6 times a day. I've got friends who actually have kids and still dance for a living! Hats off to you ladies I don't know how you are not being stretchered around and yet I do know... Having a child is exhausting and being a working mum is killer but it is so worth it, somehow you just do what needs to get done, even if you are on your knees.
Children give you an energy in a way I've never known before, an energy to get things done even when you feel like you have nothing left in you. Somehow you find a tiny bit more strength to carry on. It's a super power gift they give you, it drives you on to never give in.
"It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children."
That's a quote from one of my favourite poems of all time. It is by Oriah The Mountain Dreamer, it's called, The Invitation and now I'm a parent I truly understand it and live by it.
I want to share the whole poem with you... so you can share it with your children.
"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments"
I think if you can be all those things described in the poem, things that are really not that tough to do, then you are ready to face that you are wonderfully human and you are ready to become, a very blessed and gratefully tired parent.
No! Sleep! Til Bedtime! (and maybe not even then) x