ZZZZZZZZZZZ I am tired. The tiredness where you cannot be bothered to eat properly, make a cup of tea, go out the house or tidy up. My eyes sting, my joints ache and I think of my bed every 10 seconds. Yes, welcome to parenthood my mum says! All very different in her day with being a full time mum. Not that I take away from any stay at home mum or dad – whether working full time or not. Managing many roles and bringing up little one is one big lesson in multitasking fatigue.
I have never felt so tired in my whole life…in fact, ever since the day I became a mum, I think I pretty much gave up my idea of having a selfish indulgent sleepy day. After a busy weekend of house cleaning, supermarket shopping with Finley (he is at the stage where he helps me load the trolley and tells me off for buying things I apparently ‘don’t need’), Fathers day and social engagements; my husband and I discussed what on earth did we did with our weekends and evenings before Finley came.
I have misty memories of long gym sessions, shopping spree’s, weekend breaks, bike rides along the seafront, dinners out, sunbathing in the garden, 3 night weekends partying, expensive holidays and hours sleeping in bed. Either out of choice or to get rid of hangover hell. We were selfish, indulgent, healthy and totally chilled out. Boy – those were the good old days.
Only now do I realise how amazing that time was and if I am honest, we totally wasted it. We talked about travelling to Australia, going on a ranch holiday, taking up running….we never did it. I didn’t take up an evening class (I am desperate to learn to sew and make clothes), go for hikes or walks, go to concerts….just really did not appreciate this time in my life.
Now, the evenings and weekends are full of mad, fun and enlightening conversations, days out on trikes and scooters, zoo’s, local activity centers (soft play is enough to put any teenager off having kids – it even puts me off hahaha), filled days painting, dressing up, making train tracks and in Finley’s younger days; long leisurely walks with the pram, long lunches out in blissful happiness or days cuddled in bed staring at this new person in our lives.
We have friends now that we relate to and can discuss the toils and troubles of life with child. A deeper relationship that doesn’t revolve around what your wearing Saturday night (although I do have these conversations when I get to let me hair down with the girls – my get ready time is now down to 30 minutes). You definitely learn to prioritise time with a little one. I can now make a victoria sponge, roast dinner and entertain a 2 year old with ease (just a snapshot of my mothers day).
No one prepares you for the tiredness – even in the late stages of pregnancy; you don’t get the sleep you need. Your body prepares your for the first few months of sleep deprivation and I truly think that because of this, those lazy days are long gone. Well, until the kids have flown the nest and you can jet off on fancy holidays, to your Malaga holiday home or on 21 night cruises (well here’s hoping).
But even though I could fall asleep at a moments notice, I dont. I have accepted that is the way it is and do my best to crack on. Its hard, and everyone i speak to admit the same. Makes me wonder if having kids post 30 has something to do with it? I know a few young mums in their 20’s juggling college, job and motherhood with ease and in size 10 jeans.
How can we beat the tiredness? I really don’t know. What I do know is that late Saturday nights partying with the girls result in 3 days hangovers. A lie in now means staying in best to 8.30am and a night off involved talking pretty much about the kids and falling asleep over a romantic dinner. Now, don’t joke – this nearly happened to us. Finley was aT Nanny’s and we fancied a posh meal out with wine. We got to pudding, declined the coffee (we did not want to hinder any sleep) and caught a cab. By 11pm we were snoring in our bed making the most of this rare night out. By 9am we were climbing the walls to get fin back home – we didn’t want to clean, cook, tidy up, do the housework. It also didn’t feel right being away from him – when we knew we needed our sleep? Glutton’s? yes totally.
Working full time is difficult too – for me, I get so tired by 9pm. So early nights and long baths to recoup my energy is much needed. I kind of miss my part time days when finley would also nap (the afternoon nap went last year) in the afternoon leaving me to catch up on some sleep or my Mad Men Box Set 🙂
We now take the tiredness and use it for lazy nights in watching films, snuggling in bed and taking it in turns for an extra lie in.
My top tip for new mums? I got Finley into a routine around 3 months so when he was due a nap, I knew I could too. Now some mums don’t want a routine and that’s 100% each mum’s choice so I would strongly recommend you sleep when they do.
Get down to the swimming pool – not only will it get little one used to being in the water, it really does tire them out!
I know my son is shattered after a fun day at the park or on the beach (we luckily live by one) so getting kids outdoors running around is a great way to get that energy burned! And its healthy 🙂
Nice long walks in the pram, baby play dates and baby classes. I remember after every Baby Sensory and Messy Play class, Fin would zonk out for 2 hours – sometimes 3! It was heaven as I would snuggle him in bed with me and have a doze. If I woke earlier, would potter around the house cleaning and getting some jobs done whilst he then slept in his cot. Aahhhhh I miss those days!
I also started eating better – Breakfast for one and herbal teas for another. I tried hard to pack lots of fruit and berries into my diet along with vegetables, pasta/grains and lean meats. I started sleeping better and having a routine with Fin helped us share food and mealtimes too!
Remember that when your little on reaches their teenage years, you can rest assured that the payback will happened! For now, its exhausting work for all of us but totally worth it