We had a new born, a 21-month-old and a 3-year-old having night terrors and it felt like I hadn’t slept properly in a lifetime. You’re supposed to be tired when you have a new born. It’s part of the deal that you signed up for. Snuggly night feeds with baby number 1 are actually in lots of ways such a special time (although I do remember that at the time the fear of the sleepless nights was crippling!) and you know that come morning you can just stay in bed and snuggle some more. No one was standing by your bed at 5am asking if it was time to go downstairs for breakfast or shouting for you to come and wipe their bum because they had done a poo. This picture is when Jess was about 2 days old and we were out conker collecting with Charlie and Ben because that’s what little people want to do! They don’t care if you’ve just given birth, your constantly breastfeeding or you haven’t had more than 20 minutes sleep!
Bloody hell I was tired, so was my husband. In fact, we still are. Yes, it’s true, now we don’t get woken up every 40 minutes by a new baby needing feeding, but between temperatures, nightmares, wet beds, sheets that need tucking in and falling out of bed, our house at night is like playing a game of never-ending whack a mole! One child pops up, you settle them, get back into bed and you’re just falling sleep again when another one pops up with the next ridiculous emergency. My personal favourite was Ben screaming like a banshee only to discover once I was inside his room, that he actually just had a piece of rogue snot on his finger. But in the middle of the night, you are so afraid of them waking up the others that you move like a cheetah to shush them and try and get them back to sleep before you have a full blown 2am riot on your hands.
I can count on one hand the number of unbroken night’s sleep we have had in the last 6 years – its relentless. When you are this tired, it’s hard to find the energy to eat properly, to call your friends, to do more exercise than trekking the kids up to school and back or to be much more than civil to your partner.
Life with young children is hard right? And it was hard before bloody ‘rona when we all had to do everything we did before, but now we had to add in teaching, working from home with a child using you as a climbing frame through zoom calls, without any physical support from family and friends. And I see that written into every one of my friend’s faces as they try to balance their children’s needs, childcare, doctor appointments, homework, playdates, house work, food shopping and work. I think we all need to take a minute to appreciate just how well we are doing just to stay afloat amidst the chaos of life. I think everyone who is surviving is doing a great job!
Do you know a Mum who has a lot on her plate right now? Why not send her one of these postcards and some delicious chocolate to brighten her day?