Posts Tagged ‘exhausted mum’
I write from a miserable place tonight. While DS has always been an early riser, waking between 5am and 6am even on the weekends, the last week in particular has been very, very tough.
DS has taken it upon himself to pop into our room at night for any reason he fancies – he needs a tissue, wants some more water, has a blocked-up nose, is scared of the dark, a dinosaur’s chasing him. And, while DH is blessed with the innate ability to ignore him and sleep on, I’m an insomniac. It’s always quick and easy to settle DS, but waking me up at 3am means I won’t get back to sleep before 4.30am (if I’m lucky).
And then DS has been waking up, for good, around 5.30am (sometimes 5.15am for a treat on a Friday) – and coming in to bother me. Last night, for example, he had me up at 3.50am, 4.10am, 4.50am and then, finally, 5.45am. I didn’t sleep a wink after 3.50am.
So I’m averaging 4 to 5 hours’ sleep a night – and I’m a 10-hour girl. I adore DS (as DH will testify) but I’m starting to dread the sound of his precious little feet plopping across the hallway. It fills my heart with despair, dread and the sort of wild desperation that really belongs on soap operas.
I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve tried threats, shouting and punishments, and I’ve tried treats, cajoling and bribery. I’ve filled his room with toys, books, breakfast and even the iPad, begging him to play until I call him. I’ve tried to train him with the Gro clock (“Mummy? My clock’s broken, it’s still blue.”).
But no: He wakes up and he wants mummy. I’ve explained that mummy’s a better mummy when she’s left to sleep; that a mummy woken too early will be a shouty mummy. I’ve even threatened to sleep in a hotel until he gets used to me not being there.
As I dissolved into helpless tears at 6am this morning, begging DH for ideas on how to cope, my darling husband handled it in his own inimitable way.
“Do you fancy doing the school run this morning?” he asked as I sobbed, hair all over the place in my crappy round-the-house shorts. DH’s mouth twitched upwards into a suppressed smile. “In the fog? … I thought you might like to show off your puffy, crying-face to the other mums?”
His face looked so cheeky I couldn’t help but giggle.
If I tell DD one thing in life, I’ll tell her to marry a man who can make her laugh. It’s the only thing that’s getting me through at the moment.
DH was like a little kid when he came home from the office last Thursday night.
“Long weekend!” he sighed as he sank into the sofa. “No work till Monday!”
“Yay! No school on Sunday!” yelled the kids, jumping about with glee. “What can we do, mummy? Cinema? Play area? Play dates? Swimming!”
And you know what? If anyone deserves a long weekend, it’s my DH. He routinely puts in an 11-hour day – often a 13-hour day – and didn’t get a day off at all last weekend. While I know he enjoys his job, I’m still grateful to him for being the main wage-earner.
“But,” a small, unentitled voice within me whispered, “what about me? I am quite royally knackered, too, and I would give my back teeth for a long lie-in and a little time ‘off’.”
As the housewife of the family, I’m the one who holds everything together; the one who keeps the cogs turning; the family well-fed; the bills paid; the a/c working; the pool clean; and the house ticking over. I’m the one who gets the flights booked; the suitcases packed; the homework done; the cars serviced; and the social life organised – the one who maintains the rhythm of our happy house – but when do I ever get a three-day weekend?
Actually, come to think about it, when do I get a “weekend” at all?
My working days are 13 hours long, seven days a week, and they’re not spent in an air-conditioned office. They’re spent running from pillar to post in 40+ degrees of heat, soaked in sweat and usually dragging various children with me, wrestling them into car seats, listening to their screams, wiping their tears, adjudicating their fights, toiling over a hot stove to make dinners that are thrown back at me – and trying to be “fun” as well.
And a three-day weekend for me means nothing more than an extra day of the above when, really, the kids should be at school – and I have to get my “other job” done on top of doing all the above.
No wonder I’m so blinkin’ knackered.