Our friends came to stay with us over the weekend. They’re actually not just friends, we consider them family. We’ve always been able to talk openly and honestly. So, come Sunday lunch we got chatting about how much kids change your relationship.
You know it’s bad when you’re both arguing about who is more tired”, said my wise friend.
I knew the subject was destined to be a blog post because I can’t even tell you how many times Hubby and I have done this. Especially during those newborn twin days. At one point it was almost like we were keeping track of how much sleep the other had had. One of us would recall that thirty minute nap from three weeks ago and bitterly throw it in the others face.
My go to was always reminding Michael that I didn’t sleep very well during the girls pregnancy. Oh, and also having had two small people ripped from my abdomen followed by four blood transfusions and breastfeeding so clearly he was – and will always be – more well rested than me.
It’s kinda’ funny how you can have energy to argue but not much left in the tank to do much more than that.
TIRED OF ADVICE
I HATED whenever anyone casually told me to sleep when the (tiny) baby sleeps. I mean, has anyone actually done that? By the time they’re out and you make yourself some lunch, go to the toilet and maybe hang out that washing, nap time is over anyway.
In all honesty, it has gotten easier as they’ve got bigger and therefore have longer sleeps. But still, I’ve got a house to tidy and clean and meals to make – and trust me when I say that that is the bare minimum. We’re now at the point where Little Man doesn’t sleep in the day and the girls are starting to wake earlier. I’ve incorporated quiet time instead but still, I’m running on empty come midday.
PND OR JUST SLEEP DEPRIVATION?
Like we all discussed over lunch, even if you don’t have mental health issues, severe sleep deprivation is more than enough to send you a bit la-la. Small issues become massive and who can you blame but each other?
For obvious reasons, no one really openly empathises when the media reports on a baby being shook. But, truthfully, I get how it could happen sometimes. (For the sake of the internet I want to make it very clear that I don’t, and will never, condone violence against children.)
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has had to leave a screaming baby in the cot because you just can’t face going back in there. I know I won’t be the only one who has felt so frustrated, helpless and exhausted that it’s momentarily hard to control where to direct it. You’re not a bad parent for recognising the fact you need to take a moment and a step back. We’ve all been there and I do think a good nights sleep could fix a lot of the negativity that can happen in the early days.
BUT I guess that’s the catch-22 and ultimately part of the experience. The commonality that binds all parents, young and old. A shared understanding that friendships, compassion and support can be built on. Not forgetting to mention the recognition and appreciation for certain family relationships either.
As one of us had to put a child to sleep, and one had to fetch an early riser. Both disrupting our short but pleasant lunch. There was a general feeling that we still wouldn’t have it any other way. We dutifully and lovingly tended to our babies needs, and exhausted or not, we would all continue to do so.