The Don't Beat Yourself Up Guide To Tiredness

Before I became a parent I knew it was going to be tiring. In my youth I enjoyed going to clubs and often danced the evening away at all nighters. Then? Would go to work in a shop in Birmingham City Centre the next day. High on pro plus, caffeine and Mars Bars. So I thought I knew 'tired'. But then I had my first child. And after there days? F*ck me. I really knew tired.

You can prepare for birth, or bathing your child for the first time and even have a good idea of what breastfeeding will be like. But nothing on earth prepared me for the pure exhaustion. The soul destroying, mind blowing exhaustion that filled every tiny bit of me mind, body and soul. I was in a trance like state. And even now four years on servere tiredness can still rear it's ugly head. For example in a heat wave? Kids don't sleep. If they have chicken pox? Kids don't sleep. And whilst they have the amazing ability to bounce back like aliens from another planet? I am left destroyed. 

Not sleeping

I snap. I shout at my husband. I grumble. I am mean shouty teacher Mummy. Sometimes I would sit down, have a little cry and go "I'm just soooooooooooo tireeeeeeeeed". I would moan and generally do anything I could to express to the world that I. Was. Knackered. Which must have made me a right bore. But I just couldn't help it.

As a Mother we sometimes (whispers) can be a little bit of a martyr. We feel that we should be running on empty. That we should be experiencing real heartache and pain whilst looking after our little ones. But? I am telling you now. You don't have to! You don't have to be ready to drop to your knees! You...can...wait for it...have a little rest. You are entitled to it. F*ck the washing up! If your baby is having a nap and your house is a state? Sod it. Get an hours kip and save your sanity.

STILL not sleeping

Make sure you ask for help. Get your other half to watch the kiddos for the afternoon whilst you enjoy luscious snoozing. Perhaps your Mum could help out. Or maybe one night. Go to bed when the children go to bed. Have a week of evenings where you intend to do absolutely nothing. Explain to your husband or boyfriend or partner that "I am sorry this week you are not my main priority. This week? Sleep will be my only friend".

Much like 'Me Time' when you need some escapism and a space to feel like yourself again. 'Sleep Time' is equally important. And good quality sleep. Not 'one eye on the Moses basket the other eye checking your toddler is OK' sleep. I mean 'find a quiet bed in your house (hey the couch will do!), shove in ear plugs, relinquish responsibility and hardcore dream about Gary Barlow' sleep. And I promise you if if you do this every few weeks in that first exhausting year you will be able survive and shouty Mum will only come out when your toddler draws on the couch.*

*I am typing this on recently blue felt riddled seat, seething.
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