I have a confession to make.
I secretly hate parents of babies who sleep through the night.
Ok, maybe hate is a bit of a strong word. I don’t actually hate them; it is more that sometimes I want to punch them in the face. I am aware this is wrong and I apologise to all my friends with sleepy babies.
It is simply a result of exhausted irritation and just plain jealousy.
You can spot them a mile off. They nearly always have smiles on their faces, neat hair and matching socks. They usually have a massive changing bag containing little pots of homemade baby food, spare bibs, toys and neatly folded muslin cloths that haven’t gone grey. They DO not and NEVER would have an oversized handbag in which they have quickly thrown a few nappies, wipes and a packet of biscuits before rushing out of the house.
They arrive early for the parent and baby groups that always start at stupid o clock in the morning, and are bright-eyed and eager to join in the songs with aplomb.
They will usually be wearing ironed baby grows (I haven’t used an iron since 2010) complete with matching hat and with no ground-in yellow poo stains. They are almost always well-behaved sorts, playing happily with toys or (more often than not) asleep in their pram/car seat, while mummy or daddy enjoys a cup of tea and a chat.
TO ALL PARENTS OF BABIES THAT SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT…
PLEASE, spare a thought for us victims of the Sleep Stealers. You can’t miss us. We are usually at least an hour late for the baby groups- if we make it at all. But please forgive our tardiness. With exhaustion clouding our once fine memories, we have normally had to go back into the house from the car at least three times to retrieve some forgotten item before we can finally hit the road. We won’t have had time to dry our hair and we will probably have baby vomit/snot on one shoulder. If you look closely you will spot a manic ‘if I can just get through the day with my babies still in one piece I will be happy’ look in our eyes.
So, please do not complain too much because your normally sleeps-twelve-hours-a-night bundle of joy woke you up once for a drink, or about the night you only got five hours sleep when your little darling was teething, because it will probably make us cry…or punch you in the face.
In the spirit of confessions, there are just a few more things I need to get off my chest:
I have told people my baby is teething when she is just being a pain in the arse.
I have closed my eyes and tried to sneak in a sleep while in the queue in the supermarket.
I blame everything on sleep-deprivation. Even on days when I am not that tired. While things like missing appointments, forgetting people’s names, breaking crockery, being late, cooking inedible dinners and my house being a mess are usually a result of exhaustion; sometimes they are just down to my own stupidity.
I often leave the house wearing clothes that have baby snot or vomit on them. If anyone mentions it I pretend to be truly horrified that I hadn’t seen it before I came out.
I have claimed my baby is sick to get out of a social occasion.
When my kids are being particularly hard work I stick my fingers up at them when they are not looking.
I sometimes watch my husband sleeping peacefully while I have been up all night with the baby and fantasise about punching him in the face.
I often tell my kids that noisy toys are ‘broken’.
I have squirted my breast milk in my coffee when I have run out of regular milk. (If you are thinking of trying this I would suggest milk before coffee to avoid a scolded nipple. I learnt the hard way).
I don’t bother changing my bed covers if the baby urinates, throws up or poos on my husband’s side.
I have eaten food straight out of the tin because I couldn’t be bothered to wash up a pan or bowl.
I wear the same pair of socks until they smell. This can be anything up to a week.
I never wash my bras.
I swear a lot. Now I have kids and can’t openly swear, I feel the need to curse more than ever. On a good day I do it under my breath, on a bad day I lock myself in the bathroom, flush the chain and let off some sweary steam.
I once tried sucking a dummy because I couldn’t sleep while the baby slept. It didn’t work. I tried dunking it in whisky. It still didn’t work.
I have drank wine before breastfeeding my daughter at night to see if it would help her sleep (it didn’t).
I bribe my toddlers with biscuits or chocolate on a regular basis – two more victims of obese Britain.
I have dropped stuff on the baby’s head while I have tried to do other things while breastfeeding. For example: spaghetti bolognese, my phone, wine and an ice cream.
I breastfed my second baby for two years was not because of the health benefits like people assumed – but because I was too lazy to wean her.
I only shave my legs when hair starts to pop through my leggings.
I moan about them, swear at them, lie to them and they keep me up all night, but my biggest confession of all? I bloody love my kids. I love being a mum and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I feel really, really pleased when friends with ‘good sleepers’ have one bad night with the baby.
I have tried to teach the toddler the clean/get me things game. The dream is to raise her as my servant. The way I see it – she owes me.
I once let the toddler chew a (clean) Tampax so I could get five minutes peace.
I moan about them, swear at them, lie to them and they keep me up all night, but my biggest confession of all? I bloody love my kids. I love being a mum and I wouldn’t change a thing!
I am not proud of myself. Am I a bad parent? I hope not. It is a matter of survival. I like to believe that if I wasn’t so shattered I would spend my days preparing homemade baby food, ironing baby grows and making spaceships out of cereal boxes. Maybe….