CONFESSIONS OF A TIRED MOTHER’S MIND

CONFESS

 CONFESSIONS OF A TIRED MIND

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 I am clearly just jealous.

THE PARENTS   

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.

THE BABIES   

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:

1. Sometimes I realise that I have baby snot/vomit on my clothes just before I leave the house but can’t be bothered to go and get changed. If someone spots it, I pretend to be truly horrified that I hadn’t noticed it before I came out.

2. I feel really, really pleased when friends with ‘good sleepers’ have had a bad night due to baby teething/colds etc.

3. I once squirted my own breast milk into my coffee because I was too tired to walk two minutes to the shop and buy some milk.  (If you are thinking of trying this I would suggest milk before coffee to avoid a scolded nipple. I learnt the hard way).

4. I have occasionally not changed my own bed sheets after the baby has urinated, puked or pooed on them (and sometimes all three), when it is on husband James’ side.

5. 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.

6. When pushing the pram around the park after a bad night, I sometimes see if I can close my eyes for a few minutes on the straight bits.

7. One night I had such bad insomnia I tried sucking a dummy to get myself to sleep. It didn’t work. I tried dunking it in whisky. It still didn’t work.

8. I let the toddler do annoying things in the hope of getting five minutes peace. For example; pour my tea into every available receptacle, spit her water into every available receptacle, take all the books out of the shelves, take everything out of the cupboards, rip up an entire toilet roll, smear peanut butter all over the coffee table and her personal favourite, taking all of the baby wipes out of the packet.

9. I once let the toddler play with the telephone for the same reason. I stupidly assumed she would not work out how to ring anyone until the police turned up at the door.  Apparently, 999 is an easy number to dial.

10. I sometimes bribe the toddler with biscuits or chocolate – another victim of obese Britain?

11. I have dropped stuff on the baby’s head when I have been trying to do other things while breastfeeding.  For example; a sandwich, my phone and an ice cream.

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….

Feel free to share your confessions here (basically to make me feel better about myself) or join me on Facebook or Twitter if you fancy it…


40 thoughts on “CONFESSIONS OF A TIRED MOTHER’S MIND

  1. Emily-Jane, as you’re aware, I know nothing of babies, their causes, or their effects. But I’m sure you’re a good mother, a good wife and a good person.
    Tinkles x

  2. Enjoying your blog,.
    You know those parents who tell you their babies sleep through? I think they are making it up – sleep deprivation has sent them into a crazy cycle of over functioning.
    I have ignored potty training for so long (all her friends were done months ago) now my daughter has started asking to go to the loo. so it’s a win for slack parenting!

  3. Just came across your blog, love your writing style. I feel bad for you that your children don’t like sleeping. I am not going to lie to you, my son loves sleep HOWEVER, as much as I love sleep, my body or my mind has other ideas because I almost never sleep through the night. I am so used to being tired that I am totally used to it, I have very little energy and eat too much and am very lazy, so I totally understand, everything you said I have done at least once!

    • Thanks! You do get used to it! The fuzzy head, the forgetfulness, the anxiety, the headaches! It is amazing how little sleep we can function on when we need to. Sometimes I think if I ever ever get 8 or even 5, actually I would be happy with 4 hours at the moment, I will literally be capable of taking over the world. Maybe. Although by then it is quite possible my brain will have turned to play dough.

  4. My daughter didn’t sleep through the night till she was 2. She arrived after 4 sleepless nights of contractions (they wouldn’t call it labour till the last night), so I was not at my best when the whole thing started. And I was over 40. I do not recommend having babies after 30 (the last year I had boundless energy). There was a stage when I wanted to write a book about all the different types of tiredness, but I was too tired. Seven years later, I can’t remember what they all were, though the “I’m not actually safe to drive” version sticks in my mind.

    It is amazing what can be done on two one-and-a-half-hour stretches of sleep (i.e., keep a squalling and helpless human being alive).

    I, too, used to hate (or was it envy or disbelieve) the parents of children who slept through the night from 6 weeks. I used to love it when something, ANYthing went wrong with their kids. Then I felt guilty. Now I just don’t believe all the perky stories.

    I have finally given up on wishing I could get it “right” like Friend A or Friend B, and I now totally embrace the Survival method of parenting. Anything to get through the day!

    It did actually get better. DD now sometimes sleeps until — wait for this — 8 a.m.! Now my sleep deprivation is my own fault, and I face new parenting challenges.

    • Thanks! I have since discovered that yes, those perky stories- not always true! And also yes, on two hours I can feed, clothe and keep safe two babies- just about. On four hours I may just be able to do all this, get myself dressed and cook something
      other than fish fingers! I think when you are tired it is all too easy to beat ourselves up about what we haven’t got done we forget to give ourselves credit for the things we have achieved!

    • Thanks! I have since discovered that yes, those perky stories- not always true! And also yes, on two hours I can feed, clothe and keep safe two babies- just about. On four hours I may just be able to do all this, get myself dressed and cook something
      other than fish fingers! I think when you are tired it is all too easy to beat ourselves up about what we haven’t got done we forget to give ourselves credit for the things we have achieved!

  5. Just been sitting here with my 4 month old baby finallllyyyy asleep on me after being awake most of the day and waking me up every 2 hours throughout pretty much his whole life. I love your blogs!!! I can relate so much. I’m scared to move incase he wakes so might just be lazy and see what’s on tv :) x

    • I know that feeling! And it is not being lazy. It is survival! You have to take the rest while you can. Unfortunately, i can’t do this with my second as the Toddler does not take kindly to me getting any form of rest! Thanks, always good to hear from fellow ‘victims’!

  6. Confession 11 left me laughing for about 10 mins because I have done that so many times! I’m sure for the first 5 weeks of life my son didn’t close his eyes once… the next 8 months he woke constantly and from then one out he’ll decide to only sleep at inconvenient times… he loves a 5pm nap!!

    • ha yes I am starting to think they do it on purpose. My will never sleep when I want them to, yet as soon as we need to go out/just before dinner etc they decide this is the perfect time for a snooze!

  7. Am currently ‘allowing’ my toddler a special treat… to watch tree foo Tom, whilst I stand and sway my 6 week old hopefully to sleep in the vain hope of 5 minutes peace.
    Loving the blog especially when rocking and swaying LO in middle of the night and feel the need to know its not just me!
    Just have to try not to laugh too loudly!

    • Thanks! Having a baby plus toddler is hard work- and I find it definitely helps to know other people are going through the same thing! Good luck getting five minutes peace my friend.

  8. Dammit, this made me laugh so hard I woken sleeping baby! Who will only sleep on me! At 6 months, we have finally graduated to waking every 2 hrs- it was prev every 45 mins. Somehow I feel worse, not better? I guess I was never fully on deep sleep before….my 20lb baby also needs at least 30 mins of bouncing before closing eyes…mummy’s back is nearly broken! I tell myself that number 2 literally can’t be worse, right? Right?!

  9. Loved reading this haha
    Well im one of those hateable mums. Mine both slept through from 8weeks old, I bring homemade food everywhere and im always dressed okay (ducks for cover) BUT it might help to realise that sleepless babies arent the only ones who make early parenting a challenge. You see what you sleep deprived super-mums see when you step into playgroup is an on-time chirpy mum with giggly kids, joining in the songs and helping out etc. And yes, praising there kids for sleeping through… but what you dont see, (and it isnt mentioned because we dont want to burden others with our stories when your already dealing with your own stuff!) Is that one of her kids had colic for the first 4 months of life. Screaming for 4 hours straight daily (no wonder she slept through the night!!) And the other kid was born with a medical condition which required weekly trips to the hospital, plaster casts, an operation on a baby who was only 2 months old and ongoing treatment till they turn 4. So this mumma is smiling and happy because yes, she gets to sleep, and also, the colic is finished and the hospital visits have ceased. This mumma joins in with the songs and so on because shes savoring every positive moment she can with those kids… and, shes punctual and packed with everything but the kitchen sink because she HAS to be since she lives at least 35 mins from any destination she goes to.

    So in conclusion, even mums with sleepy babies can totally relate to this post :-) im exhausted emotionally and physically but try to be a cup half full person for those who are walking zombies. You NEED us and we need you… mums unite! XoXo

    • I agree! Thanks for the comment. Every baby comes with its own set of challenges and EVERY parent haS their own fair share of sleepless nights, whether it be waking babies or worry or both! sounds like you have had your fair share of that- so keep on singing! Xxx

  10. Emily Jane,
    I’m so glad I found your blog! I have stayed up to read it instead of forcing myself to sleep as soon as my 8 month old finally went down.
    I have not yet come across any other “sleep thief” Mothers (all the others I know have good babies)
    So instead of my nightly tears of frustration, I have literally been crying from laughing so hard reading your blog.
    Thank you!

  11. This morning my (f-ing expensive and last hope) sleep trainner quit….enough said
    Son of Satan: 1 – Trainer: 0
    Almost, nearly, but not quite, proud of him. At least he’s consistently consistent.

    • Ha ha! congratulations?! I have considered a loan to get one of those sleep trainer types! Mind you I am not sure anyone would have the guts to take on my daughter of the devil!

  12. Maybe they could marry! Annoyingly the’d probably have babies who sleep dream. If so, i wouldnt be above sneaking into the babies room at night to poke them with sticks. Ha, see how they like them apples shall we! Evil Grandma:1 – Children of the night: 0!!!

  13. Oh my – as a mother of a sleep stealing 2.6 yo I can honestly say that there is nothing more irritating to me than hearing stories of other people’s 2 month olds that sleep through the night. They are my lovely friends and I love them dearly but goodness would I like to punch them in the face! Actually what I really want is for their little darlings to NOT sleep through consistently so they feel my misery. Thank you for also thinking these mean thoughts :)

  14. I so appreciate this blog and especially loved your confessions for reassurance i am not the only one! I didn’t understand the lack of sleep first time round as my eldest slept through from 10 weeks – no lie! However she had bad reflux and it took several hours to get her to sleep. My second is healthy but wakes 2 or 3 times on a good night and 4 or 5 on a normal one at 6 months old. I would take number 2 and sleep deprivation any day over the reflux and commando style crawling out the bedroom in the hope that number 1 wouldn’t notice i’d gone.

    • Thank you! Glad it is not just me! I don’t blame you, it must have been really stressful having the reflux to worry about – especially with your first.
      ha I suspect you are also adept in the art of Ninja Parenting… My first baby was such a light sleeper she would wake up at the slightest sound as i tried to sneak out of her room!

  15. As mum to a sleep-stealing 19 month old, I can relate. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one to drop things on my child as he fed/slept in the early weeks. Personal fave was bolognaise sauce (had issues breastfeeding and one particularly bad day in week 3 had him on my chest for 4 hours straight. I didn’t move from the sofa and meals (and almost a potty) were brought to me). Trying to get spag bol stains from a white babygro is a killer!
    oh and i agree, ‘sleeps through the night’ is often a big fat lie! Going in twice a night to retrieve a lost dummy isn’t sleeping through the night. Going in rock back off to sleep quickly isn’t sleeping through the night and having to put your child in your bed at 4am otherwise they remain awake IS NOT SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! Such things you only discover after some gentle prodding about how ‘lucky’ parents manage it!

    • Oh yes my baby has had many a dinner dropped on her. However, she is now getting her revenge by grabbing everything I eat so I inevitably end up spilling it on myself!
      Ha all true I am sure!

  16. Your JK Rowling piece just made me spit out my Batchelors chicken and veg cuppa soup! (All I can afford have time for right now)
    Brilliant, I feel every word from all of your posts. You are not alone we are the normal ones.

  17. Just catching up on the back catalogue here.

    Oh wow, yes. I never did the breastmilk squirting thing but only because I never got a chance to make tea (in your face I win etc). Good tip about the scalding.

    The rest makes perfect sense. Every time I hear people complain about parents who are “lazy” because they didn’t immediately XYZ when their kids did whatever at the supermarket I transfer my hate for parents who sleep through the night over to them. It seems fair.

  18. Haha love love love your blog and the replies!
    My first two kids slept from 8wks- I was a smug mum of 2 kids who slept until no 3 came along.
    My goal for the day is to keep the kids alive….anything else is a bonus.
    And if anyone else gives me any helpful ‘tips’ on getting my toddler to sleep I may well punch them!!

  19. Brilliant, honest & funny,, that’s the reality of parenting!! I’m sitting in my pajamas plucking up the courage to iron., but I can guarantee the baby will start to cry!!

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