Let me begin by saying that I think everyone knows what ‘tired’ feels like, not just Mum’s. But I never knew tiredness like I did until I had a baby. A few years back I was rocking some serious dark circles due to a string of late nights and early mornings, my friend – a mother of two – watched me as I mumbled “Farrrr I am tired…” these words were muffled through a yawn. She continued to stare blankly at me and after a few seconds she said, “you know how you feel right now?” – I nodded – still yawning – “that is how you feel ALL THE TIME (there was a lot of emphasis on ‘all the time’…) when you are a Mother”, she said as she laughed at my ridiculousness. I laughed and shared that sleep deprivation was my biggest fear (hahaha I was so naive) of having a baby. Now, it is one of my fears. Luckily, we did sleep training and Amaya usually sleeps 11 – 12 hours straight a night, but that doesn’t make us ‘party through the night’ proof. Lately, Amaya has been waking up due to teething and it has taken me riiiiiight back to the beginning. As a Mother, we eventually don’t think we are feeling tired because we have adjusted to broken sleep & forget what it feels like to feel fully rested. It becomes the norm. It’s when broken sleep and lack of sleep, team up that it really knocked me for six. After a long time, the broken sleep teamed with sleep deprivation can open us up to an array 0f things – we are more susceptible to mental illness, the sleep deprivation can cause you and your partner to turn on each other, it can affect your social life, the way you see yourself and your worth….and the list really does go on.
Even though we all know what tiredness feels like, when I was suffering from sleep deprivation, the only people that I felt that truly understood my pain, were other Mothers. I mean, sure, my partner saw the tears and he heard the yelling (sorry T!), but I let him sleep, cos you know, he has to work tomorrow.
He really does have to work, and he does drive far, so I did let him sleep by choice, as I felt that he was a danger to himself and anyone else on the road, if he were sleep deprived. But what bugs me, is that people think that if you are a stay at home Mum or you are on maternity leave, that it doesn’t matter if you get no sleep because you get to stay home all day. Someone once said to me “That’s ok though, cos you don’t have to work tomorrow”. Oh yep, you are absolutely right. I get to stay in bed all day and sleep when I want. I don’t have a baby to care for, bottles to sterilize or a million spew clothes to wash.
Truth is, it’s bloody hard. It’s testing and you can feel alone at times. But it’s worth it. All of it. It’s all worth it when they kiss you for the first time, when they cuddle you, when they smile at you and when you know that their love for you is so genuine. Dark circles, no make up, spew clothes and all – they still love you. Even though we encounter challenges of all sorts, through our journey of motherhood, it makes it a lot better when you have some awesome Mumma’s walking there right beside you. You can cry because you are so tired and not feel like such a dick, you can talk about how tired you are all the time, poo and many other bodily fluids that you wear as often as you used to wear perfume and when Kmart has a new baby range, without fearing that you have become the Mum/friend you promised yourself you wouldn’t become.
Baby cuddles + wonderful friends = you can conquer anything. You got this Mumma!