I’m bloody exhausted. It’s not even that RB is a bad sleeper. It’s just caring for newborn babies, and feeding them every few hours, regardless of the colour of the sky, is bloody exhausting. This is much harder than going to work. The cumulative effect of waking up every morning more tired than I went to sleep left me staring at the floor, zombie like. No zen, no peace, simply nothing there. I could respond if you asked me a question but it felt like I was shutting down in quiet periods to protect myself when possible.
I’m only writing this now (one handed while feeding, I might add) because of a joyous week of team parenting and sleep in Spain that made me towards human again, though I could do with another week.
I love the advice of sleep when the baby sleeps. I’d love to do that. But I’m not a cat. I can’t fall asleep in a plant pot. My brain and body have been working on whatever is there when my reserves are long gone. They wanted to fall asleep a month ago, instead, through pushing on, my mind is not peaceful enough to fall asleep at will. Either it is blank, and I’m staring aimlessly, or it is whirring with all the things it wants to do but can’t because it’s too tired to properly organise thoughts. And I lack the time and freedom to actually do them, anyway.
Besides, sometimes RB sleeps for 30 minutes, sometimes it’s five minutes, and teasing myself with the possibility of sleep is worse than staying awake.
I also ignore the advice to ignore the state of my house in favour of sleep. It’s great if that works for some. It would depress me (if I could actually sleep at will for 20 minutes) for four key reasons:
I love home interiors, I like to be in a nice environment, shit ones depress me. I can’t be exhausted and depressed. That’s too much
I need stuff to be in order more than ever when I’m tired and time-poor. I need that nappy / towel / sleepsuit / contact lens / Nespresso capsule ready when I need it. The extra challenge could tip me over the edge
Given my day revolves around feeding a baby that though adorable, doesn’t do much beyond smile every few hours, I like feeling like I’ve achieved something. A tidy house might not be much but it’s pleasing to me
Everything else around me evades my control, namely RB. I’d just like to know I’m the master of something
And let’s be honest, 20 minutes of sleep versus 20 minutes of tidying is not going to make me feel like I’ve slumbered for 8 solid hours. So I’d rather be 100% knackered in a kind of orderly abode than 97% knackered in disarray with no clean clothes. But that’s just me.
I have found one thing to help me sleep better, and that’s a hot bath. It might not give me extra hours but the relaxation improves the ones I get.
Though there is an upside to being this tired. I know what I’d like for my next birthday: 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep, in fresh bed sheets, please.