I was reflecting today, as I often do, about how tired I am. It's one of the main thoughts my brain thinks these days (for the love of God when is bedtime). Having young children has been a whole new level of exhaustion, in my experience. No just ready-for-bed and happy-the-day-is-over tired, but brain-isn't-working-quite-right, might-burst-into-tears, bone-crushing, utter and complete exhaustion.
Things I have recently done while tired:
- Forgot to bring a double stroller to Mall of America (absolute HELL)
- Left diaper bag at home. Went back to get it. Forgot to fill it with diaper, wipes or wallet.
- Went to Target with no money.
- Momentarily forgot I have another baby (he's so quiet!)
- Forgot I had walnuts roasting in the oven. Burnt them. Put more nuts in oven. Burnt them. Repeat until all walnuts are in trash.
Part of the problem is that I am an extremely light sleeper, which makes cosleeping with a grunty infant very difficult. But I also have a hard time falling back asleep after being fully awakened, so putting the baby in his crib (in the same room as the toddler) will likely make things worse.
Now that the baby is four months old, whatever adrenaline, hormones and fairy dust kept me going after his birth are gone. Completely used up. And because even my toddler still gets up a few nights a week (at best), there really is no end in sight. Even though we went on a grown up trip last week and got two solid nights of sleep, the taste of freedom was short lived and the baby quickly made up for the early-morning snuggles he missed out on while I was gone.
I guess what I am starting to feel deep down in my gut is best described as desperation. This torture is going to go on for years. There is no solution. Or, the solution is being tired. And coffee. Its a parenting right of passage and if you don't have to go through it because your children are sweet baby angels then keep that shit to yourself.
Despite all this, I am shocked at my body's ability to function on so little sleep while also performing all the necessarily tasks to keep my children alive and our home inhabitable (barely). It's truly miraculous. Some days I even manage to have fun and do things that make me feel like a good mother such as baking cookies with my two year old and not freaking out when he throws an entire bag of flour on the floor.
So for now I am chugging coffee (sorry breast-fed baby) and keeping my head down. I know this won't last forever, even though some days seem never-ending. But if you see me at Target looking like a complete train wreck don't you DARE give me that head-to-toe side eye or I will drop my children off at your house just before bedtime as punishment. You've all been warned.