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From One Sleepless Mother

A rant because parenting is fucking hard

“Tired woman wearing a uniform closes her eyes near a sunny window” by Stacey Rozells on Unsplash

(I’ve barely slept over the past 7 nights so I’m an angry, frustrated woman, and I will be typing in capital letters).

HONEY YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TIRED IS. THIS IS NOT THE KIND OF TIRED THAT I USED TO BE — WHEN I USED TO STAY UP TIL 3AM ON A WEDNESDAY AFTER A DATE WENT VERY WELL, GETTING UP AT 7AM FOR WORK, THEN STAYING UP AGAIN TIL 1AM AFTER GOING TO THE PUB — THIS IS VERY, VERY DIFFERENT.

THAT KIND OF TIRED MEANT I COULD STAY IN BED AT THE WEEKEND ALL FUCKING WEEKEND IF I WANTED TO. IT MEANT THAT I COULD GET SOME OF THAT SLEEP BACK AT SOME POINT. BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT.

WHEN I HEAR MY LITTLE 4 MONTH OLD BABY IMMEDIATELY WAKE UP AFTER I’VE FINALLY BEEN ABLE TO ROCK HER TO SLEEP, I KNOW THAT I’M NOT GETTING THAT SLEEP BACK. I KNOW THAT MY SLEEP IS GOING TO BE FUCKED FOR THAT NIGHT.

UNLESS YOU HAVE A CHILD WHOSE SLEEP WAS CRAPPY AT THE START, YOU DON’T KNOW THE FRUSTRATION, UPSET AND ANGER YOU FEEL TOWARDS YOUR SLEEPLESS BABY. IT IS ILLOGICAL AND LOGICAL ANGER AT THE SAME TIME. YOU KNOW YOUR BABY WANTS TO SLEEP, THAT THEY NEED TO SLEEP, BUT SOMETHING IS GOING ON IN THEIR DEVELOPMENT THAT IS SIMPLY STOPPING THEM FROM SLEEPING. YOU GET JUST AS UPSET AS THEY DO. MAYBE EVEN MORE.

IT’S DIFFERENT TO THE NEWBORN STAGE. THOSE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS WERE FULL OF TEARS AND OVERWHELM. THESE NIGHTS ARE FULL OF TENSE ANXIETY, SWEARING AND PUNCHING THE RADIATOR.

THERE’S NO USE TRYING TO GOOGLE THIS TERRIBLE TIME BECAUSE THERE ARE NO CLEAR ANSWERS, THERE’S NO DEFINITIVE TIME LENGTH TO WHICH YOU CAN CLING TO. PLUS, THERE’S JUST A LOAD OF PARENTS ON THERE BRAGGING ABOUT HOW SHIT OR WONDERFUL THEIR BABY’S SLEEP IS.

DON’T EVEN BOTHER WITH FUCKING PARENTING FORUMS, TRUST ME. PRACTICALLY EVERY SHITTY THING BABIES HAVE TO DO IS “NORMAL”.

BUT NORMAL IS BEING ABLE TO GO FOR COFFEE WITHOUT WHIPPING OUT A BOOB TO A BABY THAT WANTS TO DRINK AND ARCH HER BACK AT THE SAME TIME. NORMAL IS CHANGING A POOPY DIAPER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, RATHER THAN HAVING TO FAFF AROUND IN THE CHANGING AREA OF A SMALL CAFE AFTER YOUR BABY HAS DONE A GIANT SHIT.

PEOPLE SAY “IT GETS BETTER” BUT LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING. I’M STILL WAITING FOR THE “BETTER”.

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