It’s a surprise to no one that having a child means you don’t get much sleep. On TV and in films, the new parent characters are always complaining about tiredness. Despite the truth in it, it’s become a new parent cliché along with the fact babies poo a lot and cry as their primary means of communication. I understand showing the lovely time you get to spend sitting on your arse watching Netflix while the tiny bundle of a human you brought into the world lies on your chest as you drink tea at an odd angle so you won’t scold them isn’t exciting entertainment. Still, it gives childfree folk the idea that becoming a parent is miserable which is only the case, say 30% of the time? Actually my daughter was super hard work yesterday, let’s call it 35%.
Alongside my consumption of TV and film, conversations I had with anyone who had kids already and wanted me to know it was hard work and BabyCentre’s weekly pregnancy update emails all told me to expect tiredness and so I prepared for sleepless nights by trying to cram all the missed sleep in in advance during the last trimester. Not that you asked for advice but whether you are with child or not, I recommend sleeping as much as you can whenever you can to solve anything that’s up with you.
Unfortunately, when my daughter came along I was instantly exhausted with labouring through the night and then her being born first thing in the morning. All of my hard work was wiped out from the start. Which wasn’t ideal but was fine, I’d mentally prepared for exhaustion. I got through the days knowing at some unknown point, not that far away, she’d sleep most of the night and I’d be back to my old self again. Two years later she sleeps like a dream and I am no more refreshed than I was the morning she was born. I am permanently knackered. Some days are better than others but I am never refreshed, I rarely ever wake up and feel like I’ve slept as much as I’d like.
Of course, now I think about it, I was always something resembling knackered. I am the sort of person who could always enjoy a further hour or two in bed. I take my vitamins, I try and eat healthily, I exercise whenever I can fit it in. It’s starting to seem like cramming more into my life than before (as well as a child I am also trying to write freelance as much as I can) is not the solution to the tiredness which is now deep within my bones and will not shift.
Is this just me or does everyone else feel like this?
This was in the last edition of The Mum Plan. To read the next one sign up for the newsletter here.
I wouldn’t recommend reading the Daily Mail for the obvious reasons. However, if you happened to stumble across this nonsense then I direct you to the doodle below. A quick Google of ‘Daily Mail’ and ‘new mum’ revealed what the non-slummy, Daily Mail approved new mother should resemble.