I've been doing this mum thing for 2 and a bit years now, and the one thing I have always struggled to come to terms with, is the lack of personal space, or 'me' time. To put it bluntly, I can't handle this constant 'people in my bubble' feeling! This has doubled since having Eliana 8 months ago. You would think the lack of sleep would be the worst thing, and that part is completely horrible, but deep down inside, I know that one day we will find sleep again. However, this constant giving of myself to another, is damn hard work! (Cue mummy guilt) I love my girls more than anything in this life, their giggles and smiles make my heart sing, and I wouldn't change anything about them, but by god, they're full on.
We had a particularly tough weekend, and I guess I'm still feeling a little precious today. I'm craving a good book, a nice cuppa and my bed, or a nice long chat over a glass of wine with my bestie, but we all know that's not gonna happen! It doesn't help that today I have a particularly cuddly velcro baby, and a toddler that has elevated mummy to the position of her favourite toy... she's been constantly playing with my hair, my earrings, my clothes etc. even though she has enough toys to sink a battle ship! Most days I love the cuddles, and usually, any old excuse to leave the washing and the dishes will do me... But today, if someone was to whip out the old- 'They're only little once, enjoy every single moment' I would probably give them a high five in the face with a chair... I mean, today it's struggle town population- Me!
Ironically, pre-babies I hated going anywhere solo! I never wanted to go grocery shopping by myself, and I wouldn't have even considered going to a movie on my own... But now? Give me that movie popcorn, a dark room and a comfy chair any day, I literally jump at the chance to go out on my own for a few quiet minutes. In fact just yesterday, I wandered around the local Westfield on a solo shopping trip. The fact that I only bought stuff for the girls, and came home with absolutely nothing for myself is probably another mummy-issue that I'll deal with in a later post.
There are days now, since the perpetual sleep fighter Abbie has stopped napping (can you tell that I'm a little bitter about this?), that I cannot wait for daddy-daycare to get home! I want to do a handover and hide in the wardrobe with a glass (or three) of wine. It's a struggle to make it through till 6.30pm when they're both in bed! Some days, Nath and I might spend a grand total of one hour together, before I call it a night... Especially when teething, colds or wonder weeks come to town. I feel like re-introducing myself to him, we almost need to start all over again, cause let's face it, we don't get much time to enjoy each other's company anymore. In those two and a bit years, we've only had 4 kid-free outings together! So, in lieu of date nights, we're working on some new ideas, or ways to get some more 'me' time for both of us.
So I guess to get through today, I'm going to occupy my darling toddler with a few movies, find a spot in corner with a cup of tea, and I'm going to try and ignore the growing mess... I'm also going to try and remind myself of what I do have that is totally amazing, that 6.30pm will come round faster than I think it will right now, and that I'm more than likely not the only mother in the world that feels this way... AND that it could always be worse right?
There it was again... The not so distant cry of a chubby 8 month old. I reluctantly rolled out of bed and leant over the cot next to me. There she was, smiling up at me, clearly not interested in sleep until she's attached to one part of me or another. I could see no other way to achieve sleep that night, other than to put her into bed with me. Bleary eyed, I laid her down, rearranged the bed for a night of baby cuddles, and attempt to climb in myself. Then like a bat outta hell, some asshat comes in and pushes me off the bed!!! Oh wait... That was all me. Yep... I was on the floor, a big pile of pajamas and hair, feet in the air and my head smooshed somewhere between the bed and the side table. These last few years (YEARS!!!!!) of sleep deprivation, have seen me come up with my fair share of injuries. Who knew that nighttime mummying would be so perilous!
In the last few weeks, we've gravitated back to a co-sleeping situation. Nathan sleeps on a mattress in Abbie's room, and Ellie sleeps in the porta-cot next to me again. Our house is laid out so that for Ellie to be in her own room, I practically need a cut lunch and a compass to find my way down there for night feeds and cuddles, and with whatever little brain explosion she's going through right now, it's not worth the cold, dark trek(s)!
A few weeks back, when baby sleep was something that actually occurred in this house, I put my hiking boots on (aka. fluffy elephant slippers), and set off down to Ellie's room around 2am for her ONE AND ONLY night feed (oh how the mighty hath fallen). Somewhere along the way I walked directly into the rather large clothes horse in the living room, and I mean this thing is HUGE. How the hell did I not see it? I'm pretty sure I make my way around the house with my eyes closed half the time. My pyjamas actually got caught, resulting in a struggle of epic proportions, and the entire contraption collapsing and crashing to the ground...
Or there's the time that Nath and I were both in Abbie's room at some stage throughout the night (in retrospect we should have just all moved in there), and he quietly closed the door behind him as he left. I was completely unaware of this fact, and walked head first into the damn thing as I tried to creep out! Needless to say, the bang, and the inevitable expletives that came cascading out of my mouth like word-vomit, would've be been enough to wake half of Brisbane... And you guessed it, Abbie was no longer asleep. Back to square one!
The other one that comes to mind is from a few months back, not long after we brought Ellie back from the hospital. As expected, Abbie had a few hiccups while we were all settling in. One particular day, our previously competent self settler was having a little trouble with her nap. So I made myself comfy on the floor, arm through the cot bars and proceeded with the little back rub I know she likes. Somewhere along the lines, my own exhaustion took over, after all, it was quiet, dark and a perfect sleeping temperature. The constant hum of the ceiling fan is guaranteed to knock me out faster you can blink. Clearly my back rub worked, and I woke to find Abbie asleep (YESSS!!!!) and my forehead wedged into the cot bars. Yep, asleep sitting up, head between the cot bars.
I'm not even gonna start on the Carpel Tunnel in my left arm caused by carrying a baby buddha around everywhere, while attempting to complete every other task with one hand, or the numerous pregnancy and birth related injuries. I'm sure it's just karma... I'm also certain at some stage my dad will read this and remind me of the time he woke with a bang, to find himself underneath one of our beds following one sleep battle or another... Or how, when I was a baby, I would get tossed to him like a football the minute he walked through the door in the afternoon, and the ONLY way he could get me to sleep was by walking dizzily, clockwise around the billiard table singing to me (hmm are sleep issues hereditary??). At some point in the very distant future, when my girls become mothers to their own darling little sleep terrorists, I'll find immense pleasure in regaling them with these stories!
I guess it's the circle of life (thanks Mufasa- I've seen The Lion King too many times lately), all I can say is my girls had better enjoy their sleep when they finally find it, cause mummy's already planning her revenge!
I used to love 2am, and while I'm at it, I might as well add 3, 4 and 5am too. I used to love staying out till then that is. These days it a totally different story....
Gone are the days of driving up the street to my house in a taxi with a few of my friends, to find my dad out the front hosing the garden (to be fair it was 7am and broad daylight). The bygone days of stumbling through the front door with besties in tow, to see my dad at the table enjoying his morning tea and a cuppa, as we scramble up the stairs with grubby feet, heels in hand (cause let's face it, they probably came off in the taxi rank) and smelling like a mixture of hairspray and Jim Beam. No, these days it's waking up at 2am (pick an hour between 1 and 7 really).
My absolute favourite thing in life is sleep! I roll out of bed each morning, trying to ignore the physical pain that comes with waking up (it's seriously like a thousand knives), and I spend the rest of the day dreaming of my next fix. I would strongly consider cutting off my left boob if it meant I could have a full 8 hours! Yes, I am a sleep LOVER... Unfortunately, my children are not. You see, I am lucky enough to be the mother of two absolutely adorable, chubby, spirited little ladies, who love me and my cuddles more in the dark than they ever have during respectable daylight hours. The kind of kids that wake you at 2am to tell you that their sock fell off, the kind of kids that think 5am is a reasonable time to start the day. FYI- it's not.
These days our nights are like a game of musical beds. Our house is like a minefield of comfy places to lay your head... If only. A few beds, a couple of cots and a mattress here and there. The combinations are endless, and on any given night, I can find myself desperately searching for sleep in any one of them... Even the cot (I wish I were kidding).
We fought hard against the sleep demons for a long long time with Abbie. We were so worried about all the rubbish 'rules', like 'Don't let your kid sleep with you, they'll never leave' or 'Don't let them fall asleep at the breast'. We dreaded the pitied looks when the inevitable question came along 'Is she sleeping though the night?'... No, no she's not. 17 months it took for that to happen for more than a few nights at a time. Just in time for me to be 7 months pregnant, and not sleeping anyways, because who really does when they have a tiny ninja growing in their belly? In fact now, at two years and three months old, she still doesn't most of the time. My guess is, we'd have a better chance at winning the lottery (remind me to buy a ticket tomorrow).
Now with two darling bubs, we simply can't fight it. When Ellie was born, Nathan (bless him) scored the unenviable position of Abbie's nighttime parent. We took one kid each. I'm sure he'd have looked after Ellie, if it weren't for the lack of lactating lady parts. Now, we have had things a little easier this time round. We've had those amazing nights, you know, the ones where you wake up and realise that neither of you got up to a child that night. They're few and far between, but they have happened. However, we're 8 months into number two, and no sign of this 'sleeping through the night' business sticking around. I'm currently sitting up, doing the feed/cuddle/resettle for the first time tonight, and if it's anything like last night, I'll be meeting my littlest babe at least 4 more times before the sun is up.
This time, we're all about the sleep, however and wherever that happens. Co-sleeping, you betcha... Bed sharing, almost on a nightly basis, and falling asleep whilst feeding? Almost every time... Why? Because by the time I'm finished dealing with the antics and various demands of a tiny red headed toddler, it's way past nap time, so asleep at the boob it is. All that other stuff though, we'll figure out later. No matter how crap the nights make you feel though, their sweet little smiles that bring on the 'heart exploding in your chest' kinda feeling, will get me through. That and coffee... Lots of coffee.
Behind the blog...
‘The Mummysomniac’ is a lifestyle, motherhood and most recently, pregnancy blog, founded in 2015 by Kirsty McKenzie. She’s a mum of three, blogging about the highs and lows of motherhood, with a straight forward and honest approach, as well as a little bit of humour. Kirsty is passionate about sharing the realities of #MumLife, not the cookie cutter, high gloss version