There, I’ve done it, I’ve broken my own rule about broadcasting to anyone who’s looking how tired I am. I never talk about it on Facebook and wouldn’t dream of writing about it on Twitter (I struggle with Twitter because my inner English geek shudders constantly at all those hash tags, but at the same time I read lots of interesting (and inane) stuff on there so I just have to get over myself).
Anyway, it is my choice to not talk about this stuff on social media, because I personally feel that (a) being a parent = being tired. End of and (b) NOBODY CARES. Nobody on there really wants to hear about how I was up with Zee three times last night, and have been every night since Saturday, and H went to Belfast at the weekend for work and is there till Thursday and I have no other help and I’m working full-time on interrupted sleep and god it’s so dull I’m boring myself.
And THEN I get the tired guilts because I think about my amazing friends H&D, who have four children under three – four gorgeous and lovely children – but four under three nevertheless. And as I can’t possibly begin to imagine how tired they must be, because the idea of three more Zee’s right now makes my mind boggle, I try and talk myself out of how tired I really feel. The same happens when I think about my brother and sister-in-law, both working full-time with two wonderful (yes I am biased) kids or H’s sister and brother-in-law up in Suffolk with three lovely boys from 7 down to 16 months – basically any of my friends or family with more than one baby who work or look after the children full time, which is of course work in itself.
But why is this? Why do I feel so bad when I want to put my Davina 15 minute fitness DVD on, so I can feel good about myself for doing a bit of exercise, but I can’t bear the thought of picking up the remote and pressing play, let alone getting all energetic to Davina’s smiling, cheeky, encouraging face? It’s 8pm and I’m in my onesie in bed writing this and there’s no place I’d rather be. Genuinely. I’ve been worrying recently about how we live in central London but we just don’t make the most of it at night. We don’t because by the time we’ve had that incredibly precious hour after nursery with Zee and he’s in bed and the flat sort of no longer resembles a tip, the very idea of getting dolled up and waltzing back out the door and into a bar makes me want to lie down.
So because I try very hard not to talk too much about this stuff, apart from to H, the poor person who does get to hear all about it in minute detail is my mum. Though sometimes she can’t even hear it because I’m yawning so much down the phone I can’t make any sense. I get annoyed with myself when I’m like this – clearly being tired makes a person cranky – but I’m wondering if maybe I should just be a little kinder to myself about it. Being tired isn’t a crime. It can be a really upsetting thing; when you’re so tired you can’t think straight, and your bones ache and your eyes hurt. And maybe sometimes, when you’re tired, you feel the need to share how you feel, and hope for a little kindness and sympathy from your friends. Some of whom should have a bit more empathy and understanding, because they too know what it’s like to be wrenched from your bed at 4am by a wailing baby who needs you to love and soothe them back to sleep, no matter how bleary-eyed and wild of hair you may be. And by ‘some of whom’ I mean me.
Just because being a parent = tired shouldn’t mean that is the end of the conversation. I may not like to talk about it on Facebook but that’s just a personal thing. I talk about it endlessly with H and my mum and without them I’d go mad. But the one thing I always remember during spells like these is It Too Soon Shall Pass. My baby is now a little toddling person, but he’ll always be my baby. He grows ever more lovely by the day, and I adore him more than I knew I could. He is the reason I am tired, but he makes me happier than I can describe, and that’s worth a billion lie-ins or full night’s sleep. We’ll still be gratefully seizing all offers of help when we go home for Easter though – roll on that blessed bank holiday, roll on . . .