One week stands up as a pinnacle of awfulness – working 20+ hour days, crying in the shower in the morning with exhaustion but still managing to go out an party on the Saturday night at the School Disco before heading back into work on the Sunday for more of the same.
Except whilst that was tiredness it wasn’t really the same as the unrelenting, bone deep exhaustion that seems to come hand in hand with parenthood.
I read somewhere that the human body is able to cope with a couple of days of sleep deprivation before suffering too much.
How about a couple of years?
Although I should be fair here, Bigger used to not be a bad sleeper. In fact I don’t think we’d have either managed to have conceived Littler or even considered conceiving her if she had been a bad sleeper. As it was, with the occasional blip for illness or separation anxiety or before something changes developmentally, she largely slept ok. She slept even better when we stopped faffing around and let her carry on sleeping in her cot. And to be fair, once we have got through the nightly battles to get her to go to sleep (yes, to a three year old the world is very exciting, especially when there is another episode of Octonauts to watch) and the requests for water, various soft toys and exactly the right sort of lighting, then generally she does sleep well.
The trouble is that when she doesn’t sleep well, she REALLY doesn’t sleep well.
She does being poorly in dramatic style, spiking temperatures overnight and refusing to sleep unless physically attached to one or other of us.
Luckily for me, after an epic night time battle last year, she at least will behave in bed with me, knowing that if she doesn’t she’ll be back in her own bed before you can say kick in the ribs.
And then there are the night terrors and nightmares and sleep walking. Yes I know they are linked to her brain trying to process too much at once but oh my goodness they do make for an exciting evening.
And she doesn’t do any of this quietly.
She has one night time volume and it is LOUD.
Which wakes her sister.
Who again is generally a good sleeper but very easily woken and currently in training to be a bat – I reckon she can hear anyone creeping upstairs no matter how deeply she is sleeping.
So the point of this.
Or to sympathise with others – there is nothing like the exhaustion you have as a parent.
Nothing like it at all.
I’m currently at the would quite happily cut off an arm in order to have 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep…