Once you are married, people start asking when you are going to have kids. What usually follows that insanely personal question (am I right?), is some kind of unsolicited advise about enjoying those moments when you are still able to drink Bellinis next to the pool, go to concerts whenever you damn well feel like it, or sleep past 7:00am. Guilty as charged.
All us DINCs usually laughed it off in a ‘can we please stop this conversation‘ kind of way. We went about our weekend lie-ins, spontaneous trips to the Cinema on a Tuesday after work, and general laziness whenever The Man didn’t need us at our desks.
Then you have a baby The first few months you expect to be tired to your bones. Everyone knows you won’t sleep with a newborn. It’s ok and people expect you to have racoon eyes and a tendency to hallucinate.
Then the baby starts to sleep through the night, if you’re lucky. They go to bed around 7:00pm and wake around 7:00am. Or some version of that. You might have periods of good sleep or periods of sleep regression, but the days of waking every two hours in the night for feeds is long gone. They also start taking regular naps. Now there is so much time in the day and evenings to just BE YOU.
I think most parents feel some degree of tiredness every single day. Maybe you had a good night’s rest, but with a busy and active toddler (or two) you don’t get a chance to sit down all day. There are games to play, a toddler to get dressed, a kitchen to clean, laundry to be done, play-dates to attend, appointments with the doctor, errands to run. bills to pay, phone calls to make. Then there’s the epic dinner-bath-bedtime routine that can run a good two hours. Finally around 7:00pm, you sit down and breathe a sigh of relief, but you look around and see toys strewn all over the house and the day’s menu in pieces under the table. You also need to eat something and try to have a conversation with your spouse, and then it’s bed time. Your head hits the pillow hard around 9:00pm if you’re disciplined.
If you work, it’s most of that, plus you know, working.
I was lamenting to my spouse over the ‘weekend’ – I put weekend in quotations because what is a weekend anyway when you have toddlers… – wondering when we aren’t going to feel so tired all the time.
When your kids grow up, that’s when.
In a blink of an eye, my husband and I will be out to dinner and I’ll be complaining that Freddy doesn’t call us from University as often as I’d like and I don’t like his new girlfriend and won’t our holiday to India be soooo amazing next month.
Look, being a parent to tiny humans is absolutely exhausting. You feel tired almost all the time. Even when you’re no longer the milk machine. Life just becomes busy from sunrise to sunset, and your days of leisurely drinking a hot coffee are a distant memory. But in those moments of desperately trying to get your child to nap because MOMMY NEEDS A REST or screeching out the tenth lyric to ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ (the seats on the bus are really really dirty, really really dirty, really really dirty…), or reading ‘Peck Peck Peck’ for the fifth time, remember that, like most things in life, this period of unending tiredness is just a phase, a blip, and you’ll wish they would have stayed little forever.