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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Love me when my heart is tired

Have you ever been so tired you feel like you simply can't do anything, yet you somehow get to the end of each day with no clue how you survived? 

Chronic sleep deprivation is torture, like actual torture that is used in war time, yet here I am experiencing it in the middle of suburbia and it's been 14 long months with no end in sight. Nobody is coming to rescue me from this torture though, I'm expected to endure it with a smile on my face and tell everyone how much I love my kids and life etc, and figure it all out on my own. On social media people like to live out this fantasy land, when behind closed doors it's a whole different story. Because happy is easy to deal with and anything less than perfect isn't. The truth is sometimes gritty and harsh and painful, all the things people don't want to experience. So we run and hide from it and pretend it doesn't exist.

I'm not really one of those people though. I tend to call it like I see it and admit when things are falling apart. Having two children has been a lot harder for me than I ever imagined it would be. I'm not sure if it's because of the added pressure of allergies, a baby who's also allergic to sleep, a big {unintentional} age gap, or a combination of all of these things. Or perhaps everyone with multiple children experiences these feelings regardless of their situation.

There's been lots of crying, feeling helpless, feeling like I'm failing, lashing out {because my tolerance level is often minimal} and swearing. Yes I swear, I know it's wrong, I know I shouldn't, but I do. Sorry {not sorry}. I know at times I've turned into a cranky, yelling, generally unpleasant, borderline insane person and my friends and family have had to see me like this. Sure there are a few days where I feel like I'm winning at this mothering gig, but more often than not things feel like they're falling apart to some extent. So, this is my truth, and my apology, and my plea to everyone to still love me when my heart is so very, very tired.

To my friends...

Love me when I put up negative Facebook statuses. Don't ignore me, shut me down, or tell me it gets better. My brain logically knows it will get better at some point. I know I won't have a 15yr old sleeping in my bed waking for boobies every 2hrs {least I don't think that happens, right?}. I've done this before, I know at some point this will all be a distant memory. But at 2am when I've had one, maybe two hours of broken sleep interrupted 4 times by a baby that won't take no for an answer.. I forget that it will eventually end. In the cold, dark of the night {or sometimes the cold, foggy start of the morning} I vent on Facebook hoping for some kind of acknowledgement that I'm not alone. Hoping that someone out there sees me, someone gets me. Please don't respond telling me all the things I should be doing, because that makes me feel like I'm failing even more than I already think I am. Just see me. Let me know I still matter. Tell me to have a cup of tea. Even better organise a playdate so I get to see you in real life. 

To my mum...

When I call you in tears saying I just can't take it anymore, it doesn't mean I want you to question everything I've done. It means I've tried everything and I'm beyond done and please God come and help me. Don't tell me you don't know what to do and leave me lost and crying on the other end of the phone. Tell me you're coming over and everything will be ok. Because even though you might not know what to do and you can't "fix" it, my brain tells me you're my mum and I should run to you when I need help and everything will be ok. Listening to me and coming over will make everything ok, even if it's not. I promise I won't be a crying basket case forever {well hopefully not}.

To my husband...

You know all the times when I yell at you about stupid stuff because I'm just at the end of my God dam rope and the fact you haven't taken the bin out or remembered the kids drink bottles pushes me over the edge? Don't turn those moments into WW3. Just take them with a grain of salt. Remember I haven't slept properly in a really, really long time and I'm a slave to small children every. single. day. Its draining and constant and sometimes tiny stuff will set me off, for no apparent {logical} reason, because my tolerance level is below 0. 

It doesn't make sense. Tomorrow I'll realise that and know I was overreacting, but right here and now I need to vent so I don't lose my mind and unfortunately you're the only adult in the room, so it gets directed at you. I'm sorry, I know its shit. I know it's unfair, but I also know while this tiny dictator is still a sleep thief it probably wont change. My bad. Remember that invisible bubble the Dr told you to hide in when I was first pregnant 5 years ago? Maybe bring that back and camp out in it for a while, say another year or two.... I should be back to myself by then {oh God I hope so}.

To my big girl...

I'm sorry your world has been turned upside down and sometimes chaos is our new normal. It may seem like I think about you less and your needs don't matter as much anymore, but the truth is you're always on my mind. I spend so much of my day wondering if I'm doing everything right. Do I give you enough hugs? Have I told you I love you enough? Did I spend enough time with you, or did I unintentionally dismiss your concerns because your sister needed me? I don't love you any less and you aren't less important, it's just there's two of you and one of me now so waiting, sharing and not always getting what you want when you want it is the new normal and I know you don't like it or understand it right now, but unfortunately that's the way life is. One day things won't be so crazy I promise.

To my baby girl...

I feel like I'm robbing you of the mother you deserve. You get a tired, cranky, glass half empty mum most of the time when I want to be an excited, energetic, glass half full mum. I want to spend my days setting up all the play activities for you and nurturing your little mind, reveling in your new skills and giving you all of me. One day we'll get to that point, probably once you start sleeping through the night, for now boobies and cuddles are hopefully enough.

To myself...

Give yourself a break. Don't feel guilty that the house is messy, the to do lists never get completed and you feel like you fail more than you succeed. Forgive yourself for not meeting your own impossible standards. Reduce your expectations. Write have done lists instead of to do lists. Celebrate the small wins, because during this monotonous chapter of raising small people the little wins are the biggest victories. Give as much time and energy to yourself as you do to everyone else. Love yourself as much as you love others. You matter too. Love yourself even though your heart is tired.

*This post was in part inspired by Alan Walker's song tired, which has somewhat become the anthem to my life these past few months. I listen to it most nights when I have a shower, you can listen to it here.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Great post! I certainly felt this way so many times, but much less nowadays. Much love to you!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your honesty, and the rawness of how you feel. That's what I personally enjoy about blogging myself - the outlet of getting things out of your head and onto "paper" (electronic paper, ha) so that you can reset and move on. In the meantime, we all get to share in your experience and learn from it as well.

    I hope you're feeling better, and strong enough ready to face the next day