I’m 14 months in to my Parent role and during that time I have suffered various colds, sore throats and the like*. But on Bank Holiday Monday I was awoken by our lovely small person at 2am. I gave her a drink, some bonjela and popped her down to sleep; I however got back into bed and proceeded to not sleep for over an hour because my head was THROBBING. It literally felt like I had a (small) anvil on my head. Some time later as I lay awake Storm Katie started blustering around the house making those eerie windy sounds; H woke crying and I got up to sooth her. After making it back to bed, I crashed out into an uncomfortable slumber. Then the alarm went off and it was time to get up…
My limbs ached, my head was throbbing. I, in a feeling very rare for me, did not want to get up. But needs must and I dragged myself from bed, got H’s milk ready and got her up and dressed. Sam played with her whilst I made breakfast and we made it through the first meal of the day with relative ease. But H wasn’t feeling herself either so as I tried to rest on the sofa, she kept coming to me for cuddles and to play. The rest of the day continued in a similar vein, paracetamol and Sudofed only slightly helping.
The following day was back to work. The morning is such a rush that it’s hard to know how I feel until I am on my train in to London. I felt weary but okay. Then at 10:30am, as I was minuting one of our Design Authority meetings, the headache returned and I felt terrible. I fled home and worked there until it was nursery pick-up. The peace and quiet was bliss… For a few hours I was able to focus on myself and, even though I was working, I could rest.
As the week has progressed I have started to feel better. I’m still a bit tired and achy but yesterday morning I discovered H had a stomach bug and had been sick in the night. She was then sick everywhere after breakfast. So yet again I just needed to get on with things. It’s a massive reality check because as a parent – especially of young children – your health is important but comes second. It’s not through malice or insensitivity that H doesn’t let me rest. She simply doesn’t understand. The world as she sees it revolves around her. And that’s how it should be I suppose. As you get older it is seen as less acceptable to make selfish decisions, to put yourself first; So I wouldn’t want it to be any other way for my daughter.
Of course when energy runs really low or my head can’t cope with any more noise, bribery with snacks does give a brief moment of respite!
*The couple of weeks immediately after giving birth are always and forever excluded from such comparisons because they are as far from ‘normal’ as anything can ever be!