Before you read the title and think I’ve gone off on some ‘Bad Moms’ type stunt, it’s not that sort of post. As much as it would be amusing to go wild like that* it’s neither in my nature nor something that I’d probably enjoy for long. No, this post is not about throwing my caution to the wind and releasing control. This is about control being yanked brutally away from me by my two young offspring.
* The supermarket scene of ‘Bad Moms’ is one of my favourite watches right now. Perhaps I should gather a mum posse and head to Sainsbury’s – haha! Here is the clip for you all to enjoy before we go any further…
Anyway, I’ve been a mum for over 3.5 years now and I know it demands time. I know it demands energy. I know it demands giving up sleep. I also know it demands, for some periods of time, surrendering parts of yourself (physically, mentally and emotionally) to your mini-humans. However, right now as we hit the six month marker of being a mum-of-two, I feel like I have no ability to control any aspect of my life anymore.
So when Little H was a baby, if we had a rough night then I could sleep in a bit later if she had fallen back to sleep. When Little H was a baby, I could get her to bed a bit earlier if she was grouchy and tired. Not so with Little Z. Why? Because of Little H. Within reason we’ve held true to Little H’s original routine since Little Z was born. Now she’s older, Little Z has slotted in alongside her at bedtime but the flexibility we had with Little H isn’t there with Little Z.
Little H will wake up as soon as her sun comes up every morning. Friday – Monday that’s the grand old hour of 7:10am (yes, we are damn lucky that to date she has stayed in her room on all but only two occasions!) and then on nursery days it’s earlier at 6:35am. So bang goes my ability to lay in on the few days Little Z wakes a lot and then sleeps beyond 6am.
Then there are the evenings. Little H has been in bed with lights out by approximately 7pm every night her entire life. So we’re upstairs at 6pm to do whatever the washing routine is for that day. Little Z is bathed / washed and changed alongside Little H and then we all sit down for stories. But once Little H is in bed, I can’t just bounce downstairs because I now have to feed a (sometimes overtired) Little Z and get her to bed. She’s usually settled sometime before 7:30pm which is when dinner is ready.
Once we’ve eaten and done the tidying up, it’s around 8 – 8:30pm. Which gives me the grand total of 60 minutes to play with before heading up to bed for 9:30pm. Why so early? Because since her 4 month development leap, Little Z has been waking at least twice, if not three times, per night. *sigh* I don’t resent her – she needs the food because she’s growing and developing so much. But with the faffing as she resettles to sleep and any other times she wakes and is noisy going back to sleep, my nights are broken and the stints of zzzz’s all a little shorter than I might like.
Days when Little H are at home and full on and non-stop. If I get to sit with a cup of tea for 5 minutes them I’m winning. So, I try and take a bit of time for myself on the days Little H is at nursery. But the chores don’t sort themselves. I have nappies and clothes to wash, rooms to clean and, now we’ve reached the weaning stage, I have food to prepare for Little Z. I should probably be enjoying weaning but I’ll be honest, right now it just feels like another ‘thing’ to have to deal with. I can only hope in the long run it yields some decent fruits in the form a sleep!
There isn’t much that can be done about it. It will pass. I know it will pass and the smiles of my little lovelies keep me focussed on why I am doing it all. But man I wish I just had a smidge of control over some part of my life. Some confidence that I have a solid 30 – 60 minutes which is mine and won’t involve stopping to soothe a baby that has woken early or recover a bracelet from under the sofa and get another snack.
I know I’ll miss these days once they are gone. But good grief they are are both challenging and knackering to live through without a few good nights of sleep!