Before I had children, I never understood how exhausting parenting would be.
Of course, everyone has friends who had children before them, but let’s be perfectly honest, we still never completely appreciated how bloody exhausting it would be, or that their never-ending complaints about being tired were certainly not exaggerated. Not even in the slightest.
Bringing a new life into this world, pretty much means sacrificing your own life for the foreseeable future. It also means sacrificing your own sanity. Yes you WILL become a walking zombie. Welcome to the ‘Do not know what day it is’ club.
People often ask new parents whether their babies are sleeping through the night, as if that’s suddenly going to make them feel human again. Of course, that would bloody help, enormously, however there are a whole host of other reasons why new parents never feel ‘normal’ again.
Here’s 6 reasons why parents are permanently exhausted:
No Downtime, No Escape.
Apart from escaping to the bathroom that is. Oh yes my friends, having a shit is now considered ‘you time’.
Sometimes (often) they even follow you into the toilet and you have the pleasure of trying to relieve yourself whilst having numerous questions fired at you and your toddlers resting their hands on your knees. NOT PLEASANT.
I know many parents these days get excited about the prospect of a shit (my husband being one of them) so they can reply to a message in peace or scroll needlessly through their social media feeds. BLISS.
The other day, I tried about 18 times to call a family member back for a two minute conversation. Every time they answered, my iPhone was snatched off me, I was used as a human trampoline or my toddlers decided to start screeching like banchees as soon as the family member answered. In the end I gave up. I’ll have to save that phone call for a special shit. It’s so difficult to explain to somebody that you don’t even have time to have make a two minute phone call, but you would not believe how common this scenario is.
No Sick Days
Your children could not care less that you are sick. You are mummy and you are still responsible for EVERYTHING. Gone are the days where you could call in sick and recuperate. You are no longer allowed to act sick even when you feel like a bag of shit. DEAL WITH IT.
Your child is the new Einstein
The brain develops so quickly in the first few years of life that your toddler is naturally inquisitive and wants to talk constantly.
There is not a second that goes by when your name is not being shouted ‘Mummy’, ‘Mummy’, ‘Mummy?’ ‘MUMMMMMMAAAAAAAYYYYY’
Then comes the endless stream of ‘Why?’ ‘Why?’ ‘Why?’ ‘How?’ ‘How?’ How?’ ‘I want…..’ (usually something impossible like a red banana). By the time they go to bed, you are so utterly exhausted from the relentless chatter and from them physical dragging you from one item to the next, that you could just fall sleep on the floor. SEND WINE.
You Never Ever Sleep Again
Well of course, you do, I may have slightly exaggerated with this title, but long fulfilling sleeps are out of the window. What are they? Interrupted sleep which includes pee breaks, juice requests, wanting to sit up and tell you a story at 2am are now the new norm.
Even when they do sleep, you don’t because you’re convinced it’s too silent. You have to get up and check them. Are they breathing? Why are they so quiet? Are they sick?
You now sleep with one eye open and one ear constantly alert. AGAIN, SEND WINE.
Baby Brain & Netflix
Even when you do finally crumple into an exhausted mess on the sofa at 8pm (or maybe later), your brain suddenly decides to wake up and you remember every random task you were meant to carry out during the day; ironing uniform, buying a present for another toddlers birthday party, your mums birthday card you haven’t yet posted, your forgot to call X back, you need to google that new diet supplement you’ve been reading rave reviews on.
Your husband wants to watch a new Netflix series with you, so you pretend to watch whilst your brain whirrs and before you know it, it’s midnight. You are physically and mentally exhausted. Time to go to bed for some interrupted sleep. YEY.
From the moment they start kicking you from the inside, the physical torture never ends. For the first few years, you are basically a human kangaroo. You will constantly have a solid weight attached to you. Throw in child number two and lifting approx 35 pounds hourly, you cannot understand why you’re not as muscly as Davina McCall yet. We’re not talking small weights here people like just carrying round the odd pound here and there, these are over-excited VERY HEAVY human octopuses. Those f&*kers wriggle everywhere making it impossible to juggle walking and lifting simultaneously. Oh but we do it, IT’S JUST NOT WITH EASE!
Parents are constantly subjected to little Princesses or Superheroes launching themselves headfirst off the sofas onto whatever body part they encounter. There is a very small chance that your back (plus other body parts) will ever be the same again. RIP pain-free back.
Parents are so exhausted, they sometimes cannot remember the question you’ve just asked them 10 seconds before. They often collapse into bed at 8pm without even having taken a pee. Don’t judge them.
Even though parents may constantly whinge about being exhausted, underneath it all, they are the happiest people alive.
They have their little sleep-thieves; for that they are eternally grateful, they’re just also now eternally exhausted. Perhaps now, you understand why?