Dear tired, knackered mothers,
When the twins were born I fell under the category of smug mother, my children slept and they slept well. Around me the rest of you wandered around looking grey and lifeless, your arms aching from constant rocking and rucksacks forming under your eyes.
God I was happy, with eight hours sleep I could do anything, I could cope with two bundles of joy, hell I could even run marathons – and I did – three of the feckers. I felt your eyes burning into my soul when you saw me fresh-faced and bouncing down the street with my babes in arms but I didn’t care as I had the holy grail; sleep was my bed mate.
I can only apologise again, I didn’t realise my energy caused you so much anguish.
But have you seen me now, seen the woman I have become.
Along came my BB, and my smugness disappeared right up my backside.
I am one of you.
I don’t remember when I last had four hours of continuous sleep, I have learnt to function on three and see anything over that as a luxury. When I go to bed at night I have to peel my cheap contact lenses out of my dry, weary eyes, my clothes stay on the floor where I drop them as I crawl to my bed and as my head hits the pillow my tummy churns with the fear of worry about what reason will cause me to wake.
Last night sleep came in fits and starts, my brain was fogged with work assignments and refused to switch off. As soon as my eyes closed my ears opened and I heard little footsteps come to a halt by my bed.
It was two minutes past midnight, I had been asleep for twelve minutes.
“Can I test my bloods?”
Twin girl was awake and living in fear of a hypo.
I stumbled through the bungalow, stubbing my toe on the step and then wailing in anguish when my bare foot found a mini Darth Vader embedded in it. His lightsaber penetrated me but the force remained suspiciously absent. I located the blood kit, tested my daughter, she was fine, I tucked her in and returned to my bed avoiding Luke Skywalker in the process.
It was twelve thirteen, I sighed and went out like a light.
One thirty-two I awoke with a start, my internal mother radar glowing like a fluorescent bulb, I heard a wail and walked blindly through the dark hallway to find the source of the noise. BB lay in her room, arms outstretched, a grin on her face and all signs of the cry firmly eradicated. “I get up now?” she beamed “watch Peppa Pig?”.
I would rather eat horse than watch Peppa in the early hours so I tried to settle my willful child and suddenly without warning the cry returned.
“I sleep with you?” she wailed without wetness.
Too tired to argue I lifted her and walked silently back to my room, my foot met Yoda on our travel and I cursed out loud and lifted my tiny assailant from the floor.
BB laughed at my pain and mimicked her brother “Hard to see, the dark side is” she spluttered through giggles. I failed to laugh and tossed Yoda into a pile of debris in the twins darkened bedroom.
I bloody hate star wars – espeacily when it is courting my feet.
We both fell back to asleep, I dreamt of Gina Ford and when I once worshipped at her alter, before I started writing open letters to other shagged out, exhausted parents.
Three fifteen am: twin boy went for a wee, and popped in on his way back to let me know he had washed his hand and lifted the seat.
Four thirty am: BB awoke again, and again happily asked for Peppa to join us under the duvet, I explained three in the bed would cause an upset and by some miracle she closed her eyes and fell back to slumber.
Six am: All three children were in my bed, I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I do know that a conversation about Willies is not quite the first thing I need to hear as day breaks, especially when a Willie started this whole sleepless problem.
My eyes are like pinholes, my hair is matted to my head as I am so tired I forgot to rinse out the conditioner as I went through the motions.
So I write to you, I implore you.
Tell me fellow knackered mothers.
Does it ever end?
Will sleep return?
An ex Gina Ford worshipper simply done in mummy to three.