It’s 10:25 on a Wednesday evening, I’m completely exhausted (it’s been a week of a cold and three teeth coming through, one of which is a molar *otherwise known as little bastards*) yet here I am wide awake typing this into my notes. I can hear my husband’s deep sleepy breathing and our little girl is in the middle of us, sleeping not so peacefully however thanks to her stuffy nose, I should be sleeping too and don’t get me wrong – I am tired.
In fact, tired beyond belief. But here I am, like every night, I stay awake the latest out of everyone else -but why you may ask?
Cause it’s the only time I get any peace all day. The world feels still at this time, except for the breathing of my loved ones – the house is silent and dark. I can hear myself think, I can relax, I can feel like me again for a tiny fleeting part of the day.
I love being a mum, my little girl is honestly the best, and I know all mum’s say that but she really is. But the juggle of being a mum is so incredibly hard, it often stops me in my tracks, leaves me feeling like I’m constantly on a hamster wheel or on an extremely fast treadmill that’s going faster and faster and I’m going to deck it and fall off it in a comedy style that would definitely earn £250 on You’ve Been Framed at any given second.
I know all mum’s go through this and I was only speaking to one of my mum friends about this the other day, ‘it’s just so mentally demanding being a mum’ she said.
I firmly believe that if a neurosurgeon looked into my brain, they would see a big bowl of strawberry jelly. Most days my head feels scrambled, I can’t think, remember or focus- because there’s about 245 things whirring round in there all at once.
I’m trying to do things that normally take 5 minutes, but when you’ve got a toddler, they can take all day, I’m constantly thinking about ‘what meal is next? What’s Penelope having? What are we having? Okay I need to prep that. The dishwasher needs unloading, let’s do that, Penelope can you just stand still for one second please, no don’t climb into the dishwasher darling. Oh the washing machine needs unloading too, I probably should put that white load on actually, Penelope where did you get that shoe from and no don’t put it in your mouth – yucky! Oh shit I need to reply to that email about that work campaign, which I should be able to do when P is at mums on Friday -that’s if She’s feeling better by then – should I be worried about her cough? I mean she seems fine, she’s eating shoes for Christ sake. Oh okay where was I -the dishwasher, and is that the door? Frank stop barking please it’s just the postman – what did I say was for dinner again?’
This but all day every day. It.is.exhausting.
Then at night, sometimes like this evening where I cocked up her naps and let her have a dangerous 4pm nap cause she’d only napped 40 mins all day, it took ages to get her to go to sleep and left her totally restless, meaning I got a solid 15 mins of a Bridgerton episode to watch before she woke up and I gave up for the evening. Hooray.
So that my friends is why I stay up late every night. It’s a risky move, I never know what night we’re in for, how many times we’ll wake, or what time we’ll rise-but in the stillness of the late night no matter how tired I am, I sit and I watch YouTube on my phone, or browse Pinterest for home decor ideas, or get down a rabbit hole on Facebook of someone I went to school with’s wife – but it doesn’t matter what I do- it’s quiet. I feel calm. And when I’m ready, I go to sleep ready for another 100 miles an hour day of being a mum.
I hold onto this time, it heals me from the day, clears my mind, the only time of the day that I’m not just Mum.
So to all my other Mums out there, reading this at an ungodly hour, knowing full well you should be asleep – know that I see you and I’m with you.