A lot of people say they never understood exhaustion until they became a parent. That wasn’t the case with me. I’ve dealt with exhaustion from sleep issues, and depression/anxiety, so after Baby Grouch Number One was born I think I actually felt better in the mornings than I used to. I was tired, of course, but I was always tired and honestly having a kid just gave me an excuse to get up and keep moving, and I didn’t feel any worse, most of the time, so I just focused on the gift that is motherhood and welcomed the fact that I felt like shit, on most days. I felt the same amount of tiredness that I used to, but at least I was being productive, and I had newfound happiness.
But, once Baby Grouch Number Two came along, I began to understand how those other people felt. I hit the ground running. With two, there was not much time for resting postpartum, and I had to keep moving. I still do. There is no down time. The house is constantly a mess, my arms are constantly carrying my little ones, along with bags, bottles, books, baby dolls, diapers, wipes, sippy cups and peanut butter crackers.
So, there’s coffee.
But holy hell, I am TIRED. And even though people always ask, “is the baby sleeping?” it doesn’t really matter if the kids sleep through the night or not, it’s the cumulative effect of sporadic mid-night wake ups, waking up to pee, hearing phantom baby cries, hormonal changes (hello night sweats!?! ugh) and Mom Ears – supersonic hearing that cause me to wake up when my husband rolls over, or my daughter coughs, or when the tree branch scratches the window outside the dining room, downstairs, on the other side of the house (we’re getting that tree cut down soon).
There is not enough coffee in the world.
Recently there was a study about how moms are sleep deprived, even several months after giving birth. So, there’s the scientific proof. But we moms don’t fucking need it, do we? No. We don’t. We know it’s real based on the stupid shit we do when we’re in such a state. Here’s my latest:
1) I went jogging with a pal the other day. Which sounds good, until you hear the rest. We meet at a local gym (that neither of us is a member at), park our cars and jog from there. We are typically gone for about an hour or so. On our last jaunt, I was exhausted (shocker) and had to walk the last half mile. I got back to the parking lot and my pal was still there. I thought maybe I wasn’t that slow, since she was still there stretching, but NO. She was there to tell me, “um, your car door was open this whole time”. I left my car door open, for an hour, while we jogged. She looked concerned. I was embarrassed, since this was one of those friends who you really don’t want your crazy to show, you know? But, she’s seen it, that’s for sure, so oh well. Thank goodness I live in freaking suburbia because my wallet was in my trunk, safe and sound.
1b) I was reminded that I was also pretty loopy after having just one kid. I went jogging once and didn’t realize until about two miles in that I was wearing two different shoes.
2. I drink coffee all. day. long. I have to or I will stop moving. So I turned on the Keurig the other day and turn around and see this:
I forgot to put coffee cup under the spout. Eff.
3. I have to pee a lot, from all that coffee, but I’m even screwing up peeing. I went to the doctor and was supposed to pee in a cup before heading to the room. I went in, peed, came out, and realiized I forgot to pee in the cup. The nurse came in the room and gave me a quizzical look. I gave her a head shake, and a shoulder shrug while saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I forgot”. I had to laugh becacuse it feels like there is literally nothing I can do about this kind of crap. I accepted it, chugged some water and tried again later (I had to focus, but I was able to complete the task)
4. I got in a fight with my husband, I forget about what (of course). We were arguing and then went to the grocery store and then was so tired I forgot I was even mad at him. Probably for the best, but still. You know how annoying spouses can be. So that’s some serious tiredness to completely forget that shit. And then, I remembered what I was mad about later, and I didn’t even care. So tired.
5. I’ve lost two car keys in the last few months. Those fuckers are expensive. Did Toddler Grouch toss them in the trash? Are they in the basket they should be, I just can’t see them through my exhausted glassy-eyed gaze? It’s a modern day mystery.
I’m all about scientific studies, so YAY SCIENCE for discovering we’re all sleep-deprived. Even though we already knew.
Quite frankly, it makes me feel better when I hear that I’m not alone. It’s things like this (it’s HILARIOUS – click it!) from Momastery‘s Facebook page, that make me smile and think that what I’m going through is perfectly normal and perfectly fine. I can laugh at myself, (and let’s be honest, a little harder at the other acts of sleep-deprivation that are not my own) and keep on truckin’. Peace out, fellow Mamas, who do so much, with working brain cells so few.
Any sleep-deprivation stories you want to share with me, so I feel less alone?!