I wanted to write this because for some of us it’s a living nightmare of truth. I know it’s something we don’t want to think about because as a society we have the expectation that everything should be dreamy when you have a baby, but sometimes it’s not. In fact, for those of you who are suffering from sleep deprivation, dreams might be on your mind but you might never have the chance to have one! I only hope this post brings support and understanding without judgement.
I, like many mums, thought that having a baby would be challenging but a generally positive experience. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby. However, post-natal depression and anxiety aside, the sleep deprivation and constant boredom really left its mark on me. I would wake throughout the night, wondering what I’d done to deserve the baby who never slept (I know you think I’m joking but ‘never’ is reality, he napped intermittently throughout every 24 hour period), and started most days in the first year of his life at 3am. Apart from feeling like I’d been run over by a bus due to ‘tiredness’ (there really needs to be another word for the kind of tired mums experience), I was sad that I’d lost my life. I felt like I’d ruined my life, my marriage and my family (two older step children in our lovely family) by bringing a screaming, crying, needy baby into our previously happy lives.
Every day felt like Ground Hog Day, but in super slow-mo. People would tell me the days were long but the years were short – but how could I understand that sense of time when every minute felt like an hour? Time meant nothing except that it was ever-present, and I needed time and space away from my baby to rekindle any hope that I still existed somewhere in my exhausted body. My obstetrician told me I’d be a husk by the end of my parenting experience – he was right.
I tried everything to help our lives return to whatever our new normal would be, but I saw frustration in my husband’s eyes at arriving home from a hard day at work to a mess of a wife with a still-crying baby. For those of you who might feel like this, I get it. I know that it might be the tiniest bit of solace that someone else experienced a version of what you’re going through. However, I know that it gets easier. Not necessarily better, because the fatigue takes time to recover from. But it becomes easier as you return to work, as you hire a nanny for an hour a week, as you realise bub slept for 20 minutes more today, and as you find the new things that make you feel better.
If you need to talk to someone, think you need help with something or want to agree please comment or leave a comment on the Facebook page.