Parenting fatigue

Hello all. So, before I had children I was one of those people who was tired a lot of the time. I would complain about being tired to other friends who also didn't have children and were equally tired. 'How are you?' 'I'm knackered'. 'Yeah me too, so tired, I just don't understand it'. We then had the option of going to BED and sleeping for EIGHT hours WITHOUT interruption. At the weekend we could get up when we wanted to (this was never before 6am), sit on the sofa and watch crap for a while and then maybe go for BRUNCH. (FYI: You cannot brunch with kids. Sometimes parents forget this, lured by the thought of eggs benedict and attempt to brunch; don't do it.)

Now I'm a parent I would like to talk to my younger self (well actually shout), 'you're not tired!!' There is no point having the 'Are you tired?' conversation with someone who has small children. This is a given; a state of parenthood. But why are we tired? Yes the constant lack of sleep might have something to do with it, but it's not lack of sleep alone.

When children are small you are responsible for everything they do. They can't make sensible or even logical decisions. EVERYTHING is therefore a potential danger. You have to be alert all the time and it's exhausting. Your mind can never switch off and having no head space for yourself in a 12 (if your lucky) hour day leaves you not just physically, but mentally fatigued. Sometimes when my 4 and 2 year old are watching a bit of telly and my 9 month old happens to be asleep, I'll just stand in the kitchen with a cup of tea and close my eyes.

I can't remember what it was like to not feel like this. Sometimes all I want is for others to stop making constant demands of me. (That includes my cat, I have nothing left to give. Your life is very easy. I have fed you. Now leave me alone!)

But it's important to remember that this is such a short phase, even though it doesn't feel like it. I want to enjoy it more, enjoy them more. I'm lucky, I know that, but I think it's really easy to forget that.

Now my advice is to go and stare vacantly into space for a bit.

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