I gave up our allotment, that we shared with a friend. They have five children, and so do we. When I explained to someone why I couldn't handle it anymore, I said "we have 10 kids between us" and it kind of hit me anew. That's a lot of children.
No wonder I'm tired. I have a nine month old baby who I love dearly but she really enjoys waking at dawn. Dawn in the summer means 4am, so that's not always easy.
I am not giving my all to my family, because I am tired. I am grumpy and short-tempered, I don't have the energy to cook, and cleaning? Well, if you can walk without crunching something underfoot, I call it a win.
They are healthy and happy, for the most part. But am I? I worry that I'm too tired, but then I remind myself that I don't go to bed before 11pm most days. Can anyone really function on five hours of broken sleep for months on end?
Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself. Perhaps I need to take more naps.
I once read about how humans naturally had a segmented sleep cycle in the days before electricity. Everyone would go to bed at sundown, sleep for five hours or so, wake up for two hours, and sleep again for another three or four hours. They called it their "first" and "second" sleeps. It sounded amazing, so I tried it. I never saw my husband, since by the time I woke up from my first sleep, he was off to bed for the rest of the night. I then got anxious and struggled to get to bed for my second sleep, worrying that I wouldn't get enough rest before the children woke up.
Modern ways of sleeping fit better into our modern lives, funnily enough. But I still feel tired.
Am I anemic? Do I have a B12 deficiency? Why do I want a third nap, and still feel like I'm living in a fog of slow thoughts?
My children have started finishing my sentences for me. Am I really that difficult to chat with? Do their minds move so quickly that they can't even wait for the words to come out of my mouth? I think it might just be a bad habit, rather than an assessment of my state of mind. I hope so, at least.
I didn't take a nap today. I stayed up too late, my husband out of town and the tv viewing all to myself, while the baby slept and slept. She woke up at dawn, her usual happy self, while I grumble and try to go back to sleep with her pootling around on the floor.
It is 7pm and I feel leaden. My eyes blink slowly, my mouth slack. We had cereal for dinner, because it's hot and I just can't think of anything to cook. We have cupboards full of food; dried pasta, rice, beans, lentils. Sauces and tins, packets and jars. Plenty of ingredients, but if I chopped any vegetables tonight, I think I would regret it.
We had a good day, despite my tiredness. A morning at a soft play centre, with the older ones playing laser tag, coming home for lunch and a Doctor Who marathon. You really can't go very wrong with the tenth doctor. We take breaks for ice lollies and snacks. We finally took down our canvas tent (it was drying out, then got rained on twice, and was finally completely dry again) which was a wonderful acquisition that will make a great story to tell. Perhaps on a day when I'm not so tired.
My husband still isn't home. He went to pick up a car we bought, and has experienced an epic journey of false starts, possible money laundering, unexpected overnight stays, dodgy engines and a tour of the countryside. It sounds much more exciting than what it was, although I was pleased to hear that the takeaway order I placed for him was delivered successfully to his pit-stop at the park and ride next to the motorway. I ordered 4 bottles of water at 500 ml each. I think 2 litres of bottled water is overdoing it, really, but it is hot today and I was worried.
I haven't been eating right. When I'm tired, I don't want to put any effort or thought into meals and snacks, which results in my fall back option of quick-but-unhealthy. It's frustrating to get into this cycle, but I don't know how to break it. Perhaps if I spent a week of going to bed at 8pm. Somehow that doesn't seem very realistic.
I feel like a bit of a hypocrite, or just a flaky goofball, but I am glad my 4 year old is attending school in September. I'm too tired to do fun things with her anymore. Well, I take that back. We do go out, and have some fun, but I am only good for a couple of hours before I have to come home and collapse. At least when she starts school, the baby will still be taking naps (pleasepleaseplease) and I will get some rest without the guilt of not being engaged and "present" for my family.
What if there isn't any deficiency? What if exhaustion is my version of normal? I try not to worry, and remind myself that five children is a lot of kids. Maybe that's why I'm so tired.
|The tent was up for a long time.|