I always imagined if I ever had children it would be as easy as saying ‘be’ and they ‘are’, and when the time came to start having them I would have two close together like my sister and I because nothing is closer than the bond two siblings close in age….right?
So here I am, on my sons first birthday I started work again after a whole years maternity and Expecting. At the beginning I simply put my tiredness down to having a 1yr old and working and running my home (which in itself I feel is a full time job). But in actual fact the sheer exhaustion that comes with each individual component is nothing to be laughed at.
The exhaustion from:
- Growing a whole new person from scratch, I’m talking limbs, organs, brain, the full whack! Oh there is no space in your body? Don’t worry it was well stretched the first time so number 2 will slot right in no problem. Oh you need to eat to have energy to look after your other child? Tough, new baby doesn’t fancy anything, throw it right up, there’s a good Mamma. Oh your husband doesn’t understand why you are tired because he is up as much as you? What Is He Even Talking About, you are growing a person and you didn’t come home at 1am having been out socialising and eating a meal that was piping hot! Oh you need to pee? Never mind, both baby and toddler in their demented way of showing love will both press on your bladder (one internal one external) at the same time until you feel like you have no control over your life ever again.
- Being the fairy that does the groceries and cleaning and laundry and cleaning (you have a 1yr old remember) and cooking and cleaning (incase you forgot, you have a 1yr old). Yes a child does involve three times as much cleaning no matter how much you teach them to ‘tidy tidy’ after themselves and their toys and their food and their multitude of nappies.
- Not sleeping the whole night but expected to be a fully functioning member of the team, all the other employees have children and function, so can you. Your mistakes are ten times worse if you dare make any because you have just ‘been on holiday’ for a whole year and yes you have come back part time for childcare reasons so make up the work in the five days that everyone else has. God help you if you complain, or doze, or kip for five minutes in the loos. You never drank coffee before but now it seems like an appetising option doesn’t it? Bottoms up!
- Having the terrible two’s starting on their first birthday and the child getting clingy because they sense another presence who they have decided they don’t really like because their mummy is their’s alone, other baby just bugger off. All the while they are exploring and understand the creation of new emotions like happiness and frustration and anger.
How do you remain empathetic to your child that throws their food and screams, but you need to eat because the foetus demanded food now otherwise threatening making you throw up, but your manager gave you seven levels of hell because you chose today to tell her that you are expecting again and oh by the way you are four and a half months gone, but you haven’t slept in weeks because your 1yr old is getting FOUR teeth in one go??
Welcome to Hell!