Don’t you cry my baby/ sleepy-time is nigh

I’m tired.

I’m so tired of being tired.

I’m tired of spending days in a fog. Of headaches in the morning. Of heavy limbs.

I’m tired of the dragging myself through my days. This is it. This is my life. This is my children’s childhood and I want to have energy for it.

I’m tired of who tiredness makes me.

I’m tired of the way I wake up short tempered, longing to go back to bed, just for a bit more. And then I perk up, but by late afternoon I’m running on empty. I’m short-tempered again.

I’m tired of knowing my son is underslept too. Of not knowing how to convince this stubborn child that sleep is good for him.

I’m tired of hearing him say ‘I’m tired’ all afternoon, and then ‘I can’t sleep’ all evening.

I’m tired of being told that that is just life with small kids, they don’t sleep when we want them to and we just have to live with it. Because the reality is this lack of sleep isn’t just affecting me and my husband, it is affecting the kids too. Not just because it makes me a grumpy bitch sometimes. Though I’ll admit it does.

I’m tired of hearing his feet running down to our room, multiple times a night. Of getting up and leading him back to bed.

This getting out of bed, it’s a bad habit. But it is also an act of kindness.

You see, my kids share a room. MJ gets out of his bed and comes to us, instead of yelling, so that he doesn’t wake his sister. I wonder if he knows when I slowly lift my head off the pillow, and we both sleepily stumble back down the hall, that I see this? That even then, in the dead of night, when I would do anything to still be asleep, I still see the best in him.

I’m tired of thinking that maybe it is our fault. Maybe if we waited to have kids until we could afford a place with three bedrooms? Maybe then, would we have waited until it was too late? That’s the choice you see. And how do you know, before you have them, that you will be blessed with the children that do not sleep, instead of the mythical beasts that do? Perhaps a reflection on my own childhood could have informed me.

Mythical sleeping babies are lovely
Mythical sleeping babies are lovely

I do not wish my children away for a full night’s sleep. I just want both. Is that so much to ask for?

I’m tired of our ridiculous bedtime routine. I’m tired of battling every night. I’m tired of all four of us in the bedroom at once. Me with AJ who adores her father deeply, except for at bedtime, where she will cry and cry if he tries to put her to bed, so it has to be me, and if she doesn’t go to sleep quickly I have to stand with my hand on her chest so she stays quiet while her brother goes to bed, and my back begins to ache and my arm goes numb and I stand there and wait and wait and wait until finally she drifts away. And I listen to MJ who rolls over and over, and whispers, and gets up for water, and for more cuddles, and then the toilet, and then rolls over and over, and I finally leave the room, and we ask him to be quiet a million times, and then he whispers and rolls over, and *What The Hell* now he is doing head stands on his bed, and then he wakes his sister, and then he gets cross because she is being too noisy for him to sleep, and the irony of this is apparently completely lost on him, and so I leave him with my husband, and take her to our room. I lie in the dark with AJ cuddled in my arms, her head on my shoulder. She relaxes and I hear MJ and my husband arguing about him at least trying to lie down, and I’m so tired.

Outside a car honks its horn, AJ lifts her head “Noi” she tells me with her surprisingly nasal N. “Yes” I whisper “Noisy car” I stroke her hair and she lays down again arm hooked around my neck. Holding me as close as possible.

It is quiet now. I am tired, and I lie in the dark, listening to the silence in my house. Her breathing slows as she drifts back into sleep, and I know I have to move her, I know there is tidying still to be done, and work to do, and a son who will ask me for cuddles again, and a husband it would be nice to talk to, but for now I am content to lie here with her.

I am tired, but each soft breath is a blessing on my cheek.

6 thoughts on “Don’t you cry my baby/ sleepy-time is nigh”

  1. Gorgeous, so beautiful. I had a non sleeper too but loved sleepy cuddles with her arms wrapped around my neck. I hope you manage some sleep soon.

    1. Sleepy cuddles really make the pain of not sleeping worthwhile. I hope you get some better sleep these days. (Give me hope!!)

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