Ever since we brought Ben home six weeks ago, friends and family have all asked me the same question: “How are you doing?”
The short answer? “I’m doing great, but I’m really tired.” Ben wakes up every 2-3 hours, and at least one of his nighttime feedings lasts at least an hour. And, with three other kids odds are high that at least one of them will A) wake up in the middle of the night or B) wake up extra early in the morning. It has been many, many months since I’ve slept through the night.
I am really really really really REALLY tired. So tired that it is hard for me to focus – mentally and literally. Like, sometimes my eyes literally will not focus on what is in front of me. I cannot read a magazine because the words blur together, and I avoid driving during moments of extra tiredness. My eyes are fatigued.
Before Baby 4, extreme tiredness and exhaustion might have caused me to feel extra emotional. But, now I am too tired to cry. I literally do not have the strength to shed a tear. I have surrendered to the tiredness.
I am so tired that I simply cannot see further than the next few days. Weddings this summer, Chris’s birthday next week, doctor appointments next month – I cannot plan for these events because I don’t have the mental capacity to think that far ahead.
I am so tired that my body hurts. Aches, really. Every muscle is working overtime to compensate for the lack of rest, so when I do finally lay down at 9:30 pm for a three hour stretch I feel my body melt into the mattress.
I try not to complain. I know there are plenty of women praying for a baby, and they would feel grateful for a few months of sleepless nights. Plus, anyone who signs up to have a kid knows that sleep will be in short supply, so I recognize my predicament is not unique to me. And since this is our fourth baby we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel: someday Ben will start sleeping through the night and my mental state will return to normal.
For now I just have to survive.
And enjoy every freaking moment.
Because it goes by in an instant.
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