Whomever coined the phrase “Sleeping Like a Baby” has clearly never spent a night in close proximity to a baby. Lack of sleep is the number one reason why parents are exhausted. It’s what everyone somewhat joyfully warns you about when you announce your pregnancy. But there are lots of other reasons parents are exhausted. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who has a ‘good sleeper’, there’s plenty more to ware you out and keep you awake at night.
The reasons parents are exhausted:
1 You are on constant high alert for tantrum triggers
Especially when out in public. For example when we go swimming we have to walk past a soft play are in the leisure centre on our way to the changing rooms. It’s a game of distract the toddler so he doesn’t see the soft play, or quite frankly it’s game over. Being a parent is constantly thinking ahead!
2 Your head never stays still
Add more than one child into the mix then I’m surprised parents don’t have permanent neck problems or whiplash from trying to keep an eye on each child. The previously mentioned soft play areas are literally hell for this. “There’s one. Where’s the other one? Oh there he is. Nope that’s not my child. Oh there he is going head first down the highest slide. Wait I’ve lost the other one again.” I’m amazed we haven’t evolved to have those illusive eyes in the back of our heads.
3 There are always chores
I seem to always be cleaning up after my kids. Whether it’s toys, clothes or crumbs, something always needs cleaning. Is that poo or chocolate?
4 Kids are demanding
When I was a kid I always remember my mum saying in somewhat exasperated tones, “I’m going to change my name”. And now I get it! I really do.
“Mummy can I…”
“Mummy I want…”
Mummy where is…”
Mummy I spilt…
“Mummy look at…”
“Mummy!” “Mummy!” “MUMMY!”
I sometimes imagine my life looks a bit like a Benny Hill sketch. Except there aren’t lots of women. Just me. And I’m normally wearing more clothes! (For those under the age of thirty, google it!)
5 There is constant noise
Do you ever have those parenting days where the noise just gets a bit too much. Suddenly your senses become a bit overwhelmed from the shouting, singing, drumming, banging, shrieking sound effects of childhood. In the evening you find yourself slumped on the sofa not saying a word to your husband. And it’s not because you have nothing to say, or that you are ignoring him, it’s just that you are relishing the silence.
6 All of the questions
Oh my god the questions. Did you know kids can average 390 questions per day. Sometimes all before breakfast! On that basis having 2 kids means you are asked 780 questions per day. If the average kid is up for 12 hours a day that’s 65 questions every hour. That’s more than one question every minute. Our lives are basically a constant quiz show.
7 So much worrying
What’s that rash? Are they having too much screen time? What if he hates school? What if he never stops sucking his thumb? Is it normal for Children to be incapable of silent thoughts, or is everything said out loud? What happens if you eat play-doh? From the sublime to the ridiculous us parents worry about everything. It’s no wonder parenting ages us, and quite frankly it’s exhausting.
8 So much to organise
I am the keeper of all knowledge. When the after school clubs are, the addresses of his best friends. The times of appointments. I used to just manage my diary, but now it’s my kids too. Trying to organise a night away from the kids can be a military operation to get everyone where they need to be at the right time.
9 The list of things to remember
I know all of the names of the kids in Big’s class, their siblings and most of the parents. The same for Little. That’s over 60 kids! I can tell you all of the pups from paw patrol, and which disc out of 10, any given Charlie and Lola episode is on. Not bad for someone who struggled to remember which boob she last fed from in the early days. Remembering so much stuff is pretty tiring though. Is it any wonder I can’t remember anything remotely intelligent?
10 The constant risk assessments
If I leave the toddler alone for two minutes so I can pee what will he destroy? What can he climb up, fall down, or break? I didn’t really like that ornament anyway. Wherever you go it’s a constant assessment, and the houses of people with no kids? Worst nightmare! “OMG! Cream carpets! Do not let him touch anything, do not take your eyes off him!”
Seriously, It’s no wonder we’re all bloody knackered!
But give us 10 minutes of interrupted silence and we’ll be complaining that it’s too quiet and welcome back the chaos! Who needs sleep anyway? We have concealer, sunglasses, and Instagram filters!
Do you have any more reasons parents are exhausted?