I have realised that I write about being tired a lot, in one way or another. Now I don’t mean to go on about it, but there seems to be a lot of different tiredness stages to being a parent, and I’m not sure if it actually gets any better, more that you just move on to the next stage?
Having two boys I am really noticing this. LP in particular is non stop at the moment!
Now he has just started properly walking, he can’t stand being in his pushchair, a highchair in his car seat or anything else that restricts him. He wants to be exploring, constantly, and exploring as I’m finding out is hard work. LP is seemingly much more on the go than BB was.
As an example, I recently brought LP his first shoes (they are super cute). After which I had a battle to get him back into his pushchair. I was with my Mum, so we went for a drink, however he is only happy if he gets lots of snacks when in a highchair (It’s the only way to keep him quiet for a small amount of time). However he was not happy with his snacks today and wanted my cake! After maybe 15 mins, it was time to leave. I decided he could walk for a bit and he loved it. He’s getting used to his shoes, so was lifting his feet really high as he walked. He came across some pigeons, and tentatively moved towards them, roaring at them when he came close.
I let him walk for a little bit longer, however after some time of getting nowhere fast I decided to put him back in his pushchair. Cue him making his body stiff like a board, (how do they do that?) whilst I tried to wedge him into his pushchair whilst he screamed.
When LP is at home he is on the go constantly too, I really need eyes everywhere. He climbs up on the furniture, and if we are at home too long he gets bored, he is much more happy if he gets to go out. I remember friends saying that they needed to get out for their sanity each day, as their kids would drive them crazy if they stayed indoors, I didn’t quite understand before, BB was much more content to be at home. Now I have LP I fully understand!
BB is generally more relaxed, he loves to draw, and can spend lots of time doing this and making up stories which he likes to illustrate. He is though at the very talkative stage, so is constantly asking questions, which is wonderful, but equally as tiring as LP who is on the go all the time.
Mostly I feel like I’m going insane a lot of the time! When I am with BB and LP for a whole day the constant ‘Mummy’ or ‘Mumma’ calling sometimes has me running to the toilet for a peaceful few minutes (I don’t really get peace there either). I find I need to have a definite plan for those days, otherwise they can descend in chaos.
I cant even blame sleep deprivation for my tiredness anymore, it’s just that I have a total lack of energy somedays. I was speaking to a friend the other day who said ‘we are just getting old.’ As 40 creeps closer this is definitely true.
I love my children, they are an absolute blessing to me, they make me realise things about myself that I never knew before (or didn’t think about). I wouldn’t change any of my circumstances. However I was not prepared in the slightest for being with my children all the time. Perhaps I am being a bit over dramatic, I do get some time, just not like I used to. This is somewhat of an obvious statement I guess, but I miss time to myself without my children, and not just an hour here or there, I miss a whole full day to do what I like, when I want to! This sounds selfish, we are certainly blessed to have our family around, and I appreciate that many parents may never even get a couple of hours. I should probably stop moaning.
We do all need to rest and recharge though, I have been learning about rest recently, spiritual rest that is. Rest for me, is about being truly quiet, with no interruptions, where I can pray and wait to hear from God. More often than not, something will drop into my head, that I need to focus on making better. God is telling me, you need to sort this out.
In this crazy world I think it’s hard, it’s hard with children, they are soo demanding of our time and energy. Actually it’s important, we owe it to ourselves and our families to properly rest. I am no good if I don’t have rest, I just become that shouty parent. (I think I have been doing that a bit much recently). If I get true rest, which means I am peaceful and at ease then I am so much better for it.
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”