She told me how hard it would be. She warned me I would be living my days as a walking zombie. I thought it would be a breeze, work at night and mummy by day. I thought she was well intentionally exaggerating, but it didn’t take long for me to understand – ah…right…now I get it.
I like to call us the night ladies, since we primarily consists of tired, worry burdened mothers. We are the mothers you see with the bags under our eyes, or hyper on a night of endless cups of caffeine. We are the mothers who feed our children but forget to feed ourselves because we can’t work out when we are supposed to be hungry.
We continue to wash and iron and cook and play and we push that overbearing ache of three sleepless nights in a row to the back of our minds because there is just no time to be tired.
And when people ask me ‘how do you do it?’ With a look of complete horror, because they do…I roll my eyes and the only response I can muster is that you just do.
You just get on with it.
And I’m sure this would be the response of every night working mumma out there – you just get on with it!
And the truth is I really don’t know how I do it. I learnt in the first months that caffeine is not my friend, and a whole night of coffee and cola does not make a happy mummy the following day, and I have learnt that when that dull ache in your stomach starts to grow, it usually helps to eat a banana, or a brioche – anything to settle the grumble before it makes you sick.
I have learnt that a one year old is more than happy to watch cbeebies and play inside all day, and that this does not make you a bad mum – no matter what others might say – neither does staying in pyjamas all day.
I have discovered that I can survive on a two hour nap between nine hour shifts, and that sometimes this is easier than when I have had a full nights sleep.
I am learning that it is ok to co-sleep no matter who frowns at me for it. Because they might have the energy to rock a crying child back to sleep every few hours through the night, but after several nights with no rest, I want my boy snuggled against me where I know we will both enjoy deep and beautiful sleep together.
The answer is that I don’t know how I survive it, but that you find things along the way that make it just that little more bearable. You discover strength you didn’t know you had and a tolerance you would have said never existed.
You do it because you have to and you bite your tongue when others complain of exhaustion, others who are lucky enough to be the stay at home mum you would give anything to be.
You find energy to attend birthday parties and you drag yourself to church on a Sunday with a head full of cotton wool. You just keep going because it’s better than letting work consume you.
To the night ladies with your head full of worries and your heart full of guilt, with your eyes so heavy and your aching limbs. Let us stop feeling like sub par mothers, let us not listen to the little devil whispers that tell us we can’t possibly be good mums if we don’t have the energy to pick up all the toys and create a culinary masterpiece, or that not being there in the night when your child is poorly means you care any less than everyone else.
Let us be strong and know that we are doing what we can, let us be content, because God works all things for good, and we will be blessed for our servant hearts.
Linking up today at http://www.Ruthpovey.me for the weekly Letters To link up. This weeks prompt is Letter to the tired, please do come and join us, we can’t wait to read your posts!