Last night I went to bed at 11:30 pm. The whole house was quiet and nobody stirred as they usually do right as my head hit the pillow. I lay there wide awake waiting; waiting for the cries that snap me to attention. My mind raced and I could not settle. It seemed that even when given the opportunity I still could not seize the sleep I so desperately needed.
Somehow four years of interrupted or non-existent sleep has caused a kind of insomnia that my body has become used to, so even with the snippets of sleep I do get I never wake feeling refreshed. Yet the day stretches before me like a very long road in the desert; a road shimmering in a hot, bright haze that I must follow. With no choice I have to go forward as best I can, forcing my body to function normally in the situations and demands of motherhood that anyone would find challenging and relentless.
I lay there willing myself to relax and go to sleep but I could not. After an hour and a half I was finally feeling sleepy and Master 2 started crying out for me. I struggled up and staggered bleary-eyed to his bed to comfort him and shusssssh him back to sleep. I tried to open my eyes properly but they felt like they were filled with sand, they were gritty and sore. I patted him and soon he was fast asleep again. So I wandered back and fell into my own bed, I noticed it was 1:30 am.
I laid there and fell into a kind of blurry half-sleep. At 2:35 pm Master 2 was awake again, with what I can only put down to ‘night terrors’ as he was screaming out for me. I rushed in to him, running into the couch along my way and hurting my shin. I needed him to shut up so he didn’t wake the others.
Finally I got back to bed only to have my familiar pattern keep repeated as Master 4 soon cried out for his teddy that he couldn’t find when he stirred. Then Master 1 woke at 4.30 am for a drink and a cuddle. Mr Magentafrog’s alarm went off at 5:30 am. It just keeps happening.
I know I have spoken of the relentless necessity of motherhood before. Those that have been through it often talk of it ‘getting better’ and that ‘this too will pass’, but no-one can tell me when. When will it get better? When can I sleep again?
As I write to you dear Readers, Master 1 is toddling around with a plastic bowl jammed on his head grinning and dribbling at me. He is gorgeous, yet I visualise the day when he doesn’t need me and wonder if I will feel relieved or bereft.