On Prying Eyes Open With Cocktail Sticks

Sleep. Just Fucking Sleep.

Since Matthew has started playschool my eyes have been opened to other women with the same hollow-eyed stare that I see when I look in the mirror every day. The slightly hunted look, the ever so fidgety way they hop over the gravel to deposit their spawn into the welcoming arms of the teacher. The skin that is dehydrated from living like a prisoner of war for the last three years.

My sleeping pattern is this: Every month or so I get one night of about six hours straight sleep. This sets me up for the one and two and sometimes three hours in a row I get for the rest of the month. Today I am edging onto a full month of broken nights and three-in-a-bed. I am experiencing night time thoughts of valium and massages and the cool solitary beauty that a padded cell might afford me.

People have stopped telling me that they will sleep soon. It has become apparent that I own two of the worst sleepers in the history of the world, ever.

Not only that. Their Dad is all on for helping out. I am NOT ALONE IN THIS. But actually, I am.

Because. In the dead of the night, when the two year old is shrieking like a child who is being murdered, and my first thought is to the family on the other side of our semi-d, who have been unwilling participants in the sleeplessness experiment that is our two boys, my son will only be soothed by me. And I will do literally ANYTHING to shut him up.

So, I gingerly hoosh my older son over in our bed (he has taken to creeping in and hugging me, tight as a clam, until I am powerless against the force of his love and let him stay), and shove the little one in. From then on, we play “Who Can Kick Our Mother The Hardest”, and I find myself looking at Twitter at 3/4/5 in the morning, willing it to put me back asleep.

It is hell. But as a blogger I really admire, and is going through some sleep issues herself right now remarked to me this morning “the days are long but the years are short”.

True enough. But living like this is living with continuous jet lag, and while I can buy creams to make my seventy-five year old skin look a little better, my ass is seriously suffering from the sugar cravings. And. A McDonalds drive through has opened up nearby, so I don’t even have to suffer the shame of walking into the restaurant when I want to eat something filthy anymore. I can quietly and anonymously drive up there in my jim jams and suck my sleeplessness away with the help of one of their life-giving chocolate milkshakes.


About Ciara McDonnell

Ouch My Fanny Hurts was born in the late stages of my first pregnancy. I was sick and tired of everyone going on and ON about how brilliant it is to be pregnant, when actually, lots of it was quite crap really. And, my fanny hurt a lot. So, I decided to tell the truth about my experience while I was pregnant, and the journey I have been on since, as our little fella grew a little bigger, and we brought our second son into the world in what turned out to be fairly scary circumstances. It’s my story, and I am delighted to share it.
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11 Responses to On Prying Eyes Open With Cocktail Sticks

  1. Thank God for chocolate milk shakes. I too own the worst-sleeping children in the world but thankfully the time period when they were both waking and needing me, only me, in the middle of the night was fairly short. But I spent several hours in my 5 year old’s bed last night.

    This, you know, is why women age “faster” than men. Because we lose about three years’ sleep just when we need it most.

    You will get through it. It will pass. And when they’re teenagers you can entertain yourself waking them up at 6.30 on a weekend, because it’s your time for sweet revenge.

  2. We got two full nights in a row where he slept for 8 hours and then after a fast wakeup settled for another three hours. That was three weeks ago. Teething, tonsillitis and general lets-not-sleep-and-Mammy-doesn’t-need-sleep-either on his part have ensured that he’s rewarded us for realising what proper sleep was like with six times a night wake ups. Which didn’t seem as bad when he was in our room and getting up with him didn’t involve as much movement and manoeuvring through two doors that have a liability to slam, waking him… I start back at work next week. I’ve currently got the look of a crazed woman on the sheer amount of Diet Coke I’ve ingested.. Praying that I get a birthday present of a sleeping child… Or to forget what proper sleep feels like, so I stop missing it.

    Hopefully yours start sleeping soon too!

    • Ok. It is always worst before you go back to work. Before I went back after Matthew, he treated me to about six weeks of no sleep, just so I was looking wrecked before my grand return. This is actually going to make going back to work amazing. Think of those cat naps you can enjoy under your desk! Blisssss. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  3. Oh Jaysus I feel your pain. I spent last night teetering on the very tiny tip of the mattress edge as my three year old continued his forward march towards mother eviction. I notice it’s only ever in my direction though…

  4. Aedin says:

    Oh god I feel your pain!While our first lady slept through the night from only a few months(lulling us into a false sense of security!) daughter no 2 is a disaster when it comes to sleep.I average about 3 hours a night.And the cravings for shite food and take aways is getting out of control!!

    • Oh Aedin, the cruelty. At least neither of mine slept, so I was never any the wiser. POOR YOU. And yes, the shite food is the only way to survive this. Beige, fried food only please. With a smothering of chocolate.

  5. Aw thanks for the shout out. I said it earlier alright, it’s one of the mantras I took from The Happiness Project. My husband says that’s f*ck all consolation when you’re up all night with a child but hey, I like the sentiment.
    Haribo jellies by the fistful see me through. It’s bloody exhausting being exhausted isn’t it:(
    The days are long…

    • Lalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! It will all be over soon, it will all be over soon, IT WILL ALL BE OVER SOON. And then they will sleep all day, and cause horrible teenage stenches all over the house. Grits. Teeth.

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