For all those mummies out there that are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and stuck forever, I know only too well how you are feeling but you need to know one thing, it’s a phase, and IT WILL PASS!
My boy suffered from colic and silent reflux when he was little, he slept awfully, waking 5 times a night until he was 8 months old, and during this time he slept very little in the day. In fact the only way I could get him to sleep in the day was to push him in a buggy, and the minute I stopped moving, he woke! So those pieces of amazing advice that tell you to sleep when your baby sleeps were of little help to me. So many times I felt trapped, I was exhausted, I needed to sleep and with no family living nearby there was no one that could come and look after my gorgeous boy while this shattered mummy rested. So I did what we all do, keep going! Feeling overwhelmed and permanently exhausted I pushed through. Sometimes in those difficult moments when all you need is sleep and yet it’s simply not possible, we all need to know one thing, IT WILL NOT BE LIKE THIS FOREVER! As with all things with our children they are phases and they come and go! It will change and you will look back on those amazing but difficult first few months as a distant memory.
But something I have since learnt is that as my baby has grown and his needs changed, so have mine! My capacity to do things is very different to what it used to be. I am a do-er and a don’t-rest-until-all-jobs-are-done kinda girl, but I find more and more that I can’t do things like I used to, and sometimes I can’t do things how I’d like to. I’d like to stay up until 11pm every night, I’d like to go to toddler groups and see friends all day every day, I’d like to get involved in lots of activities but I can’t. Why, because my capacity has changed.
This sounds so simple but for me this has been a real discipline. Learning that if my capacity is different to other mums, it’s ok, has been important! And learning that just because I like to live a certain way, doesn’t mean that I always can, there is a season for everything. In the season I’m in, I don’t have the capacity to be out all day every day, I don’t have the energy to stay up late every night, and I don’t always have the energy to clean the house from top to bottom in one go, but that’s ok. Because it’s a season. The tiredness will pass, if you’re experiencing exhaustion right now from sleepless nights, that will pass, and until it does, we learn to adjust to our new capacity. Why, because looking after our gorgeous babies is an amazing privilege but also amazingly hard work, and in order to do it to the best of our abilities we need to look after ourselves. We need to learn our capacities in the season we are in, and rest in the knowledge that whatever hard season we may find ourselves in, it will pass!