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I remember a speaker once saying that any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a Daddy.

I remember thinking that’s true.

And now I think there’s a missing second line to that:

Many a woman can be a mother, but it takes a special one to be a good mother.

Yeah, okay, I won’t win accolades, but it is true.

This has been a particularly trying week in our home, and my patience is running very, very short. The disturbed and broken sleep of the last three nights certainly doesn’t help, and the fact that our lives are up in the air, we’re living with friends and family, moving around to accommodate our need for accommodation without inconveniencing anyone else, and the fact that my hubby is working 12 hour days, all add up to me being – well… not the best.

Being a mother isn’t that hard. Get pregnant, have a baby, get the baby to adulthood alive and with as little scarring as possible. But everything beyond that basic baseline instruction takes effort. Time, energy, motivation. Effort.

Of course it’s not always tough, and sometimes it’s downright fantastic, but even in the worst job you have good days. What differentiates motherhood from a ‘real job’ is that you don’t get to go home, you don’t get to take days off, and there’s no changing jobs to get away from a bad situation. Oh, and in a ‘real job’ you get to hand over to someone else when you need to.

As a mother, however, you’re on call all the time. Even ‘scheduled’ me time falls away when something else comes up. There’s no explaining ‘me time’ to a frantic, teething toddler.

Engaging young minds is hard work. Enthusiastic work. Energy consuming work. Whether you slept or not. Going on outings, for walks, teaching, drawing, singing, reading. Sleep is irrelevant. But keeping a child active and engaged is definitely the lesser evil – a bored and frustrated toddler is just plain scary.

Not snapping and getting irritable at the ‘Mama, mama, mama, mama’ that follows you around the house, or currently for us, ‘up, up, up’ is really hard. Especially when you haven’t slept.

Being a mother might be the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It might be the thing that’s made me grow more than anything else, and it might be the biggest thing that I would never ‘undo’ given the chance, but being good at it… well… it’s undervalued.

If I put this much energy, effort, emotion, thought, passion, self and time into a ‘real job’, I’d own the company by now.

* We do still cosleep, but our unsettled lives, and teething, are making for an unsettled little one who wakes up moaning a lot. Added to which I’m under a lot of stress, which means I don’t sleep much or well when I do.
* I still breastfeed and for the first time ever, my nipples hurt. This makes me cranky and not feel like nursing. This makes Ameli cranky. Two crankies don’t make a happy. Or something like that.

9 Comments

Ramblings Of An Overtired Mother

  1. After 7 months of sleepless nights with our new baby son, and my 2 1/2 year old daughter going through some major milestones with potty training and a 3 month transition from 1-2 word sentences to last night reciting all her favourite songs and rhymes IN FULL in English and Swedish (I’m Swedish, so she’s bilingual), I’m involuntarily taking time to reflect on my life as an adult and mother. I was astounded at what has been achieved and how my life has changed.

  2. It is so hard to be a mother who engages her child. Sometimes I wish I could just let my kids run wild. The best part about it is if your around no matter what type of a mother you are your kids will still love you.

  3. Sleep deprivation is the worst!! I remember when my little guy was waking up every 2 hours to nurse… this went on for the first 5 months and I was losing my marbles!!!

    And I totally agree with everything you said about “real” jobs allowing time off – hang in there Mama!!

  4. I hear you! My little co-sleeper has not been doing the sleeping part. And my neck hurts when I nurse her at night. RE the sore nipples, do you think you might be expecting? That is how I knew I was pregnant. I was still nursing my older girl when I became pregnant, and my nipples and breasts were very tender and sore. Hope you get settle and get some sleep!

    1. @georgine, Oh! It would be so much easier if they just slept! As for the sore nipples… I’m not sure. I’m highly doubtful, but it might be worth a test! Thanks so much for the encouragement. 🙂

  5. It’s so difficult when combined with sleep deprivation. Can you nap with her during the day? Or is there anyone who can look after her? Even half an hour would make a big difference on you.
    During phases like this,I only do the really necessary chores at home.Like cooking, tidying up the kitchen etc.
    {Hugs} This too shall pass,just try to hang in there.

    1. @Isil, Unfortunately we’re pretty much on our own. My hubby could normally, but he’s full out working at the moment – he hardly has time for anything, much less looking after her! You’re right though – I need to prioritise. Thanks so much for your support.

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