Today is my birthday. I am 36 years old. Goodness me!
I mean in reality, I am not 36 – I think I am more like 24. Unfortunately the wrinkles around my eyes and the few grey hairs (not many mind) say different, and I really am just four years away from turning 40.
Every year I get older and yet I never, ever feel older. I can see myself changing. Those wrinkles becoming more widespread, my face ageing a bit more. When I look back at photos of myself, even just from back when I had Zach six years ago, I can see the difference between the 30 year old me and the now me. But I never, ever feel it – even when my bones creak a little more than they did last year!
I look back at those younger ages though, and realise how much more comfortable in my own skin I am nowadays. I always thought I would have had children much younger than I did have, but if I think back, I would not have wanted to be the playground Mum. I was no-way near confident enough to be that person. Whereas now, I don’t really have any qualms. OK, so at the beginning, of course I was a nervous wreck – but as time went on, and I learnt who other mums were, I was more confident to say hi, to smile, or to have a full on chat.
It’s the same with playgroups. Even back at 30 when I was just a Mum to Zach, I found playgroups really hard. Whereas now – I have made a bunch of Mum friends and the groups are for me as much as they are for Oscar. A hot cup of tea and a chat whilst our children play together is my ideal morning out these days!
I didn’t ask for much this year. It probably helps that the other half and I decided to only do small presents from the kids because he’s just changed jobs and has that unfortunate period of time of having to wait for his first invoice to be paid (he’s a contractor now). I did send a little list to my Mum and my Sister, but otherwise, I couldn’t really think of what I really wanted. And the one thing I do really want unfortunately can’t be bought.
Yep – you guessed it. My ultimate present this year would be sleep.
A full night sleep.
One where I get into bed and am not almost instantly called for by the toddler who was sound asleep up until the moment I got comfy.
One where I can then escape the toddler’s bed safely without knowing that he is going to wake up soon after to get me back into bed.
One where I haven’t had to give my toddler any boob before he’s nodded off to sleep (he is still getting himself to sleep at night but he does still require a bit of boobah).
One where I am not waking up at 3am – not by the peacefully sleeping toddler, but by the dead arm or the painful hip because I am squidged into a single bed with him.
One where he sleeps past 4am without needing constant feeding back to sleep until the moment we get up (safe to say I am awake for most of that period of time).
Because I am so tired. So unbelievably tired. We all know the newborn age is hard. We set ourselves up for those sleepless nights. But we all like to think by the age of two, that we will get regular, good sleep. But not here. I haven’t had a full night sleep for more than two years now!
I know some people may think I brought it on myself. The breastfeeding to sleep. The bed sharing. But I was never, never in a million years ever going to go down the cry it out route. I can’t bear my babies being upset!
And so here I find myself, still dreaming of that full night sleep. The ultimate fantasy is a hotel. A spa hotel. A night away in a spa hotel, where I will have spent a day relaxing, followed by a nice dinner and then a peaceful, undisturbed night sleep.
I guess all I can hope is that by my next birthday, I will have had one full night sleep. Heck, maybe even a few. I’m still trying to coerce him away from the boobah. Still trying to get him to fall back to sleep by himself in the middle of the night. And sometimes he does. In fact the last couple of nights he has sat up in bed, whined a little bit and then laid himself down and nodded back off again. I know he can do it, it’s just going to take time to make him realise that he is fully capable of self soothing.
So my aim for the next year is to get sleep. To not feel so bloody knackered. And to maybe have no more new wrinkles. Although that is one thing I really can’t control!