Before Koa was born, I thought I was tired.
When Simon and I point this out to each other, we laugh maniacally, and the laughter sometimes turns into hysterical crying. But I digress.
I thought I was tired because I didn’t know tired. The same way I think I’m starving sometimes when I’m out with my kids in the afternoon and my stomach growls and I realize I forgot to eat breakfast…and lunch. But food is just a stop at the café in the park – or a 10-minute drive back to my house – away. I am hungry, but I am not starving.
I was tired, but I wasn’t this kind of tired. Not this kind that hasn’t seen you sleep more than four hours in a row in just under a year. Not this kind that wakes you up as soon as you lie your head on the pillow, while your big boy is at pre-school and you think maybe you’ll just have a quick snooze while your baby sleeps – after all, he’s napped for at least two hours every morning for the last week. so why shouldn’t he do the same today? (I’ll tell you why: because he KNOWS.)
If you have one child (or none!), and have told me you’re tired recently, I have probably nodded and looked at you sympathetically, but please know that inside that crazy laugh has been bubbling up from somewhere deep. Don’t be offended. I see myself when I look at you, and I don’t think you’re crazy or an idiot. It’s just that I would pay £1000 to be the kind of tired you are right now. Because I know that tired. I remember it.
And mamas of three kids, or four or five or six, I see you. I know you might be doing the crazy laugh right now as you read this, and thinking “Bless her heart. She thinks she’s tired.” I know. I tip my hat to you. You know this tired, and I do not know yours. And maybe I never will (but that’s a story for another day).
All I’m saying is, I’m tired. And that’s why I’m not wearing any makeup today. Why I’ve written my blog about four times since my second son was born. Why I had orange juice from the carton and a handful of almonds for breakfast this morning. And why I don’t remember what I did yesterday, or who I’m supposed to be hanging out with this afternoon.
I have a friend whose kids are older, both in school now, and she tells me I won’t be this tired forever, and I believe her because if I don’t, I think I might actually die. And I hold on to the hope that one day, I will be that friend, and I will look at a girl with two tiny kids, who has mascara smeared under her eyes because she forgot to wash it off the night before, and she hasn’t had time to look in the mirror this morning, and I will say, “It gets better.”
And hopefully, I will mean it.
Because if you’re lying to me, Liz, I will find out, and I will hunt you down. And you will know I am coming when you hear my crazy laugh at your door.