Wednesday 29 November 2017

Sorry About My Conversational Skills

I feel like it's time for me to issue a public apology for my conversation skills. Ember is at that age of toddlerdom where she runs around all day, rarely naps and wakes for the day before the crack of dawn. And, as a result, I spend most of my days unable to put two words together (much tired, many wakings). 

I can remember this period with Ebony. I can remember feeling so completely and utterly engrossed in my new role as her mum that I had no clue what was happening in the real world. When friends asked me what I'd been up to lately I would go into panic mode and silently wonder wtf I had been up to, if anything. In truth, I thought I was the only person who'd ever felt like that, as though real life was leaving me behind because I was so caught up in being a parent. But then a friend nervously admitted she was experiencing the same thing and I realised that it is yet another taboo side effect of motherhood. 

And, here I am again now, stumbling through the familiar mind fog of toddlerdom. The days are long (they pretty much always start before 6am), sleep is hard to come by and I have very little brainpower for anything but wondering when I might next sleep through the night (I have finally accepted that my kids will never do this, but I still hope I might one day get to). 

When you have a newborn baby, it's perfectly acceptable to endlessly mutter about how tired you are. People will expect it, they'll empathise with you and throw sympathetic smiles your way. But when that newborn is stomping along next to you and shouting "HIYA" at every passing dog, people are less sympathetic. Oh, tired again, yah yah, major eye-roll. 

So, this post is by way of an apology. I'm sorry I'm crap at making conversation right now, it's just that:

1. I'm, like, really tired...
You know this, of course you do, I have mentioned little else for the past year. But I'm not sure you understand just how tired I am. Unless you currently have a baby or toddler, I just don't think you get it. Even if you've had them in the past, even if you were once upon a time just as tired as I am today, I don't believe you can remember what that felt like. In just the way that women forget what childbirth feels like, I think you forget what the sleep deprivation of the early years is like, because why else would people go on to have more than one child? 

2. ... & I can't talk about anything else
It's not intentional, but for the past year, my internal monologue has just been me saying 'God, I'm so tired" on repeat. And whenever there's a lull in the conversation, I don't have hilarious or insightful thoughts to share with you, I just end up saying the thing that is already in my head which is, invariably, "God, I'm so tired." And then, I sit in silence hating myself for being able to think of nothing else and also, in all honesty, wishing I was asleep. 

3. I never get to sit down
Even if I can string a few enough words together to engage in some polite small talk, it's unlikely I'll get the chance. I spend most of my day just following Ember from toy to toy. I follow her around the park just in case she throws herself off the slide/head first into the spinning roundabout/directly into the line of the swing. I follow her around playgroup because I am worried one of the bigger kids will punch her in the face (again) or that she will push a smaller child down the slide (in her defence, he was taking the p*ss a bit with how long he'd been sat there). So, I might manage a few words and then I'll have to trundle off. 

4. My mind goes blank when you ask what I've been up to
WTF have I been up to?! I feel so busy all the time but when put on the spot and asked this question I can think of Nothing. Literally nothing. Even if I've been out of the house doing exciting things all weekend, I will remember nothing when you ask. It's like the question itself erases my entire memory. I end up with a stream of very mundane thoughts trudging through my brain, like 'Well I changed that nasty nappy earlier. And did I tidy the kitchen yesterday? No, maybe not. What day is it?' 

5. I am way behind
If you wanted to know about my kids, I'd have the answer. If you wanted to talk parenting theory, sleep regressions or developmental milestones, I'd be there. But, if you want to chat about that important thing you saw on the news, or the book you loved, or that band you love... I'm no good at that. My brain is functioning on about three percent of its normal capacity. The remaining 97 percent is just focused on how my teeth ache from tiredness. 

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