So you are 2 people, enjoying life. You socialise, spend nights tucked up on the couch with a glass of vino, and at the drop of a hat you're able to drop everything to do something unplanned.
That was then.
This is now. You’ve made the leap into becoming a parent. You’ve said to yourself "we’ll be different, our child won’t affect our current lives". However, they have, and like most new parents you weren’t quite prepared.
Your friends ask if your little one is sleeping through the night. If they simply looked at the dark circles under your eyes, which you now believe to be permanent, they’d have their answer.
So why exactly are parents exhausted? We’ve compiled this list for a start… however we're sure theres lots, lots more.
1. You Never Ever Get Enough Sleep. And You Doubt You Ever Will.
Before bub came along, you could sleep to their heart's content, stretching their normal 7 hours to 9 if they so wished. You even had time to power nap, in case you needed a well deserved beauty sleep.
When a bub arrives, anything more than a straight 3 hour stretch seems golden. As bub become older, for some strange reason you suddenly start to wake during the night wondering why they haven't woken. Your mind starts to play games, you listen intently, eventually getting up to make sure they're still breathing. They are. You go back to sleep, rinse and repeat.
As they develop into toddlers, you even forget you have an alarm clock. Reality is you don’t actually need one. 5am, 6am, 7am… it’s irrelevant, when toddler wakes, so do you.
2. You're Always On
Newborns need care 24/7. Feed them, change them, nap them, feed them, change them… You get the drift. Unfortunately there’s not an off switch and certainly there’s no downtime. You just have to push through.
As for toddlers, they never stop. From one day to the next, it’s go, go go.
Before, when you were childless, you could take a day off, maybe two. Yes boss I'm “really” sick. Now there’s no such thing. You’re always on.
3. Your Brain Hurts
If looking out for every single hazard that could trip your child up wasn't enough in your day to day, you also need to be responsive to every need, teach, interact, talk, sing, play, plan, feed, water, change, tidy, care, work, cook, clean, bargain, bribe… many times doing 3 or 4 at once. Your brain gets overloaded to the point it hurts. Just 18 years to go… maybe more.
4. You Never Get Time to Think Of Anything Else
"I wonder if the new Italian restaurant serves that lovely Bruschetta that I had before when I toured the Amalfi Coast?" said no parent ever. They simply don’t get time to think. See #4 - Your Brain Hurts.
5. Priorities Go Out the Window
You know you should sleep, you know that that extra 2 hours you’ll get by going down at 10pm instead of midnight would be like winning the sleep lotto. Yet you never cash it in. One more episode you say...yawn… just one more.
6. It’s Tough Work
Being a parent not only affects you mentally, but also physically. Let's not talk childbirth here. Up daddy, down daddy, catch mummy, push me mummy… up, down, tidy, clean, cook, run, jump, faster, up, down… Bring a parent is quite demanding physically. And as for the energy you might get from that double espresso, well it doesn't take long to burn that off.
7. Downtime... What downtime?
Parents, we love you. We hear you. We’re with you. Keep on trucking.
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