Hi! You Awake?
Who am I kidding? Of course you are! About 90% of the flippin' time, right?
Yeah, I remember that. You are up half the night, if you're lucky you'll get enough consecutive hours just to realise how much you need more, then you're slapped awake by the sound of your little one crying. Screaming, in fact. So up you get and do the needful; change, feed, wind, rock. Whatever it takes to get her back to sleep. Sometimes, she'll go back to sleep. Sometimes, not so much.
Then the day consists of endless rounds of nappies, feeding, changing, rocking. Plus of course tidying up, washing, preparing something to eat (normally whilst holding a baby) or even actually eating - one handed, of course.
See how washing / dressing / making yourself look presentable doesn't even make the list? I used to meet up with my other mummy friends and we would spend the first five minutes apologising to each other for not having brushed our teeth or put on deoderant. True story. But go out and do things you must, for isn't that the point of maternity leave? And also, let's face it, to stop yourself from going completely stir-crazy. So on little to no sleep and a brain full of fuzziness you leave the house and try and get on with the business of being a mum and adoring your baby. Which, having seen you twice in the last week you seem to be doing brilliantly.
I am sure, however, that you're completely knackered. And that's totally fine, to be expected. Normal.
Just remember your other half, your partner in crime. Because while it seems like he has the best deal most days, he's probably feeling just as shattered and just as grass-is-greener jealous of you. Because he has to go to work. Not wants to, has to. It may feel to you like actually all he does is leave the house and take a sly nap somewhere but actually he has to be a functioning adult, with a job, that has conversations and interactions with all manner of people. Some of whom may not even know that he is a dad in the early stages of parenthood and expect him to be able to construct intelligent sentences. Drive a car. Sit at a computer. Operate heavy machinery or whatever it is he gets up to at work.
Those nights, when you do all the baby-stuff and he snores contentedly away? He's not slumbering peacefully the whole time, he's awake half of it at least. Worrying about you. Wondering if he should get up and help, or trying to get back to sleep and thinking about the full on work day he has ahead of him. He may beat you on actual time clocked asleep, but he's no more rested, really. Sure, he can have a hot cup of tea, doesn't have to change anyone's bum (you'd hope) or constantly hold a child, but there are downsides to his current lifestyle, too.
So the advice, then;
Empathise with each other. Yes you need him to know how tired you are and how overwhelming this all is - believe me it is imperative he is aware of any struggles you're having and how you're feeling - but does he need to know the very second he walks in the door? Maybe not.
Listen to him talk about his day - it'll be a nice change from your routine of baby-related habits anyway. Let him get changed and sit for a minute. THEN bombard him with your day, your news, your mental fug.
You're both in this together, and for so many new parents it is super easy to resent the other but the truth is you'll both have moments of feeling deliriously happy as well as just feeling delirious. Share them - the good stuff and the bad. After all, isn't that what you're both there for? It'll get easier, for both of you. Promise.
In the meantime, can you guys try NOT to look like you're handling it so damn well? It kind of makes the rest of us feel bad....
Lots of love from me xx