Baby, I’m tired.

It’s official: I’m tired.

I’m too tired to drive.

I’m too tired to get my eyes tested.

I’m too tired to think of longer sentences.

This week has seen my 21mo (who normally only wakes 2-3 times a night) with a nightly fever, two new molars poking through, and a chest infection, which also means I get f&ck-all sleep. When you’re sleep deprived (or is it now sleep depraved?) it’s hard to find perspective. The first sleepless night, I was angry every time he woke. Poor thing. The second night, I ran weeping into the backyard and lay on the concrete until I heard MLM manage to calm him down enough so the screams stopped.

Now, I’m so sleep deprived, after almost 4 years of continual sleep deprivation, that I’m having trouble distinguishing between realistic dreams, and the fog that I operate in when I’m (supposedly) awake.

While I still believe that my beautiful boy will sleep through one night, at some point, it’s hard to reassure my body that. I know there are those worse off, but my head hurts, my eyes can’t handle shifts in focus and I cry every time I can’t get to sleep because things are whirring in my head.

MLM is planning on taking the afternoon off tomorrow so I can have a sleep while he looks after the kids. He’s banning me from doing any work from home, which is awesome. I love him so much, but I’m tearing up with the idea of having a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Goodnight.

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Counting sheep, or sleep…I can’t remember which

What does tiredness look like?

Sleep Deprivation, you ol’ Devil…

My son is 18 months old and has never slept through. Very occasionally he only wakes once, but usually it’s 2-3 times.

I find that if I can get a block of 3 hours’ straight sleep, I’m fine. Although, when I say ‘fine’, I, of course, mean can vaguely function without turning into a screaming, weeping mess.

We recently went through a phase of 2-hourly wakings. That was a killer. I woke up each morning feeling more tired than when I went to bed. I felt like a zombie as I went through the rituals of breakfast, driving to appointments and trying to invent lunch. I dreaded being stopped at the rail crossing – the rhythmic clanging almost lulled me into a doze.

I know there’s sleep training out there. I know he’s much older than a lot of other kiddies that sleep through. I know that if he slept through, I’d get more sleep and life would be sooooo much better. But here’s the thing. I’ve tried sleep training before and I hated it. I don’t really need advice on what I should be doing, because, to me, what I should be doing is loving my kid and making sure he knows he’s safe, secure and loved. I think I’m doing that alright.

Kids have been waking up during the night since…well….since kids were ever around. The difference is, we used to live communally for survival, so you’d have help at hand.Even a couple of generations ago, there’d usually be a maiden aunt on hand to give you a break.

So instead of advice, just give me (or any other poor sleep-deprived parent you know) a hug and let me know that this phase will pass.

Don’t make us feel like we’re doing this to be martyrs – we’re not. Don’t start a sentence with “You should try-” because there are better ways at offering help. Frankly, the idea of changing any sort of routine or method of getting kids to sleep differently at this stage just makes me anxious.

I just have to keep repeating my frazzled mantra – “I’m doing the right thing for us and we have lovely, wonderful kids – sleep will come”.

Bending Gender 2

photo courtesy of http://www.lubirdbaby.com

Being female and experiencing sexism in various guises over the years, I’m acutely aware of things that affect my daughter. I don’t want her thinking she has to play with dolls, avoid physical activities, or adhere to certain expectations just because she happens to be a girl. I’d love for her to grow up feeling strong and courageous enough to be herself, and to stand up for herself when facing sexism or sexual harassment, etc. Until I wrote my first Bending Gender post, though, I hadn’t really thought about the sexism that my son faces.

I’m talking sexism in it’s milder forms – comments and assumptions – that are not intended to harm, but could probably play a role, or a support role, in shaping how kids act and what they choose to play with.

For example, in one day I noted various comments that were made to, or in front of, him from a couple of different people:

“You’re such a mummy’s boy, aren’t you?” (in response to him wanting a cuddle from me)

“He’s such a boy – climbing up everything, little trouble-maker” (even though my daughter did the same thing at that age)

“Don’t forget he’s male – he can only do one thing at a time” (I found this one a bit insulting!)

“No, you don’t want that, here, play with your truck” (phew! that princess dress would’ve tainted any future manliness for sure)

Now, I’ll admit, they’re tame comments that certainly meant no harm. My son’s not going to seek therapy for them down the track. Yet they do buy into the role that males are supposed to play in our society, and at a very early age. These little comments, and all the other influences around him, help to shape what toys he chooses, what games he’ll play, how he’ll treat other kids, and his own view of what it is to be a male.

I guess this is all very “well, duh” to people. I don’t know. Battle of the sexes differences has always irked me. I don’t like to just identify myself with being female – I feel part of a bigger community. I guess I feel protective of my kids – I want them to be the ones that do the choosing for themselves, who decide what they enjoy, rather than feeling they have to fit in with other people’s expectations. To have generalisations and societal labels describing them at such a young age just seems wrong to me. Especially because kids are so impressionable & eager to please.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never really felt that I’ve managed to work out what I’m about – I hate pigeon-holing myself as a certain personality type, or having particular characteristics, because, really, they change depending on my mood. Maybe it’s because I resent other people telling me what they think I should do with my life, or those of my children. Maybe it’s because I just enjoy watching these beautiful little personalities discover and learn and I know I’ll love them no matter how they turn out.

Parents react differently when their babies are mistaken for the other sex. Some are indignant, some are fine. Strangers are apologetic when they ask ‘boy or girl?’ Most babies under one or two could really pass as either, though, couldn’t they?

Isn’t it more interesting to observe their personalities grow, rather than put them in the girl or boy box? Or are we too lazy to pepper small-talk with anything other than generalisations about boys and girls?

And, hey, I’m guilty of generalisations, too! It is an automatic conversation-filler sometimes. How do we break out of it, though?

Mind your own beeswax, peoples

I think we can all agree that the internet is great. Can’t remember what we used to spend all our time on before the web (BW). Perhaps on activities that avoided obesity, poor posture and RSI.

It has made us ruder, though, hasn’t it?

You just need to read the comments below the opinion articles on The Age website (or on any feminist blogger sites) – lots of  name-calling, arrogant viewpoints and an unhealthy array of ninnies who obviously haven’t managed to read past the first paragraph, but feel qualified to leave their opinion (usually on a tangent issue), thus repeating the cycle of name-calling. Instead of discussing ideas, issues or actually debating, comments are restricted to ‘ you are shit and what you wrote is shit’, and variations on that. It’s as if the only people prepared to leave responses are the very people who didn’t want to read the article in the first place, hated the author already and are grumpy for even visiting the site that they’ve spent so much time & passion trashing.

Leaving aside trolling, even relatively normal people seem to feel quite  justified to openly and harshly criticise those that they don’t agree with, whether it be Yumi Stymes, Julia Gillard’s dress sense (she’s our freaking PRIME MINISTER, not a clothes horse), or the cover issue of Time Magazine.

Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I do believe that if you don’t have the guts to say something directly to a person’s face, then don’t bother writing it on the web.

Would it hurt to just be a little nicer? Or at least a tad more imaginative when it comes to insulting people anonymously? Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s important to have criticism and juxtaposed positions, but I think we should all be grown up enough to do that without resorting to pathetic name-calling. Most of the internet just feels like a highschool cafeteria with no teachers on yard duty.

Virgin post

It’s rather difficult to start a first post. I have nothing particular to write about, but it’s difficult for me to just pop anything up here without worrying about drafting it over and over to make sure it’s right.

Ah, bugger it, it’s a blog. Nothing’s right, and it doesn’t matter.

Today MLM (my lovely man) and I went out for a coffee together – one of the first outings we’ve had sans kidlets in over 9 months. I decided to get down & dirty and order a Mars Bar cheesecake….and it was good.