My husband and I have a very good deal. He gets up with her in the mornings, I look after her during the day (mostly) and then if she wakes in the night, it’s all on me. This works out great for me. I get an extra hour in bed, I don’t have to make breakfast (I’m really bad at breakfast. If it’s not Weetabix, I’m lost) and I honestly don’t mind the nights.
Of course, I can say that because it’s actually pretty rare that she’s up in the night. Given the choice, The Small, much like my husband, would sleep a solid twelve hours a night given the chance. Unfortunately, recently, she hasn’t been given the choice and those pesky teeth are causing her grief along with those bastard infections in both ears and don’t even get me started on the gastroenteritis.
All in all, I’ve been up most of the night for the last ten nights. I’m sorry to all those mommas who are thinking, “I should be so fucking lucky. I’ve been up most of the night for the last ten months…” I know you all want to punch me in the face, but it’s all relative right? I’m so used to getting my full night’s sleep that when I don’t get it for ten nights, I’m literally the most hateful person in the world.
So, on night ten, when The Small decided that she was going to scream between 1am and 5am I lost it. I lost all perspective. I lost all love for my life, for my husband and yes, for The Small. All of my strong, reasonable, patient genes had got up and left and what remained was The Beast. As I got back into bed for the fourth time to try and grab twenty minutes kip before she inevitably woke up again, I was confronted with a snoring husband. I seriously considered calmly placing a pillow over his face and holding it down until he never snored again, but instead, I kicked him. Hard.
He woke up, which means I must have kicked him really hard.
Then she woke up. Again.
And this is how the conversation went.
Me: “Stop fucking snoring.”
Husband: “Sorry, I didn’t realise I was. Pause. Is she crying?”
Me: “Really? Really? Yes she’s fucking crying. She’s been crying since 1am.”
Husband: What time is it?
Me: Does it fucking matter what time it is? Does it look light? Does it smell like fucking coffee time? All you need to know is that it’s the middle of the night and you’re not needed here.”
Yes ladies and gentlemen. This is how it went.
Husband: *vague sound of teeth clenching* Ok. What do you think is wrong with her?”
Me: I have no fucking clue but I know what’s wrong with me. I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with her and answer all your fucking questions so either get up and make it all stop or go the fuck back to sleep but don’t fucking snore.”
At this point, I later found out, my husband was literally ready to punch me but held back because he quickly understood that this was down to sleep-deprivation and desperation. He’s a really, really good guy.
FYI, it was 4.45am and so, with a sigh my husband got up and went into the nursery. He picked her up. Gave her a cuddle and put her back down again. She slept.
I lay there in the deep, dark of the night and metaphorically beat myself up. She obviously hates me. I obviously can’t comfort her. My husband is a saint and I am the Beast of the Devil sent straight from hell to destroy the lives of my family. In a heartbeat I was convinced that my husband was going to leave me, that social services were going to come and take her away and just as I was imagining being locked up in a cell for child abuse…I fell asleep.
When I woke, there was a cup of tea, a husband holding a fed and dressed baby.
“I’m so sorry,” I croaked. “I didn’t mean any of those things. I lost it. I was just so tired. I’m sorry.”
And do you know what he said? I’ll tell you what he didn’t say. He didn’t say, ‘We both hate you.’ He didn’t say, “I am a Saint and you are the Beast of the Devil and I want a divorce,” and he didn’t say, “I’ve called social services. They are on their way with the police.”
He simply said, “Babe, you’re a superhero. I don’t know how you do it.”
So you know what? Recognise what you’ve got to be thankful for and remember it every day. My husband was doing just that and for a moment there, I totally forgot to do the same.