As relatively new parents, my partner and I sometimes engage in that activity so popular with people with very small children: The Tiredness Competition. It’s a well-known fact that out with the baby comes an irresistable urge to let your other half know exactly how tired you are, and precisely why you have had a much harder day than they have.
“That was the worst night’s sleep I have ever had” is one of my favourites.
“It’s so hot in our room I didn’t sleep a wink” is one of his.
“I haven’t stopped all day, I don’t think I even had lunch.”
“I’ve been up since four, I was woken up and couldn’t get back to sleep.”
“I’m knackered already, how am I going to get through the day?”
“I can’t keep this up – I could sleep for a week”.
And so it goes on. And it’s all true. We spend most of our time feeling bone-achingly exhausted because it’s hard work looking after babies and small children and they wake us up in the night and want to start the day much earlier than we do. But despite the suspicion that my partner and I are competing sometimes over who is the tiredest, we feel just as sorry for each other as we do for our selves. After all, we’re in this together.
BY JENNIFER ALLEN