Thursday, 31 March 2011

Feeling My Age

I have had babies in every reproductive decade of my life. There have been age related pros and cons to each one.  I've muddled through and loved every minute of being a mum to each and everyone of my five children relishing the challenges thrown in my direction. From newborn to teens and with every possible combination of ages in's been a blast!

As  a family we are mellow and laid back and life is pretty easy.  I'm blessed with a husband who insists that we are a team, and ergo he does at least half of the household chores, as well as being the sole breadwinner.  Team McD works perfectly and life is sweet. I am a very spoilt kept woman!

But these last two weeks have been trying.  When uninvited microscopic visitors took up residence in my home, they inflicted untold damage to my usual calm and relaxed existence. The sickness bug swept through my family one by one.  We'd only just shaken off a bout of colds, and here we were again...heading to Poorlyville, Arizona.

I won't go into the details...but needless to say, it weren't pretty.  I'm one of those people who gags at the mention of sick, so I'm as much use as a bicycle is to a fish.  Another job for Ian is puke mopper uppper.  I just can't do it...I'm pathetic, gagging and retching, eyes watering...useless.  So armed with disinfectant, cloth, carrier bags and a strong stomach, Ian took over the role of nursemaid.

During this time, Freddy was also trying to cut some molars and seemed to wake up at 4am everynight to tell us all about it.  His inconsolable crying is only calmed by being rocked stood up.  How he knows when you try to slip back onto the bed is beyond me.  As the first buttock touched down on the mattress the gyroscopic cuddle detector instantly woke him up again.  We don't ever leave him crying so this is high maintenance parenting at its most intense.  When he wasn't demanding vertical cuddles he'd be feeding non-stop.  He is showing no signs at all of any desire to self wean, in fact his nocturnal boob fest is getting more intense.  And when he is not latched on and ferociously consuming his own body weight in my home made gold top, he is clambouring on my head with a foot in his Daddy's face.  I hope the teeth come through soon and he will be back in his cot by the side of our bed, letting us all enjoy some peaceful slumber.

At 19 I was full of energy to cope with all-nighters, juggling a new baby with nights out clubbing.  In my 20's I felt empowered and able to take on the world, confident in my role as a parent and young enough to bounce back from whatever life threw at me.  In my 30's I felt an old hat at the parenting lark.  Now in my 40's, although I am more secure, comfortable and happy than I ever have been before, the body just doesn't recover quite as well. The sleepless nights are taking their toll.  The aftermath of being ill myself, followed by the children being poorly has left me totally exhausted.  Everything is an effort.  I feel like I haven't slept in a month.  I can't stop yawning.  I feel like I've got another cold immune system has given up on me.  So although the germs have kindly vacated the premises, the aftermath of a week or so of disturbed sleep has turned me and Ian into mere husks of our former selves.  We resemble extras from Thriller...but with less energy.  The Zombie Apocalypse is playing out in our is like Dawn of the Dead.  We are dragging our sorry arses around, groaning and moaning and feeling sorry for ourselves.  Thank goodness it is nearly the weekend.  The children who have bounced back so beautifully can look after us, while we stay in bed and allow our ageing bodies to recouperate!


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