Role Reversal

The girls may be responsible for most of my exhaustion (indirectly at least), but they also are my rainbow at the end of a crap day.

Yesterday I hit the wall. Up again most of the night with various coughs and complaints (and one lost Pinkie, Poppy’s can’t-sleep-without-toy) I could barely muster the energy to get out of bed. This has probably only happened about 3 times in my life. When daisy announced she was too sick to go to school, I jumped at the chance and jumped back under the duvet. Our usual morning military mania is up at 7, downstairs (me dressed) by half past, breakfast and cleared up by eight, dressed and teeth cleaned by twenty past, coats on and pram out by half past and walk to school in 25 minutes. Exactly. Instead this morning, the girls clambered into bed with milk and breadsticks (and a nice cuppa for me, thanks hubby) and we read stories for a while before breakfast. I cancelled everything. All my manic plans for school, Claphandies, dance class, visiting, shopping, and posting all postponed. I haven’t left the house. In truth, I actually couldn’t leave the house. I’m tired to my very bones. When hubby kindly offers me a night in the spare room so I can sleep, I feel like yelling “this is not a one-night’s sleep tiredness!” This is three miscarriages in a row, months of early pregnancy exhaustion, Christmas carryon, endless hospitality, chronic sleeplessness, and two lively girls who hang off me every second of the day and most of the night tiredness. I cook and bake and clean and shop and wrap and plan and wash and tidy and write and play and read and draw and paint Santas because if I stop the cog for one second, I might just fall apart in the vacuum. Every minute I am aware of the missing stockings that should be hanging on the mantelpiece.

And so as I lay in bed this morning, my eyes leaden and laden with exhaustion, I suddenly felt a little butterfly on my cheek. I opened one eye to find Poppy stroking my hair, smiling and whispering “There there mummy, it’ll be ok”. And she kissed me again. She then hugged me and stretched over to get my brush and began brushing my hair. I closed my eyes, the love from her overwhelming me, until I felt something soft being nestled under my arm. My other eye opened to see her giving me Pinky to cuddle. Her Pinkie. The most precious thing in her life. Then Daisy got her medical kit and checked me over – my reflexes, my ears, my tongue and finally she listened to my heart. I’m not sure what my heart told her, but she seemed very clear about what I needed.
“Mummy, you are very sick, and you need 20 years in bed with us.”
I think she might be right.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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6 Responses to Role Reversal

  1. cath c says:

    we all need a day like that, esp you of late. such lovely girls.


  2. Emma says:

    Truly beautiful 🙂 x


  3. Huge great big healing hugs to you my lovely. I'm so sad to hear about your losses – it is no wonder you are feeling a little battered. A beautiful post and a beautiful, strong, lady you are. Take it very easy on yourself xxxx


  4. A wonderful post. Everyone needs a day under the duvet now and again. I really hope you feel a little better for the 'slightly-calmer-than-usual' day and some added TLC from your gorgeous girls. Big hugs x


  5. Mummy mania says:

    thanks everyone – it's amazing how one day out has calmed me right down. Only made two desserts for the freezer today 🙂


  6. What a beautiful moment, it makes it all worthwhile. Hope the days ahead bring you a little more rest.


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