The Tiredness Competition

There is one subject that really gets parents locking horns through child rearing and that is the subject of sleep and tiredness. In fact, it is more of a point scoring, systematic competition based activity rather than a plain old boring subject for debate.

Myself and PB rarely get up together of a morning when BB wakes up in all his babbling glory. Inevitably, if we are both off work, one of us is called up to do the 2am nappy change and bottle assembly/Calpol administration for teething, cuddling, soothing etc so the 7am ‘Good Morning!’ grizzles and wake up call befall the person who slept through the night. On other nights, the person who is in charge of child care the following day does the entire night’s shifts so that the worker can get a good night’s sleep before the grindstone hits their nose.

On the occasions that one of us takes a double hit and does the whole night and day ‘shifts’, sometimes a few days in a row, that is when it can sometimes get rough.  Leaving the other to have a glorious 10+ hours of pure, black out quality, blink and it’s gone, velvety, deep and enveloping sleep can leave you feeling resentful at times, even if they are working. To you and your sleep deprived, Cbeebie’d, baby babbled out state of mind, work seems like a holiday!

So, every now and then after one of us has done the sole caring for BB, night after night of sacrificing one’s own hours of slumber for the other to enjoy … the sleep debate starts and the Tiredness Competition begins.

Usually in the late afternoon, between the last nap of the day and dinnertime, energy has dwindled, everything is a mess and you just get overwhelmed with tiredness and resentment. Things usually go as follows:

‘Hi, how was your day?’

*sighs* ‘Long, how about you?’

‘Yeah long, I’m so tired…’

‘Me too..’

‘Yeah but I only had so and so hours of sleep… you had such and such hours…’

‘Yeah but I’m still tired…’

‘You got 10 hours of sleep whilst I only got 5 and I’ve done A,B and C today too so don’t even talk to me about tired! You don’t know what it’s like!’.

‘I’ve worked a so and so hour shift so I do know what it’s like!’

‘Yeah well I’m still on my shift!’ *motions to child* ‘I’m so tired, I don’t even know how to speak!’

‘Well I’m so tired, I don’t even know how to think!’.

And so it goes on.

Sleep is a commodity when you are a parent, or even if you aren’t. It’s just how it is. Without it, you can lose your mind, your patience and on bad days where I can’t even muster enough energy to brush my hair or shower, it can even steal your looks! Irrationality can take over and as soon as you manage to stock up on some zzzzz’s, you suddenly realise what an overacting pillock you’ve been. I often marvel at single mums, as even with the most supportive and hands on bloke in the world I still struggle at times. Single parents, I really do salute you!

The Tiredness Competition even finds its way into friendly discussion. It becomes a comparison of how many hours you’ve all got, if your little one sleeps through the whole night, if they nap during the day for umpteen hours… only this evening I got sucked in by social media when a page asked ‘What time did you get up this morning?’ and I felt rather smug by typing ‘7am’ in amongst the comments of the other poor souls who were up at 5, or even 4am. Karma can feel free to kick me in the arse for that one if she wishes…

So this post is a reminder, to myself and everyone else riding the parenthood waves. Stop clocking how many hours you ‘achieve’ as it is useless and irrelative. You are both tired, you are both working hard and you are doing a bloody good job all round. Be kind to each other, step out of the race and pat yourselves on the back. Roll with it, take the rough with the smooth and on the really horrid days, just remember that there will be a time where you can both slumber to your hearts content.

The shame of that is, it will be a time where you would give up your bed and sleep on nails, just to be able to cuddle your little world as they drift off to sleep. Life and it’s ironies eh?

Me, Being Mummy


  1. September 25, 2017 / 8:23 am

    Oh that sounds very familiar! Everything is harder when you’ve not had enough sleep. We tend to make some sort of agreement the night before about who’s getting up in the morning – then on your head be it if you stay up until gone midnight! Thanks for sharing 🙂 #HoneybeeLinky

    • mebeingmummy
      September 30, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Haha! That sounds like a very efficient system! Thank you for joining in with the #HoneybeeLinky! xxx

  2. September 25, 2017 / 8:43 am

    The husband and I regularly indulge in a tiredness competition and this morning was no different. So I really needed to read this today. Thank you! #honeybeelinky

    • mebeingmummy
      September 30, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Bless you, it is a very common topic in this house too. Always nice to know you aren’t the only one 😉 Thank you for joining in with the linky! xxx

  3. September 25, 2017 / 9:40 am

    Love this one, so true! I’m eternally tired but also don’t want to miss a minute of time with my babies! Aahh the dilemmas!

    • mebeingmummy
      September 30, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      You just can’t win can you?! Thank you for joining in with the #HoneybeeLinky! xxx

  4. September 25, 2017 / 10:04 am

    We totally have this mentality in our house! While I was on maternity leave I would do every night time, all day, and at least 6 out of 7 early morning get ups (which were for a while 3am and 4am!). It used to really bug me when my husband would then complain all day about how tired he was, or how messy the house was when I was so tired all I wanted to do was cry. Its hard when you are so exhausted to appreciate how the other feels I think.

    • mebeingmummy
      September 30, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      It’s so hard to remember to be appreciative! You just get consumed by your own fatigue and can’t contemplate someone else feeling the same because it is just so much! Thank you for joining in with the #HoneybeeLinky lovely! xxx

    • mebeingmummy
      October 13, 2017 / 1:02 am

      Yup, common topic. xx

  5. September 25, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    Hate to say it but we still have this discussion now and we’re nearly 5 years into this parenting lark!! 🙂 #honeybeelinky

    • mebeingmummy
      November 1, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      Haha! Oh no! There’s no hope! 😉 xxx

  6. The Mummy Bubble
    September 25, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    I love this! I really need to stop comparing with my other half, we’re always having the conversation above pretty much word for word. Sleep deprivation is a nightmare, but you’re right it’s not for long xx #honeybeelinky

    • mebeingmummy
      November 1, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      It doesn’t help that your tiredness makes you both cranky and irrational and then it all just becomes a big thing about nothing really. Much better to just accept that both are tired and support one another through it. But, it is hard to do. lol! xxx

  7. September 25, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    This is so true! I’ve made a conscious effort to try not to moan too much about being tired – though it’s easier now that the kids both generally sleep through (watch me be up all night now!) I try not to compare with my husband and we now decide on a lie in each at the weekends which is just bliss! #HoneyBeeLinky

    • mebeingmummy
      November 1, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Lol! I hope you weren’t up all night?! Ahhh, the lie in debate… we take turns as much as we can. Same with bath time too… one does bath time whilst the other one chills out on the sofa lol! xxx

  8. September 27, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Oh the great sleep debate! We’re forever telling each other how tired we are – I’m pretty sure it is the one thing we constantly talk about. We’re having a weekend away for our wedding anniversary and whilst everyone says its a romantic weekend away- I can’t wait to sleep! #HoneybeeLinky

    • mebeingmummy
      November 1, 2017 / 9:29 pm

      It is the most spoken yet the most pointless conversation we have. Every day. haha! But! We have started being less competitive about it and more supportive of one another. We are both tired, equally. Noone wins! lol xxx

  9. Sarah - mud cakes and wine
    September 28, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Our little ones are now sleeping but our eldest has type 1. We have a machine that measures his bloods and it bleeps if he is low or high. We are disturbed sleep every night and it’s so so hard #honeybeelinky

    • mebeingmummy
      November 1, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      Bless you, it must be really tough. The worry mixed in with the need to be on top of things must leave you feeling so drained and frazzled. I hope you both get some down time… even if you got one night away to relax a bit and sleep through. It must be unappealing to leave him but you can’t pour from an empty cup lovely, make sure you look after you too. You’re such a good Mummy! xxx

  10. September 30, 2017 / 8:25 am

    Haha love this post! I’ve definitely been known to start the tiredness competition. I’m slowly but surely learning to let it slide and not try to score points and to accept that he is tired too and we’re both doubg a good job.

    • mebeingmummy
      October 31, 2017 / 2:36 pm

      Exactly, team work! The tiredness competition is one that noone wins! xxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *