There is no way of preparing yourself for the tiredness you will experience as a parent. People warn you about it before you become a mother. In fact people LOVE telling you how little sleep you are going to get and just how tired you will be. But you don't mind. The reason we never minded was because we never truly knew.
It is a tiredness like no other.
When you can barely hold your head up during the newborn night feeds. Desperately flicking through Facebook and news apps at 3am just to keep yourself awake. That feeling of exhaustion your whole body feels when you have been surviving on chunks of 2 or 3 hour sleep round the clock for weeks on end.
When you spend night after night rocking your tiny baby to sleep and holding them upright for hours on end so that the colic will stop or the reflux will ease. When you have tears rolling down your face because you are just so tired and just so desperate for someone to come and help.
When you go into your red faced screaming baby 10 times a night to ease the teething, armed with Calpol and cold muslin cloths. When you know the only thing that can really help them is you.
When they have their first cold and you sit by their cot all night watching their every breath hoping that they will just keep on breathing. And they do, and they fall asleep, but you can't sleep for fear of something happening.
When they have their first sickness bug and you bundle them into your bed with sick bowls and towels. Even though you hate sick you will mop it up all night and reassure them that they will be ok. Knowing that in just a few short hours everyone in the house (including you) will also be throwing up and YOU will still be cleaning everyone else's sick up too.
When they start calling out “mama” instead of crying for you in the night. That feeling of panic and dizziness as you dart into their room naked, knocking into every wall as you go. Trying to wake yourself up whilst picking up that heavy toddler in your arms.
When your child toddles into your bedroom at 2am, and 3am and 4am because they just feel scared. And you snuggle them in next you tightly until they fall asleep. Only to find yourself hanging off the side off the bed for those last precious hours of the night.
When your day starts at 5am every day and you just want to sleep an extra few hours. Just a few extra hours because then you might feel human again.
When you have the flu and your whole body aches and hurts. But so do theirs and they are so little. So you dose yourself up on lemsip and coffee and hope that you can wing it with Disney for the day.
There is always something. Babies, toddlers, children. They will always need something when YOU need to rest the most and the magic cure for that something will almost ALWAYS be you. The days are short and the nights are long and they will be for some time yet. But one day they will be gone. One day that beautiful baby won't need you anymore and then your well rested self might miss those night wakings. Some of them...a few of them....but certainly not all of them ;-)