Over the last five months I have, at least once a week, fantasised over something. Hold on to your seats; it’s a good one. It involves a hotel bed and…sleep. A wonderful undisturbed night of sleep. Sound familiar?
This week my dream came true. I was going away for one night. I would have a hotel bed ALL TO MYSELF. There would be no-one to wake me up with cries or shouts or snot. It would be glorious. Except, being a parent means it’s not ever quite that simple, is it?
Kissing Ev and Harmie goodbye in the morning, I felt that heart-wrenching guilt kick in. Ev begged me not to go as if I was leaving him forever. I felt tears filling my eyes as I tried to explain to him that it was just one night and as I stroked Harmie’s fluffy hair and whispered to her that I’d be home soon.
On entering the hotel reception, two families stood at the desk. Each with mothers cradling babies who looked around Harmie’s age. I felt a lump rise to my throat as I smiled at them and wished that I was holding my little people.
When I opened the door to my hotel room, what first struck me wasn’t how comfortable the bed looked, or how pretty the view, but how quiet the room was. How, despite being full of furniture, it felt so empty. Ev and Harmie create a constant noise; my days are full of shouts of “Mummy”, raucous laughter and shrill cries. On bad days, I crave just five minutes peace. Yet, I spent my night away with the radio drowning out the peace and quiet that I’d normally be so grateful for.
The hotel bed was wonderfully comfortable. There was no-one to wake me up. Even so, my glorious night of sleep was punctuated with sudden shock-starts; waking in a panic that I could hear Ev calling for me or Harmie crying. In the morning, my first thoughts were of those two little faces. I missed them and the chaos of home.
Maybe the hotel bed fantasy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Or maybe, I’ve been reprogrammed. To love a life full of noise and bustle. To enjoy being needed at every minute of the day. Even though when I’m in it, I wish I had just a little bit more time for me.
Perhaps it’s just the case of the grass always being greener? Last night, Harmie woke for a feed at 2.30 am. Ev then woke at 3.39 asking me to sleep on his floor, and I finally crawled back into bed at 5.05am. I’ve spent the day in a daze, wishing again for a hotel bed all to myself. But knowing if I got it, I’d probably miss my little terrors all over again.