The young mum grabbed my arm in the coffee shop line and with steely grey eyes desperately asked “when is it going to get better?”
I smiled nervously and wanted to answer honestly, but I saw she couldn’t handle the truth right now.
She was on the edge.
I was going to have to let her down gently.
“Oh look probably around 7 months. He will start to sleep for longer stretches and you will too.”
“Ok thanks,” she said, looking like she was about to cry. “I can do three more months.”
“Let me buy your coffee,” I said. “It really helps.”
Her eyes darted around at my three small children charging through my legs and she smiled at the fourth one strapped to my chest. I could see she thought I must have some authority of this issue.
I physically ached for her. A woman I didn’t know for more than five minutes, yet our alliance felt stronger than stone.
I felt like I had to look after her and protect her, because you see… I am very tired too.
There I said it.
Fiona with her oldest child. And very tired.
Tired is not the right word to describe it. Tired gives the impression you’ve worked late a few nights in a row, or been travelling through different time zones.
Completely and utterly, bone-achingly ‘exhaustamipated’ is more apt.