Sunday, 19 June 2011

Catching up with the sinking sun

I just filled the kettle with left-over cold tea instead of fresh water. Not a good start to the day.

Every parent knows about sleep deprivation. You can't live through the baby-and-toddler years without missing a few nights' sleep. Or in my case, since neither of my kids slept through 'til they were three-and-a-half, 365 nights' sleep in each of the first few years! I learned I can still function (though admittedly not very well or very happily) on as little as four hours' sleep a night.

Those days are long gone - hooray! My boys - especially my sixteen year old, of course - don't want to share beds any more... unless they can persuade someone far younger and prettier than me! My nighttimes are generally (teen-popcorn-type incidents permitting) peaceful.

But for the past five weeks I've been forced to re-learn how to function on less sleep than I need.

I have had to squeeze an extra 15-20 hours' work into each week - to visit my dad, take him to hospital appointments, have conversations with doctors and social workers, and do all sorts of other bits and pieces. The Care Service people are 'not allowed' to do task that is medical, because they're not trained for it. Fair enough. But I haven't had any training either, yet it still falls to me to sort out my dad's medications and oxygen. More annoyingly, they're 'not able' to do his shopping either, though you definitely don't need special training for that. So it falls to me to do that, too. Hmm. Perhaps in a way it's lucky he's stopped eating.

(Yes, don't worry, I am joking).

As a working single parent, my days were already pretty full. I'm sure I don't need to convince you of this, cos you'll already know from your own experience. There simply aren't that many hours hanging around in my week doing nothing.

So. I have to borrow them. A couple of hours a week borrowed off my working week (they have to be paid back; it's called 'flexi-time'). A few hours borrowed off housework. A few minutes borrowed off bedtime stories (I don't like that one). And the rest - probably about ten hours' a week - borrowed from my sleep.

I run and run to catch up with the sun... And each evening, though it's sinking, I think I've almost got it!

The mornings are a bit blurry though.

But what am I doing wasting time here, I hear you ask? Well, apart from the fact that these little outpourings are helping to keep me sane at the moment, it's a good question.

So bye for now.


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