Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Being a Mummy is hard

I didn't have the easiest time getting pregnant, our fertility troubles were the hardest thing I had ever faced. I learnt a lot about myself, my husband, and our marriage. I never once thought that getting pregnant would be the easy part!

I really did think I was prepared for life with a newborn. I expected to be up at all hours of night, I expected to change dirty nappies and I expected to get the Day 3 Blues (oh yeah, they came. My poor Obs found me hysterical one morning reading the birth report - which was stupid as I have a complication free delivery). I read the books, went to classes and watched other parents.

And then Eliza arrived and everything I thought I knew went out the window. The first few weeks we ok, I was living on adrenalin. When I complained I was tired I didn't know that I could be even more tired than that. Each week brought a new level of exhaustion. A new level of self confidence that was just that little bit lower than the week before.

I do it easier than some, but I still do it tougher than others. Majority of weeks the husband leaves at 7.30am on Monday morning and comes home at 7.00 Friday night. My mum works shiftwork and might call in once a week if I am lucky, and I don't have friends that can really call in as they have their own lives to lead. Most days I cope, but some days I don't. Somedays I just want to run away and not come back, because that just seems easier.

Funny how they don't tell you this in the books though.

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  1. I've found the last 6 months of not having a car during the day to be the hardest of my parenting journey. Loneliness and isolation are BIG things to be dealing with on top of exhaustion and being a new parent. Is there a mothers group/playgroup you can join?

  2. Hi April. I have just found your blog this morning, so haven't read the other posts yet. All this that you describe is normal. When I had my first baby we had moved to a new town and I didn't know anyone. I also did not have family around to help. It was hard. Our beautiful baby was colicky and didn't sleep much. To cope I had to let go of the perfectionist in me. The house got messy and washing up would build up. I really recommend sleeping when baby sleeps. Everything is so... much worse when you are tired. The other thing that really helped me was going to Nursing Mothers meetings. Playgroup can also be helpful. By talking to other mum's you find out that you are not alone. You find out that the other mum's are going through similar things that you are. Don't be afraid to admit how you are feeling. Talk to your doctor, baby health nurse. You don't have to do exactly what they say. Trust your own instincts, but it does help to talk and you never know they might come up with a good idea.
    The other thing is, when your baby is young and life seems a bit tough you feel like it is never going to end. But it does. My colicky baby is now 13 years old. He sleeps through the night and he is the most undemanding 13 year old I know. He doesn't like to hug me as much as he use to though, so make the most of the hugs now.
    Hang in there April. Things will get better and it is so... worth it. Motherhood = the hardest job in the world, but the BEST. Take care, sending much love to you and your little family. xxoo

  3. Oh I feel for you! It's hard enough just doing it during the day - let alone the whole week by yourself! Poor thing. Hang in there, I hear it gets easier when they are 5.

    Take it easy x

  4. Another thing April.... Connecting with other parents via blogs is also good. You probably already do this. One blog I particularly like is www.soulemama.com. Hope today is a good one for you. xxoo

  5. Oh you poor thing! I'm in a similar boat as you - hubby travels through the week and I'm stuck in Darwin with no support except one or two friends who are more than happy to pop into the shops if I'm desperate.

    I have a 4 week old now, and it's much easier than the first. They are 3 years apart and the first was so troublesome (for me) that it took us three years to have another!

    Throw the books out the window. They make you feel horrible if you can't achieve their schedules, or if you can't make the bub sleep past 'one sleep cycle'. Just concentrate on doing what you have to do to keep them happy and fed. I was so unhappy with number 1, in hindsight I realise that it was because I had expectations. I had read the books and thought my life would be neatly compartmentalised, that I could continue as normal during that hour and a half of nap time that happened 3 - 4 times per day. I now know that's rubbish!

    With this one, I'm more than happy to cuddle through naps if that's the only way she'll sleep. Or I'll wear an ergo or sling to keep her sleepy. If she wakes up just after I've put her down and I can't settle her within 10 minutes, then I put her in the ergo or I feed her again. They are little people - if they don't want to sleep for longer than 45 minutes, I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

    And guess what - you won't ruin them. You don't create a rod for your back. I rocked number one to sleep for 8 months (and I hated every minute of it because the books had convinced me that this made me a failure). But it took her two nights - TWO NIGHTS - to transition to self settling because at 8 months, she was ready! Not when she was a tiny little bub.

    Sorry for the rant - I am just hating on those books that are supposed to help you but make you feel like crap. I am also hating on people who are supposed to help you but make you feel like crap (am over the 'rod for your back' comments already!)

    I hope you feel better today. You're a great mum and you love your daugther.

  6. Everything seems manageable when you read about it in books :) And with bubs, just when you think you're getting the hang of things, something upsets your routine and you feel like you've got yet another challenge to face. It must be hard foryou without a lot of support. While I don't get a lot of outside support, I do look forward every evening to when my husband gets home so I can have a few moments to myself. Hang in there, I'm sure you're doing a great job xx

  7. You are doing an awesome job April and you inspire me many days......

  8. Thanks for being so honest. It helps to read that other mothers struggle too.

    Funny how now with number 2, I keep thinking 'You are so easy! What was I complaining about with your brother?'. It's really a huge adjustment- I struggled so much going from 0-1 (or from 0-Mum).

    She is gorgeous and thriving- you are doing a great job. Just keeping going, one day at a time :)


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