Before I write this post, I’d like you to know I am not in a good mood! Holly woke up at 2am and decided to stay awake until 5:30, all I can say is my mum rage was on full force (sorry Rob). So if you have stumbled across my blog expecting some positive quotes and images of lovely flower fields, you’re sadly mistaken. I’m so tired. *Laughs hysterically*
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to start this post; I wasn’t even sure if I was going to write it. But here I am. Sometimes, I have days where I feel like I cannot cope, I feel desperate, I need my mum and I can’t stop crying – that day was Thursday. It started off well, I met two lovely Bournemouth bloggers and it was great to be able to get out of the house and speak to women, not a 6 year old child or a grown man (who still doesn’t care what colour I paint my nails), or talking a load of baby bollocks to a 6 month old. It was great and at this point, Holly seemed content, she had the usual whinge here and there – but nothing drastic.
We headed home, and Holly started to cry. And no, I’m not talking about a little 15 minute cry where I could settle her quickly with some boob. She cried. All day. I get it, she’s teething, but this was beyond anything I had experienced or even had expertise in. Alfie was an easy baby, he hardly cried and I wasn’t even aware he was teething until he had a whole set of teeth at 10 months old. It was completely and utterly draining. I tried everything – reading books, playing, teething gels, breast milk, a bath. Nothing worked.
I felt useless and I didn’t know what to do. It’s not as if I could quickly drive to my mums house, pass her over and rant about how crap parenthood can be. I was all alone, standing and rocking a screaming baby. I get that every parent on this whole planet has a bad day, whether that’s due to the kids or something else – but anyone can agree, when you are having a bad day and spent hours on end crying, you feel like you’re the only person and you feel alone.
Having a down day isn’t something many people like to admit, I guess in a way it shows weakness, and no-one likes to admit that, especially parents. But I like to be open and honest, it’s the real me – I have more down days than I do good and most days I call my Dad moaning down the phone.
When Alfie was home from school that day, he decided not to attend his swimming lesson, which was fine – but swimming is now a part of his weekly routine, as all kids, as soon as their routine is slightly changed they turn into wild animals (just mine? OK). Alfie has had such a bad attitude since going back to school, I’m sure it’s just him re-adjusting to the long school hours and
boring school work, but it’s been hard. If it isn’t Holly whinging and constantly feeding off me, I have Alfie moaning in my ear about such petty things.
After just one hour since Alfie came home from school, I lost it. I completely lost my s*** and I sat in the kitchen sobbing my heart out after I’d spent the last 5 minutes arguing with Alfie about how tired I was. Why is that his problem? at the time it seemed completely relevant. I sat questioning whether I could cope – can I do this anymore? am I a good mum? does this happen to anyone else?
A few minutes had past and I took a deep breath and went into the lounge, grabbed Alfie and hugged him so tight, telling him I was sorry repeatedly; he told me it was OK, but it wasn’t. I shouldn’t be snapping at him, it wasn’t his fault – he is a child and he is entitled to have bad days just like I do.
Can I do this anymore? was question number one, and I was referring to breastfeeding. I love nursing Holly, not only is it such a lovely bond which we get to share, but it’s knowing I am providing her with the best possible start in life. But it’s not always sunshine and smiles. I spend so many hours feeding Holly that I lose quality time with Alfie. A question he asked me on Thursday was “why are you always shouting at me?” and I couldn’t answer it. I get frustrated that he gets frustrated, if that doesn’t make sense to you then I’m sorry. I get frustrated knowing that I cannot offer him my constant attention which he desires, as well as my time, and quality time which we both once shared. I started to question whether it was worth it – ‘a happy mum is a happy baby’ and I completely agree that a mother’s happiness is so much more healthier for a baby than breast milk. I felt so guilty that for the past 6 months, I hadn’t had even one day where I was alone with Alfie and with losing so much time previously due to post-natal depression, I am losing even more.
Am I a good mum? and does this happen to anyone else? yes, I do believe I am a good mum, but some days, no matter what I do feels like an absolute failure. I’ve seemed to have lost the ‘funny’ side of parenting – like laughing with a friend over the hours of sleep I have lost, or laughing about the bad days that I’ve had. It’s not funny, It’s not funny listening to Alfie having a tantrum over anything and everything and crying for a whole hour because he didn’t want cocopops for breakfast, It’s not funny that I locked myself in the bathroom for 9 minutes and held my ears because I was sick to death of hearing constant noise. Same as when I want to scream every time I get touched because I have spent the last 5 hours straight with Holly comfort feeding. Yes I know, these things do happen to other mums, but if you were to tell me that whilst I’m sobbing and shoving down 6 mini rolls, I wouldn’t believe it.
Sometimes, when there are days when I lie to Alfie that soft play is closed because I cannot bear to leave the house on two hours sleep, or losing my temper in the car, or hoping the hours would pass until Holly’s next nap, I worry that something is wrong with me. I see all of these super-mums planning great days out, they shower regularly and you barely hear them even curse, let alone shout. I always thought I was maternal, that motherhood was some gift I was given and it’s the path which was chose for me. That path was possibly accidentally man-made and I’m not cut out for it at all.
I hit a brick wall that day, but I guess it’s OK to have those days, where you want to divorce your kids and jet off to a hot island and do nothing. And sometimes, the ‘useless’ advice of “it will pass”, won’t be so useless after all (if only that time would hurry up!). We will have days where we tend to measure ourselves against mums who are gliding through parenthood like an A* student, and those who you see on Instagram #lovinglife and having lovely days out with their kids.
My children are happy, they think I am the best mother in the world and to see them smile daily, shows I’m not failing as much as I think I am. They are both a measure of how well I have done (or coped) in this life of parenthood.
If we didn’t admit defeat once in a while, we’d be doing something wrong. So to myself and the million other mums, we’re doing just fine.