Today I felt like throwing my child across the room.
Of course, I’d never (EVER) do it. I love my son more than anything in the world. He’s THE SHIT. But, he can also BE a shit.
Sometimes parenthood is oh so bloody hard and frustrating.
If you haven’t been there yet, it’ll happen. After hours of trying to get them to do something, the frustration and hopelessness (“why won’t he/she just sleep???”) bubbles inside of you and, when you’ve had next to no sleep yourself, it can be easy to lose your temper. But, we don’t.
Our little man Harry has taken to standing in his cot, scratching the walls and doing multiple ‘strategic sleep-time poos’ so that I have to come in and change him. The ‘lunchtime dance’, as I call it, can last hours. But that’s part and parcel of being a Mum, and most days I can handle it.
But today I broke down into tears. Uncontrollable, ugly, heaving, snotty, gulping tears. They lasted hours and the worst part was Harry saw them. Feeling like a bad mum, I couldn’t work out why I was upset.
Yes, I’m knackered, but after nine months with a baby I’m pretty used to that. And yes, I’m stressed, and I guess that’s because I feel pressure to be the perfect mum. But, that’s part of #mumlife (for many) and, again, something I’m used to.
In the last few weeks our little guy has made some huge leaps. He can now pull himself up to standing (from anywhere and onto anything) and doesn’t need assistance to hold on without falling. He can climb out of his cot (scary to the max) and can also hold his own bottle. He’s in the size 1s already, won’t cuddle me unless he’s fast asleep (I sneak them, often in the dead of night!), got his first tooth and can turn the pages of a book.
So I guess, when it comes down to it, I feel a little lost and irrelevant.
First off, I quit my job – no small task for someone whose career defined her…
Then Harry started rejecting the boob and crawling…
Then I had to start him in daycare…
Then he could stand and feed himself…
And today he didn’t want me. He didn’t look at me once. He was too busy exploring and distracted by everyone and anything but me. It happens often.
I know he loves me and he’s just off learning. I know it’s just a phase. But that doesn’t stop it from hurting.
Each and every person has things that define them. My work used to be a big part of what defined me, but that’s gone. My freelance writing is keeping me sane and that’s’ great, but it’s not like it was (as if it ever could be with a baby now in the picture!).
After I quit my job, looking after my baby defined me. Logically, I know there’s still a lot to do on that front, but emotionally I feel like as the cuddles, breastfeeding and carrying have disappeared my sadness has appeared.
The pressure, exhaustion, lack of time to ourselves, and frustration – that’s what can drive us mums almost insane some days. It’s all kept me so busy that I haven’t really thought about it. Until now. Until I hit that waterfall of tears.
But the key words there are ‘some days’. Yes, on occasion your day with your child is downright shit. Sometimes it can last a few hours, sometimes a week. But we acknowledge it’s “just one of those days” and keep on moving, because we know the silver lining. Our babies are our worlds. The majority of the time, we’re on cloud nine. For me, life with my boys is absolutely amazing and I consider being a mum the best job in the world.
So we stay positive, pick ourselves up, talk to friends, get rid of any bad vibes and get on with the job. We have a coffee, wash our hair, get some sleep (if we can) and get back to our old selves. Well, in my case, not the old workaholic ‘me’, but a better, more caring and more fulfilled ‘me’.
Here’s to supporting each other through the good, the bad and the plain ugly, keeping the smiles on our faces, spreading the love amongst other mums and enjoying every moment with our little ones.
Every month Aussie modern mama and LB contributor, Shiv, talks about the realities of going from ‘Manager to Mummy’.