Nicky is an old, old friend and, before that, was a student of mine. Even back then I was in awe of her and felt rather inadequate as the supposed ‘learned adult’. She taught me more and introduced me to more than I ever gave her. Thanks to the power of Facebook we have kept in touch over the years when I was in Bangladesh and just recently she visited our house with her baby son. I’m still in awe of her.
My youngest is twelve now so we’ve truly left behind those baby years. But I do remember that though our babies were always our joy and our everything, they were – at times – the spawn of hell too. Yesterday, Nicky shared her thoughts on Facebook and I empathized with them so much I asked her permission to share her words here on my blog. So here, in her own words, are Nicky’s honest thoughts about the ‘not-so-great’ aspects of having a baby. I suspect this will resonate with many of you – including the very final sentence – much better than if I had written it!
Thoughts from a new mother
For all you mums and dads out there, and the ones that are going to become mums and dads, and especially for the ones that have older children and have forgotten the delights of having a child whose age is counted in months.
I’ve noticed that we seem to only share the nice things that happen.. and I must admit that sometimes when I read them when my boy is having a ‘moment’ it makes me feel like the only mother in the world that can’t make my child happy… so here goes.
For anyone feeling like they aren’t supermum this is what happens when my boy isn’t happy, giggling, smiling, burbling, playing and sleeping.
Before I start… I will point out that I love my son with all my heart. However…
He gets HANGRY, and I mean death metal scream when he has the slightest bit of hunger pain, from giggling to screaming in less than 2 seconds. It makes me want to put my head through a wall.
Sometimes he will look tired, act tired, have droopy eyes etc, but the second I suggest perhaps going to sleep (maybe gentle rocking, singing, cot time..) he acts like sleep is the one thing in the world that he never ever needs, and it may well actually kill him if he tries to let it happen. it makes me want to put my head through a wall.
He will cry. For NO REASON. Change him, burp him, feed him, play with him, talk to him etc etc etc etc etc. Nothing will console him, then suddenly it stops and he acts as if he doesn’t know what crying is. It makes me want to put my head through a wall.
His poo…. STINKS! We have a few descriptions for the nappys we get… Poonami – when the poo almost escapes the nappy.
Poosplosion – when there is more poo in the nappy than baby outside it.
Wet fart – the tiny streak of poo that seems to upset him more than the poonamisplosions!
Just when we think we have a routine sorted, or we can predict how much he would eat and when, it changes. Leaving us with an 8oz bottle with 6oz left in it. It makes me want to put my head through a wall.
Tummy time is apparently the work of the devil. Yet the effort it would take for him to be arsed to roll onto his back again is just too much. He would rather faceplant the floor and cry than bother trying. He cries into the floor. It makes me want to put my head through a wall.
We have 1 baby class a week. 1. He chooses that day to refuse to nap before it, and wants to nap during it. Completely out of sync from the rest of the week. He then inevitably has a poosplotion the second we walk in the door. It makes me want to put my head through the children’s centre wall.
He is a grumpy bugger during the day but the second we get a visitor or his dad gets home he acts like butter wouldn’t melt. The image of the angelic infant. It makes me want to put my head through a wall.
Getting him to nap in his cot instead of on me. It makes me want to put my head through a wall.
My husband and I take turns at the night shift. For me he wakes every hour because he found his dummy in his mouth and spat it out, then remembered he wanted it in, he fills his nappy at 3am, he decides 4am is morning, he practises his velociraptor impression at 5 am and refuses to go back to sleep. For my husband he wakes at 11pm for a feed then sleeps through to 4am, has another feed and sleeps till 8am. It makes me want to put my head through a wall.
When refusing to sleep in his cot he will sometimes sleep in my arms. But I MUST be standing up. He knows when I sit down and that is an act of war in his book. Mum can never be comfortable while he sleeps or the world may end. It makes me want to put my head through a wall…. Quietly… Because I don’t want him to wake up while is so peaceful.
So yes, there are lovely, beautiful, magical times. But they are interspersed with the reality of parenthood. It’s not all sunshine and flowers and some days are better than others.
But we’re winning. We are parents and we are winning!