There is no right time

Me at seven and a half months pregnant. I loved being pregnant but would it be the same if I went back for more?

Me at seven and a half months pregnant. I loved being pregnant but would it be the same if I went back for more?

The curly-haired monster is turning two in a few weeks. Yes two. I can hardly believe how fast those years have flown by. I still remember giving birth to him like it was yesterday.

Naturally people have been asking “when’s the next one coming?” or “are you going to have any more?” It’s a very personal question but of course it is something the boy and I have both pondered. I usually laugh it off with a maybe whenever I’m asked.

I think the decision to have more children is far tougher than deciding to have your first. The first time you have no idea what you are getting yourself into, it’s all very new, exciting and daunting at the same time.When your baby arrives you are filled with so much love and you couldn’t imagine loving anything more than him/her. It’s tough – and amazing – but you get to devote all of your time to one mini-human. One.

The first few months are a sleep-deprived blur of feeding, napping, cuddles and trying to find your way. By the time they get to one you’ve pretty much blocked that part of your life out and then you start to think hmm maybe it’s time for another. However then they start walking and you couldn’t possibly imagine having a newborn to care for too.

By one and a half things are much easier – if you’re lucky they are sleeping through, can pretty much feed them self and aren’t so reliant on you for constant entertainment. You think you’ve got this parenting gig down pat and high-five each other. Go mum! Go dad!

Then the tantrums and hissy fits start. So you think no way I will not be able to handle another one. You also wonder how your adorable wide-eyed precious prince can turn from cuddly monkey to demonic spawn of satan in the blink of an eye.

Before you know it your bubba is approaching two and you’re thinking where did that time go? What happened to my little baby? He’s running around, talking, telling you NO! Asking for sultanas, the Wiggles and wants you to kiss his little finger when he shuts it in the drawer/door/toy box for 10th time. He is fiercely independent.

You hold a newborn baby and your ovaries and heart start to ache. Maybe now is the right time. But then it’s bedtime and as you cuddle your boy to sleep (yes I STILL do this) you worry about him missing out on cuddles and attention while you’re devoting all of your time to his new brother or sister. You don’t want this special bond to be broken.

It’s a tough decision. Will I be able to cope with two? What if the curly-haired monster is jealous? Is it possible to love another as much as I love the curly-haired monster? What if the new one doesn’t sleep? I don’t want to give up cuddling my boy to sleep so what do I do? Learning to breastfeed again, ugh. No more sleep. Letting my body be hijacked for two years. Oh God imagine how much crap will be left all over the house with TWO kids! We need a bigger car. I want a bigger house. I’ll have to stop working and stay at home for at least six months. OMG no more poached eggs. My boobs are going to look even worse. How do I go food shopping? Scrap that – how do I leave the house? What if I forget what to do? What if I have to stop running? What if my employer decides to make my job redundant? What if I fail? The list inside my head goes on and on and on.

However on the other hand, another itty bitty to kiss, cuddle and make us a family of four would be pretty damn awesome.

Maybe it’s not such a tough decision after all.

How did you decide to have more than one child? What’s your advice on coping with more than one?

 

 

 

Confessions of a tired mum

We are exceptionally lucky in our house because 95 per cent of the time the Curly-Haired Monster sleeps through the night and he has done for about the past six months.

However there is the odd occasion when he likes to keep us on our toes and will wake up every two hours for three nights in a row – which is what happened this week.

It happens every few weeks and it is absolute shit when it happens especially as I am now working three days a week and the Boy gets up at 3.45am. So. Damn. Tired.

But I digress because it is not the point of this post and we have it pretty easy compared to a lot of families out there who haven’t known a full night’s sleep in months/years.

The reason this only went on for three nights was because on the fourth I had reached the end of my tether. I was well and truly over it.

He went down for a couple of hours, woke up and refused to go back to sleep. We tried everything. I even chucked him in bed with us which is always a last resort – who knew something so small could take up so much damn room!

It was late, I was tired, he was crying, the Boy was tired and getting annoyed too so I made the decision to let him ‘cry it out’ in his cot.

Ten-fifteen minutes later he was fast asleep and slept through the night and has done ever since.

It’s  not the first time either and it certainly won’t be the last.

There’s been times when I’ve even shut the door so I can’t hear him just so I can get five minutes of peace so I can collect my thoughts, calm down and then be a better parent rather than a frazzled lunatic.

Before I returned to work there would be days where I’d be hanging out for the Boy to get home so I could hand the Curly-Haired Monster over, lace up my runners and pound the pavement for an hour before I seriously lost my mind.

Why am I telling this boring story? Because it’s the truth. Because sometimes it gets too much and all you want to do is get some sleep or some much needed time for yourself.

Sometimes the crying and relentless whingeing is like a hammer to your brain  and you’d do anything for just five minutes of quiet and hot cup of tea.

It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent or that you love your child any less. EVERY parent has these moments/days and anyone who says they haven’t is a goddamn liar.

Recently on Facebook a local woman who runs a parenting-support group – with a huge lean toward attachment parenting – linked ‘crying it out in order to get a good night’s sleep’ to children growing up to be murderers or more likely to commit assaults. I wish I was joking. As you can imagine some  mothers were outraged whereas others agreed with her.

It’s this sort of bullshit which ends up causing parents to self-doubt their own methods and feel they might be doing something wrong and/or going to raise bad children. Enough with the mummy wars. Seriously enough.

Parenting is hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. What works for one family may not work for another and vice versa. I don’t follow anyone’s advice in fact I haven’t for months and I don’t ask for it either because if it’s one thing I’ve learned is everyone thinks they are a goddamn expert.

These ‘experts’ are what f*ck up the new parent’s confidence.

While we’ve only let the Curly-Haired Monster cry it out a handful of times – oh did I mention we tried the Ferber method for awhile too (now I’m defintely going to be cast to the fiery pits of hell) – I’m a huge believer in doing whatever works for you and your family. No one should ever make parents feel guilty or question their parenting methods. Ever. (Unless the baby/child is being put in harm’s way of course)

Don’t self-doubt – go with your gut and if it means leaving your little one to scream for a bit or if it means sleeping side by side in bed each night then so be it. Who am I to judge.

 

 

 

Attachment parenting – yawn let’s move on

It appears the topic du jour on the majority of parenting blogs this week is attachment parenting. Ah yes that old chestnut. Well here is my two cents on the issue – *yawn*

For those who have been living under a rock or who have more important things to concern themselves with, this somewhat controversial method of parenting can be described as the following –

Attachment parenting is based on the principle of understanding a child’s emotional and physical needs and responding sensitively to these needs. The focus of attachment parenting is on building a strong relationship between parents and child.

A strong and trusting relationship with your child can be developed by following your intuition; responding to your baby’s cries; “demand” breastfeeding for an extended period; carrying or “wearing” your baby; using gentle ways to help your baby sleep; co-sleeping with your baby and minimising separation from your baby during the first few years.

Source http://www.attachmentparentingaustralia.com/#What_are_some_aspects_of_attachment_parenting_that_help_parents_connect_to_their_children_after_the_early_infant_period_

Apparently on Sunday night current affairs program 60 Minutes featured a segment on attachment parenting hence why the topic is making headlines again. I didn’t watch it but I have read several blogs and news articles regarding it and once again mothers are being pitted against one another in the battle of whose method is best. Ugh give me a break. Whatever works for you is best – there is no one-size-fits-all method to parenting.

I posted briefly about this topic a few months ago here when Time magazine published what was likely its most talked about cover ever. You know the one – where the mother, an advocate for attachment parenting, is photographed breastfeeding her three-year-old son.

Like then I could not give two hoots whether a mother chooses to adhere to this method and neither should you. In fact let’s all move on because quite frankly I am sick to death of the topic.

If you know a mother who favours attachment parenting tell her she’s doing a great job. If you know a mother who is not a fan of the method tell her she is also doing a great job. Because at the end of the day we are all trying our best and it’s not an easy job whichever route you take.

Maternally yours, Moved On.