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.

 

 

 

What to expect

Recently a friend, who is mother to two of the cutest kids on the planet and who I love for her  honesty, told me I “have no idea” what I’m getting myself into when it comes to becoming a parent.

At first I wanted to slap her in the face, then I wanted to cry and then I just accepted she is spot on. I do have no idea what I’m getting myself into and I’ve never professed to believe otherwise.

I know once baby Predator has arrived I’ll read over some of my blog posts, Facebook statuses and Tweets, shake my head and say what the hell was I thinking. But you live and you learn and trust me when I say I’m going into this with my eyes wide open.

I’m looking forward to the challenges being a first-time mum will bring. I’m aware there will be good days and bad days. I know I’ll barely have any time to myself and be functioning on little to no sleep. I know there will be times where I want to throw in the towel but I also know there will be times where I couldn’t be any happier. I’m also lucky to have the best partner in the world who is also looking forward to the journey ahead.

It’s going to be a huge learning curve for The Boy and I. We live the good life at the moment and it will be hard to sacrifice some things. The Boy won’t be able to play golf as often as he does now, I’ll have to curb my dress-buying addiction, lunch-time outings will have to be less frequent and we won’t be able to be as spontaneous.In short we have to be a little less self-obsessed.

But we are both ready – bring it on I say!

Stop, drop and ask yourself should I really be posting this?

Just a quick post today – I’m meant to be working after all, even if the rest of the country is downing ice-cold beer, eating steak and sausages and frolicking at the beach for Australia Day. *sigh* Why did I get into this business again?

Anyway … a good friend of mine introduced me to this blog a couple of months ago and it is one of the funniest parenting blogs out there and a timely reminder to those parents who think it’s perfectly acceptable to overshare on Facebook. It’s called STFU Parents and invites Facebook users to anonymously submit posts by parents who use the social networking site to inappropriately tell all and sundry about their pregnancy/childbirth/parenting experiences. Check it out – it’s hilariously cringeworthy to see what some people deem appropriate. Placenta milkshake anyone?

I recently took a Facebreak and one of the mitigating factors was the overshare. Some people just don’t know when to stop. There’s the girl who constantly posts about her relationship dramas, the guy who is begging for attention with his oh-woe-is-me updates and let’s not forget the expectant mum or newish mum who keeps her friends updated on every flutter, scan*, child’s bowel movement, food allergies, grazed knee etc etc.

I don’t doubt that my incessant self-promotion, posting endless links to various news stories, blogs, YouTube clips and mindless rants don’t irk some of the masses out there but I am very mindful about what I do and don’t post. Some users forget ONCE IT’S ONLINE IT’S THERE FOREVER and what you post isn’t just between you and a couple of mates it’s there for EVERYONE to see.

Now expectant parents I understand you’re excited – I know I am – but do you really think anyone else cares about your bouts of morning sickness, the fact you’re constipated or have gas? No, no they don’t. I’m sorry. It’s time to step away from the keyboard.

Don’t even get me started on the posting of ultrasound photos or the album containing hundred of photos of one-week old Lou-Lou laying in various positions. I get it, you’re over-the-moon you have just created a life, it’s amazing and your bundle of joy is precious but why not pull back a little and just post  a handful of the best photos? Clicking ‘next’ 3000 times is giving your friends RSI.

Here is a question to ask yourselves before hitting ‘post’ – “how would I feel if my parents posted these photos of me and gave me a digital footprint before I even knew what a digital footprint was?” Remember – it will be out there somewhere in cyberspace FOREVER. I doubt cherub-cheeked Lou-Lou is going to be thanking her parents in years to come for posting that photo of her using the potty for the first time. Something to think about.

And on that note – happy Australia Day lovers and have an ice-cold beer for me.

Maternally yours, I-Hope-I-Don’t-End-Up-Being-A-Hypocrite-And-Do-Exactly-What-I’ve-Just-Blogged-About

*I admit I did post about the 20-week scan but only because it was in the public’s interest to know baby Predator will not be cursed with Hobbit-like feet.