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.

 

 

 

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It’s all happening

Oh hai there abandoned blog .. I finally have something to post about – yippee!

In four sleeps I make my return to the newsdesk after almost 12 months of maternity leave. I am excited, nervous and apprehensive. Not to mention there is a tad bit of guilt creeping in for good measure. I will be working two days for six months before returning for either three days or full-time depending on how I feel.

My fabulous mother will be watching The Baby for one day and the other day he will be going to day care.

I am looking forward to working again, I really am. Some people work because they have to while others work because they want to. I fit into the latter category. I can’t wait to immerse myself into the news again and get my brain cranking – although it might take a couple of weeks for that to happen!

Since I have been on leave my office has had a dramatic makeover so I can’t wait to sit at my new desk with my new equipment. I also have a team now – whereas before it was just me so that is also something I look forward to.

Being surrounded by adults and having proper conversation which does not revolve around parenting and babies is also going to be a breath of fresh air. Dressing for the office and not for comfort and practicality is something I oddly long for. As are takeaway coffees, long lunches and office gossip with the other journos.

However at the same time I wonder how on earth will I be able to get The Baby ready, get myself ready and have the house looking presentable all by 7.30am. Will he notice I am gone and resent me? Or will he barely bat an eyelid and love spending time with his Nanny and make new baby friends at day care? I am fairly confident it will be the latter as he is a very social little boy and loves people especially mini-humans.

Will I still go running after work? I am currently in training for my first-ever half-marathon (28 days to go – eek!) and I cannot miss any self-imposed training sessions. I know I will want to go but will I feel guilty about leaving The Baby for an extra hour on top of the nine I have already left him for?

How will we eat dinner before midnight on my two working days? I am thinking slow-cooker at this stage or meal prep. Or convince The Boy it is his job as he finishes work a few hours before me.

Do I let The Baby eat day-care food or prepare food for him to bring? What if he gets sick – he has yet to get sick (touch wood). How will I work productively if we have had a shocking night before and have had barely any sleep?

I also fear the house will end up looking like a crack den because I would not have had time to clean during the day. Sometimes I wish I was one of those people who can handle a bit of mess but I can’t it gives me anxiety. When I go back full-time I am seriously considering a cleaning lady come through once per week. The last thing I want to be doing on weekends is cleaning – ain’t nobody got time for that!

Do I have a tendency to over-think things? YES!

Ugh I am sure everything will be fine and I am just being over-dramatic. Just typing this all out has made me feel better about the whole situation.

The Baby is nine months old tomorrow. NINE MONTHS. Which means in three months he will be one. OMG. Yes I am already planning his party in my head.

He is an itty-bitty thing – so itty bitty he wasn’t even on the chart for his weight at his eight-month check up and was in the bottom-half percentile for height. Small things come in good packages, just look at his mum 😉

He has four teeth and is crawling. This week he started climbing and standing while holding onto things. We bought him a walker despite vowing never to and he doesn’t like it thankfully as he prefers to explore on all fours. So now we are selling the walker.

He is very chatty and almost always happy. I don’t want to jinx it but he sleeps through the night too. Sometimes he doesn’t but more often than not he does.

Like his mum he loves his food and enjoys feeding himself. I call him my curly-haired monster because also like his mum (when I was a baby) he has super curly hair.

It’s hard to tell who he looks like the most. He is a good mixture of the two of us I think. He has inherited our love for music and socialising which is good to see. He is also very independent and is happy to entertain himself.

One thing which has happened just this week and has saddened me is he no longer wants the boob. I wanted to breastfeed for at least a year however he has decided otherwise. I still persevere but he is not into it and prefers to bite me and it bloody hurts. I am determined to keep trying but I think we (more like me) will have to move on soon. He does look ridiculously cute feeding himself his bottle though.

It amazes me how fast the past nine months have flown by and I can’t wait to see what the next nine months bring.

If any working mums have any advice for me shoot away!

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.

Who doesn’t love a bargain?

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I am expecting a package to arrive today – five brand-spanking new breastfeeding tops which I bought for the bargain price of $150 from Mamaway. I also need to head to the shops but I just know as soon as I leave the house the delivery van will pull up, knock on the door, see I’m not home and then I’ll have to duck down to the post office after 4.30pm.

Talk about first-world problems!

My quest for breastfeeding tops began last week and I was disheartened to find they are very hard to come by unless you don’t mind paying the earth or looking hideously unfashionable. While I understand comfort and practicality is an absolute must when breastfeeding it can’t hurt to look nice also. It’s bad enough that we have to contend with milk-engorged leaking breasts and getting our boobs out at any given moment – I think the least maternity-wear designers can do is make something pretty and affordable.

On the topic of affordability – why does a maternity singlet cost almost double the price of a non-maternity singlet? Bonds I am looking at you. A basic singlet should not be priced at more than $30 especially if it’s only going to be worn as either an undergarment or to bed.

Another problem I have been faced with is sizing. Apparently only women sized 12 and up can get pregnant. If you’re an 8-10 forget about it. Due to this ridiculousness I have only been able to find one maternity bra in my size. I know my boobs are going to get larger but I can’t see them swelling from a 10B to a 12D – well I bloody hope they don’t anyway.

All I can say is thank God for online shopping. I had all but given up on finding anything half decent when I came across the aforementioned website which just happened to be running several promotions. I managed to find several day-wear tops, a dressier-evening top and even a pink leopard-print twin-set – all for just $150 and all in my size. Bargain.

Ooh and they’ve just arrived! *tears open package and squeals with delight*

I could not rate Mamaway high enough. Great quality, spot-on sizing and when they’re having a sale – very affordable.

Check it out.

If any other mummas out there can recommend some fabulous shopping sites please leave a comment below.

Maternally yours, Thrifty-Shopper

Hi my name is …

Beyonce and Jay-Z named their baby girl Blue Ivy - since when have colours been considered names?

With just eight weeks to go until the arrival of baby Predator I’ve decided it’s high-time The Boy and I put our collective heads together to come up with a suitable list of names. Somehow I doubt Predator will go down too well in the schoolyard or with the rellies although it may keep bullies at bay.

Over the past few months we have started compiling a list however it is not as easy I was led to believe. For a start we have chosen not to find out the gender of our baby until he/she makes his/her long-awaited appearance. This is making things very difficult especially as I’m convinced we are having a girl.

So far we have about two boy names while I could rattle off at least six suitable girl names.

Also making it harder than it should be is The Boy’s reluctance to take this task seriously. He thinks it is fun to throw in names he has either made up or which haven’t been in use since the 1800s. I love old-fashioned names but there is a line which I’m not willing to cross.

We have chosen not to reveal any of our names to friends or family to save the inevitable negative comments which are sure to follow i.e.

“We were thinking Summa” – “Oh I went to high-school with a Summa and she was a complete b*tch.”

or

“What about Reighnbeau” – “WTF are you thinking?”

By the way neither of these names is up for consideration.

I’m starting to become obsessed with choosing the perfect name and am often trawling websites, reading birth notices and looking in my favourite books for inspiration but alas there is nothing either of us has fallen in love with.

Perhaps our criteria are too rigid.

Things to consider when choosing a name …

  1.  it needs to flow with The Boy’s surname i.e. it can’t rhyme or sound similar to it, I don’t mind alliteration though.
  2. it may sound cute when he/she is little but will it transcend into adulthood – something Jamie Oliver and his wife should have considered when naming their offspring Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear.
  3.  no inappropriate, incorrect or wacky spelling – for example no swapping i for y, c for k, or s for z, it’s Georgia not Jorja. The spelling and grammar of kids these days is appalling enough as it is so there’s no need to confuse our mini-human by giving he/she a poorly spelt moniker.
  4.  if the name can be shortened will it still be okay – although my line of thinking is why give your child a long name if you’re going to call him/her something else anyway e.g. Harrison – Harry, Elizabeth – Liz.
  5.  it needs to be easy to spell/pronounce. No one likes repeating their name 10 times over when introducing themselves nor do they like having to spell it out just as many times. Spare a thought for poor L-A – pronounced Ladasha.
  6. it can’t be too popular. If it features in the Top 10 Baby Names of 2012 it’s not going to be considered. Who wants to be known as Jack M or Emily C when they get to primary school?
  7.  however it can’t be too unique – I like different names but to an extent. If a celebrity thinks it is appropriate then chances are it really isn’t. The late Frank Zappa takes the cake for giving his poor offspring a lifetime of grief – Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet and my personal favourite Muffin Thin Diva.
  8.  it can’t be a family name – I don’t like the idea of giving our daughter or son the first or middle name of one of our parents/grandparents etc. I would worry other family members would be offended if their name wasn’t chosen and I’d much rather give our offspring its very own name.
  9.  no teasing allowed – this one is hard because schoolkids are mean and will turn any name into a cruel taunt. There are ways to lessen the inevitable though by choosing a name which doesn’t rhyme with parts of the anatomy, a derogatory term or choosing not to give your boy a feminine name or your daughter a masculine name.
  10.  it has to suit the baby – this one we won’t know until we meet him/her.

Ugh so now you understand our dilemma – it’s really, really hard.

Any advice is most welcome. Or if you know of any crazy names which you have come across please leave a comment, I could do with a good laugh!

Maternally yours, It’s-not-just-a-name