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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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!

Freaking out … just a little

I attended my first-ever antenatal class on Monday night and what an eye-opener it was. However the biggest realisation for me was learning just how much I didn’t know thus rekindling my romance with Google and leaving me to try to resist the urge to buy every pregnancy/childbirth book on the face of the planet. I am also starting to freak out … just a little.

The group of expectant mothers meets weekly and is facilitated by members of the South West branch of the Australian Doulas. I found out about the group from one of the facilitators who is a friend of mine and a doula herself.

A doula is someone who supports the mother and her partner before, during and after childbirth. While a doula has no medical qualifications like a doctor or midwife they are trained and experienced in childbirth. Most are mothers themselves. They are the ones who will speak up for you during labour and make sure your birthing plan is followed through as best as it can. They are also handy to have around if your partner needs to step out for a moment. Think of a doula as your very own personal birthing cheer squad.

I am keen on having my doula friend at the birth – The Boy not so much. He doesn’t want anyone else in the room. *sigh* That’s a whole other blog post.

Prior to Monday evening my birth plan was simple – a natural birth with no drugs no matter what.

This still forms the basis of my plan however after talking to the other expectant mothers and the lovely course coordinators I am now aware of so many other things which are worth considering.

For example delayed cord clamping which up until 24 hours ago I’d never even heard about. Did you know by cutting the umbilical cord straight after birth your newborn misses out on about 32 per cent of its blood which is filled with all kinds of goodies? According to a 2005 study a two-minute delay in cord clamping increased the child’s iron reserve by 27 to 47 mg of iron, which is equivalent to one to two months of an infant’s iron requirements.

I also learned television has a lot to answer for. Birthing on your back is a no-no. It makes sense too when you think of where everything is positioned. How on earth is a baby meant to navigate itself up out of the womb – being in some kind of an upright or squatted position makes the most sense.

Hopping into the bath at the wrong time can also slow down labour – another thing I was unaware of. It’s also not a good idea to sit in a bath once your waters have broken, unless you’re at the hospital, as it may result in an infection.

There is so much to learn and I can’t wait for next week’s meeting.

Like I said despite this extra knowledge I am now starting to freak out about the birth. What concerns me is would my GP/obstetrician or midwife have told me about any of this? I certainly wouldn’t have thought to ask. When I visit my GP I bring with me a list of questions each time and he’s not entirely forthcoming with information. Am I purposefully being kept in the dark? I am now petrified of the birth being taken over by the ‘professionals’ and my birth plan going out the window. How do I prevent this from happening? I would love to hear from the other mothers out there. What are your birthing experiences? Do you have any advice for first-time mothers? Let me know by leaving a comment underneath.

Maternally yours, Nervous Nelly.

P.S. I strongly advise any first-time mothers to consider taking alternative antenatal classes as well as the ones put on by your chosen hospital. You’ll learn so much more and it’s always good to keep your options open. Not to mention the fabulous other first-time mothers you’ll get to meet.

About babies … and other stuff

Baby Predator's latest wardrobe addition.

It’s been a tough week.

Therefore I’m not really feeling inspired to post. But alas I can’t leave my legions of readers (all five of you) hanging can I?!

My friend The Wry Bride suggested I blog about babies. At first I scoffed ‘thanks Captain Obvious’ but then I thought hmm maybe she’s on to something. So this week’s post is about babies.

Admittedly I don’t know much about them. I know they are cute, squishy, warm, they cry, poop, eat, make gurgling noises, sleep lots, have the best giggle on the planet and are fun to dress up. Other than that I’m pretty much going to have to play it by ear once he/she makes its long-awaited arrival (19 weeks eek!)

Speaking of dressing up, this little baby already has a wardrobe to rival that of my own – Missoni anyone. Yes, today I bought baby Predator an all-in-one romper designed by the famed Italian fashion house. It’s to fit a one-month old. I’m predicting it will fit my bundle of joy for probably two weeks. In that two weeks I will be aiming to get as much wear out of it as I can. Even if I’m looking like hell, sleep-deprived with milk spit on my own clothes – this baby is going to be rocking designer duds, well for at least two weeks he/she will be.

I’ve been  noticing some strange things since becoming pregnant – for one I am turning into a sensitive old soul and I think I may be starting to develop what has always seemed so very foreign to me – a maternal instinct. *shock, horror*

Earlier this week I ran into an old school friend who just had a baby and I found myself staring right at it like a woman possessed. I also had this sudden urge to pick it up, rock it in my arms and cover it in kisses. This is not the first time this has happened. When I see babies these days I get this ridiculous wistful look on my face and think to myself ‘oh how precious’. Even those television advertisements for nappies and the such turn me to mush. What dear readers is happening to me?

I’ve always found babies cute but to be honest when a new mum would hand their newborn over for a cuddle – instant anxiety. What if I drop it? How do I hold it? What if it cries? Ugh can you have it back now?

I really hope this maternal instinct which everyone talks about does exist because it’s going to be pretty awkward otherwise. ‘Oh umm sorry nurse can you wait until I’m seated up right with at least 10 cushions surrounding me before you hand me my baby for the first time?’

Thankfully my fabulous partner who will only be known as The Boy has had a lot of practise with mini humans. He has three younger brothers and is very good with children. I am very blessed and also it seems suffering from the fabled ‘baby brain’ as this blog has gone off on all kinds of tangents. Alas it’s seems like an appropriate time to sign off.

Maternally yours, I-Promise-My-Next-Post-Will-Be-Better