How often do you find yourself struggling with just the day to day? It’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s not necessarily that you find things a struggle every day, just sometimes, or now and then, but never-the-less, a struggle. I think as parents, we hate to admit it. We don’t want to seem like we can’t cope. But that’s not what makes a bad parent. It doesn’t make you an unfit parent. It’s what makes us normal and human. Not one child is the same and not one situation is the same. Everybody deals with things differently. Some days can be amazing, wonderful and happy. Other days are really testing and you don’t feel you’ve achieved anything. The baby has cried all day and you feel useless.
As wonderful and amazing as it is to be blessed with a child and to become a parent, there is no question that sometimes it’s really tough. Test’s you to your limits. It’s the sleepless nights, the hours of swaying, shushing, rocking, cradling, putting down, picking back up, driving round for hours or pushing in the pram to get to sleep, it’s the tiredness, the not settling, the baby who won’t feed/latch on, food intolerances, feeding issues, weening dramas, tantrums, the colic, the crying that seems to never stop some days. The days when you can’t get anything done, when you haven’t managed to get out of your pyjamas or had a shower, hardly had anything to eat yourself and can’t remember the last time you drank a HOT drink. The piles of washing, drying, ironing, the tidying, cleaning, cooking, preparing that seems never ending. When everything makes you doubt yourself as mother and feel like everything you’re doing is wrong. When you can’t seem to settle them sometimes, no matter how hard you try, and it feels like they are crying/screaming AT you. How, in the madness of those days where you’re exhausted beyond all comprehension, have no make-up on, your hair looks like a you’ve been dragged through a hedge, you’re up to your elbows changing a mammoth crappy nappy for the 3rd time in an hour, to then pick them up for a cuddle when they are sick all down your top that you’ve only just put on after getting spilt coffee and half eaten toast down the last one, the door goes and it’s the postman with a parcel that you have to sign for, so you put your baby down, to which he/she screams it’s head off as he/she doesn’t want to be left for 0.1 of a millisecond and the postman just looks at your current state and delicately says ‘having a rough morning love?’ It’s here in these moments when you think how some people seem to gracefully prance and twirl through motherhood so effortlessly and beautifully and yet here you are battling through every hour like a mad person looking like utter road kill. If you are one of these like me, trust me, it gets easier, you do eventually figure it out and get your shit together. Don’t ever feel down hearted or doubt your ability as a parent. There’s no rule book, there’s no real ‘how to guide’ everydayis a learning curve and you will always be thrown new things to deal with.
You also have your multitude of emotions to deal with, that make you feel parallel opposites most of the time. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed, emotional, happy and sad all at the same time. Sometimes you’ll cry for no apparent reason. But the important thing is that it’s ok and you’re not mad or crazy. It’s so important to talk about how you’re feeling, and if you need help with anything, even if you feel like you want to try and deal with everything on your own, YOU ARE NOT A SUPERHERO! Nobody expects you to be. Just because you feel emotional, drained, exhausted, like you have to manage everything but can’t- this doesn’t make you a bad parent or a failure!! You are doing an amazing job whether you believe it or not.
You have to look after yourself. If you aren’t functioning properly then you will suffer. Happy mummy, happy baby.Don’t ever compare yourself to others. Don’t let people’s opinions get to you. It doesn’t matter what other people think. People will always judge, but all that matters is you, your family and what you think is best.
For all you parents, whichever stage you’re at, whatever ups and downs, through the good and bad, you can do this. I believe in you. You’re doing great.