Saturday, March 07, 2009

Parenting Thoughts

It's true. I made a mini-me. Stevie is at the top, I'm in the next photo with my Great Grandmother.

My my how time is flying. It seems Stevie is doing something new everyday. Her newest thing is doing this movement with her right arm that I like to call "helicopter arm". Maybe she will be right handed? Not a molly duker like her Mum.

I am currently asking all Mum's I know why the heck they did not warn me how tough this job would be. I guess being a parent is hard to explain to someone who has never been there. Maybe that's why.

I have been through so many ups and downs. But where I am today is a good place.

I still stress out and feel completely overwhelmed at times and to be completely honest I did suffer from a bit of post natal depression. Before I had Stevie I wondered how one could suffer from depression at such an exciting time, but if parenting has taught me anything (and of course it has, it's taught me a lot) it's taught me that all preconceptions regarding parenting are going to be extremely challenged and most of the time far from how things really are.

I say I'm in a good place now, though I am still struggling. I am tired. My body hurts, I miss my art. I complain and then feel bad for being so ungrateful and not living up to my own expectations of being a "perfect" mother. One who does all she needs to do without ever whinging about it. But what is this facade we all try to put up and for who's benefit is it for anyway? Ours? For others? It doesn't help ourselves not to share with others how hard we are finding things at times. And it certainly doesn't help other Mum's when we lead them to believe we are doing just super and have it all together with a clean house and a home cooked meal on the dinner table at 6pm every night. It's our duty to other Mum's to leave our houses messy when they come over, and to share the fact that sometimes we just can't do it all and that we are not perfect human beings. Then maybe it will help them to not feel so bad when they can't keep their houses as clean as ours.

This is the hardest & most emotionally intense job I've ever had. And yes I admit, I'm a bit of a lazy person. But it's also the most rewarding. I complain, but I'm not looking for sympathy... I just don't want to pretend that everything is perfect and be all la-de-da here as that would only be telling half the story. I am happy, but I have my moments.

And so even though right now my back is aching, the little nugget is asleep in her cot & I am looking forward to holding her again when she next wakes. I am looking forward to the new milestones that the next week will bring. She is on the verge of rolling over and new sounds are gurgling out of her mouth frequently. I am excited about starting to introduce foods to her (we bought a pretty funky high chair today). Her smile is the most awesome thing in the world.

So I need to rest up and prepare myself for another day. Another day where I need to remind myself that this time will go fast so I need to enjoy the present and really enjoy Stevie as she is now. Not to care so much about a messy house- which is easier said than done. And remember that any great achievement usually takes a lot of hard work... and that I'm not alone coz there are a stack of other Mum's out there that are doing the exact same thing.


Missie Krissie said...

It's true. It is VERY hard being a Mum. I completely agree with everything you said. But I can tell you right now that it will get easier. My son is 2 now and I can't believe we got through those first 2 years. Right now, compared to even a year ago we are cruising.
I think I only got through because I learned to take little things as victories. Having a shower and brushing my teeth was a job well done in those first months. And just getting up twice in the middle of the night instead of 3 times was fantastic. Lol. Slowly slowly everything comes right.
I still have moments- When I have to get a pillow and scream into it. My son watches me and then pats my arm, saying 'Mummy sick', with a very sympathetic look on his face.
I also have one of those friends who has that sparkling clean house and cooks the meals every night (she has a daughter the same age). I used to feel horrible every time I went there. But then I realised! She has NO interests! I mean it! Nothing. No reading, no crafting, no nothing. What else would she spend her time doing then? And this will make you feel better- I read a sign the other day that said 'show me a spotless house and I'll show you a boring woman'. Too true!
Sorry I didn't mean to write that much, obviously your post struck a chord! I hope it helps in some small way, just in knowing that at least someone else felt the same after having a child. Cut yourself some slack. :)

Caroline said...

Amen, fellow mommy. I've had a touch of the baby blues too. And you hit the nail on the head with this statement:

"all preconceptions regarding parenting are going to be extremely challenged and most of the time far from how things really are."

I had so many ideas about how we would do things as parents, and so much of it turned out differently... it's a lesson in rolling with the punches.

So thanks for being honest. Stevie is so adorable! said...

Good blog.

Georgie Love said...

Oh goodness, she is the splitting image of you! How funny. :-D

Eh, Dr-Mr and I live off microwave meals, I only clean when the piles of dog hair are so high it makes me cry to see them. Even then it's often Adam who vacuums for me! I still cry on those days when I can't get Ruby down for a nap, even though I should be used to it.

I have the start of a cold and can't stop sneezing and spluttering, I can only wait until Rub's gets it too.

Much love to you, it's important that we are honest.

lil kim said...

Yeah, wow incredible how much Stevie looks like you as a baby!

Not being a mum myself, i really don't know what it is like of course, but there are so many pressures on women to be 'successful' or 'perfect', to be 'yummy mummies' and able to juggle everything. But it's just not realistic. You first priority is your baby, and if the house goes to hell, so be it!

glad you posted this...

Sprite said...

I'm sure that you're very busy and tired right now, but I hope that you are doing well. I really enjoy your blog, and there's plenty to read in the archives until you post again. Have fun with the little one!

manda said...

its true....Stevie is so much a little cute! and it is so hard....especially the first year. but does get easier...but beware when she is ten. and has ten year old attitude. oh goodness!!!! as i am currently finding out ....f u n :-)

Anna Lloyd said...

So true! I don't think anyone truly listens if you tell them it is so hard to be a Mum (if they haven't been there already). But I assure you as miss Krissie said it does get easier! However the feelings of inadequacy don't go away. Just today I wondered if Ethan has enough educational toys and do I play enough with him?

cheeky monkey said...

Thanks for posting this. My partner came home this week and said "I'm sorry you're not enjoying being a mum". I was gutted. More so because in my heart I think he hit a sore point that although motherhood of an 8 week old is a truly wonderful thing, it's just so utterly exhausting that the only time I have a moment to think is when I flop into bed and then my mind is racing so much, and i am so overtired (not only babies get this eh?) that I can't sleep! Some days are better than others and I am enjoying those. Everyone says it gets better and that many people can't be wrong I guess! Keep up the good work. You are not alone and thanks for being so honest - it made me feel like I am not alone.