Persephone: Parent

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Honesty

on June 24, 2013

A few days (or maybe weeks, but Elvis isn’t quite 5 weeks old yet) ago a comment on one of my posts mentioned how honest my posts are. Well, I have two big secrets that I’ve not been honest about. I don’t know which to admit first.

Okay, today’s secret. I’ve been feeling a bit down today. I woke up feeling crap – headache, backache, sore shoulder. I was in desperate need of extra sleep and, of course, Elvis was wide awake with his daddy heading off to work. There was no extra sleep until until lunchtime where I got over an hour. I’ve managed a few days with no naps, but I think I’m getting a cold and I’ve always suffered with man-flu.

Until 4pm I essentially refused to do anything other than the basics – I fed him, changed him, held him. There was no playing and barely any talking from me. But at 4 I did a bit of playing. I didn’t get a mummy moment and at about half 6, just before daddy came home, I was sitting there, trying to drink a cup of tea, eat a cookie and rocking Elvis on his chair and I had an utterly shameful thought.

Clearly, given my history, I can be described as desperate to have a child – I bloody well paid to get pregnant. And to me parenting isn’t simply giving birth. I want to be a stay at home mum, but I get why some can’t. I also want to actively parent and not just sit around ignoring my child.

Whilst rocking Elvis it ocurred to me why some parents choose to work for non-financial reasons. You see my utterly shameful thought was that I can’t do this day in and day out, that I could give up my maternity leave and pay, stop breastfeeding and go back to work. All just to get me some time to myself.

There’d be my lunch break and the walk to and from work. I’d have time alone, time away from a screaming baby who pulls at my nipples, crying whilst attached at bedtime, time where I don’t have to entertain/think about how best to educate and bring up my child because a childminder/nanny/nursery worker would be. Of course that would all be time that I would simply be worrying about him, feeling guilty for passing him off and regretting not having that bond.

No one ever mentions how hard this all is. Or everyone else finds it far easier. I don’t co-sleep to bond or because it’s natural; I do it so he doesn’t snore and I can sleep, but it means I get no time at all on my own. Not that I’d have any idea what to do alone.

Is it all supposed to come naturally, is that why everyone else finds parenting not as difficult because none of this is natural, which leads into my second secret that I’ve only said to 2 people – is this all so hard because it wasn’t meant to be, because Elvis isn’t or wasn’t supposed to exist?

~ Persephone M

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