Persephone: Parent

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Persephone: The Worrier

on July 7, 2013

I am a born worried and this post may reveal more than I planned, or sound wrong without explanation.

I worry that I’m not the best mother I can be. I worry about my making a decision, doing something that is not in Elvis’ best interests, or that has some sort of long lasting damage down the line. I worry that I’m finding all of this parenting thing harder than others, that I’m too weak. I worry that I’m wishing my son’s youth away. I worry about my relationships – friends and husband.

However many of these are silly, normal and will pass. I’ve been a full parent for 8 weeks almost and my worry about not feeding my son sufficiently has long passed; I’m sure however many of these worries will too.

Being a Good Mother
Because I guess no one can be the best, not even anyone who gets mother of the year award. I touched on this slightly in a recent blog post, about how I compare myself to others. I always have, probably always will. It’s human, it’s normal and anyone who deals with it better than I, well I think you’re amazing. But it doesn’t mean I’m doing everything right.

It all keeps coming back to bed sharing and how bad I feel about doing it. Is it my own weakness that stops me from putting him in another room in his cot? Is it my own inbuilt worrying nature that keeps him tucked up to my side? Is it harming Elvis in the long run, getting him used to sharing my bed that will only cause more problems as he gets older? Or is it harming my relationship with my husband as he sleeps on the sofa every night? Am I too hung up on what I read and what the recommendations are? In the short term perhaps bed sharing is for the best (in our circumstances – we both sleep better) but how about the long term?

Although with all of our room thermometers as red as Elvis’ angry face, and a sad face showing on each of them, I feel far more comfortable having him right beside me than even next to the bed in his Moses basket.

Being Weak
When this heat gets to me or my tiredness does, I pretty much always break down semi-hysterically. It’s a certainty, a fact and as guaranteed as one plus one is two. I break down. A lot. Far less frequently than I did and over sillier things now. Normally it’s because I’ve failed to nap. Either because Elvis has refused to nap, because I’ve pushed myself too hard or because I have damn bloody insomnia – apparently I sleep better with Elvis beside me! So I see myself as weak because I had insomnia or I’m weak because I pushed myself too hard, did too much. And, of course, then I must be a bad mother because I tried too much or because I can’t handle enough. Because 7 weeks in, this should be easier, right?

And it is easier. My blogs alone are proof of that. I’ve started cooking dinners. I eat healthier during the day. I can wash up without Elvis screaming in the background. Hell, I even have time for a quiet pee – and my bowels are happier for not being rushed!

But I still have that semi-frequent moment where I can’t control myself and I break down. Shouldn’t I be stronger like all the other mothers?

And who do I take this all out on?

Being a Wife

Not only does my husband regularly sleep on the sofa (as he did through my pregnancy and as he would in this heat without Elvis being there) but he suffers the brunt of my hysterics and I, in turn, suffer his tiredness. Nothing prepares you for becoming a parent. In fact I think most people and books lie about just how difficult it all is. But nothing prepares you for the relationship problems.

All I read before giving birth was that sometimes daddy can feel left out because of the bond mum and baby get.

Where was there any warning about the mummy feeling left out, even if just for a short time? Where is the guidance on everything as a couple, as a team?

There’s help on daddy bonding with his child, guidance on how the parents need quality time alone together, about how daddy can help with night feedings to give mum a rest if she’s pumped, there’s even huge chunks of info of getting jiggy with it.

What about dealing with a daddy that’s out at work for 11 hours a day, who’s getting broken sleep because for one thing he’s on a sofa, for another he wakes up when Elvis cries – small house – and can’t nap during the day like mummy often tries to. Add to that daddy comes home to a baby that needs him and a wife that needs him, especially when she becomes hysterical. My last post was about how I feel more alone when daddy’s come home, well it’s time to admit that sometimes I feel like a single parent.

So, yes, I’m wishing away my son’s youth, but only a year or so 🙂

~ Persephone M

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