Persephone: Parent

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Grey Tinted Glasses

on May 9, 2014

Rose tinted glasses are those things things that make you look back on evwnts in a more positive light than they were at the time, right? Well, I think I must have a pair of grey tinted glasses.

When I see mums of younger babies, newborn type of age, I wonder how they seem so with it and functioning.  I met a mummy of a ten week old and wondered how she seemed so awake and alert. I remember barely being conscious, sleeping every single time that Elvis was asleep. I remember months of feeling constantly attached to him, months of bed sharing, months of only sleeping on me, months of me eating every meal over him, months of me being permanently stuck on my sofa with Elvis in my arms, months of hiding biscuits and bottles of water around the sofa so I wouldn’t need to move. It was months of being physically tied to him 24 hours a day.

And yet it wasn’t.


It simply feels like months. Apparently when I was in those two months, feeling like it was never going to end, still seems like forever. I worried for my teeth with the midnight snacking. I worried for my waistline with all of the convenience food as I had no time to cook let alone clean. God, my house was filthy. The windowsills were covered in filth from always being open in the summer.

It wasn’t months. Well, 2 maybe 3. But it seems like longer. By 4 months Elvis was hooked on his dummy and napping in his Moses. By 5 months he was doing all of his sleep in his cot. By 7 or 8 months wake up calls were a rarity. They still are.

I look at new mummies, I think back to mummies I met back in those first 3 months and wonder how they did it. I wonder how they got a baby that happily sleeps anywhere. I wonder how they managed to walk half across town to a group when a ten minute walk tired me out. I wonder how they manage to be up at 7 go to bed at 10 and son’t have the need to nap. I look back to a wedding we went to when Elvis was 3 weeks old, I spent it all in bed. Why was I that tired?

Quite simply it took me those three months to become a parent. I wasn’t one of those people who it just came to.  I have helped raise over short time periods, toddlers and newborn Elvis was far harder work than a troubled toddler. Elvis wasn’t a sleepy newborn. He was alert. He was awake. He would wake up if you moved him. He would not root around on me to indicate he was hungry. He quickly decided he did not like comfort nursing, soon after he and I realised this he got a dummy and life started to ease up.

Becoming a parent is a steep learning curve and some take longer than others. And, no, some times it doesn’t help knowing other mummies because whilst I was trying to figure out how to get my baby to sleep, their babies would fall asleep on the floor of a baby group when mine would scream unless held.

I want to make some blasé,  cliché statement that no one told me it’d be as hard as it was but that’s the easy way out. Some people really do just take to it, or they’re more adaptable as people (I like control and routine, after 5 months I got it) or their babies were easier in those first few weeks.

I do wonder of it was all as bad as I remember, would it all be like that if I were to do that again, if I could rewind the year or if there were ever going to be a second.

~ P

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