3 May 2011

When is a newborn not a newborn?

Baby?

I am starting to feel the days slip away. E is getting bigger every day, clothes are starting not to fit him and part of me is starting to already miss when he was tiny.

This is quite ironic being as though there have been many days where I have wished the days away in the hope that things would get easier for me and for him. As he gets bigger his colic is promised to get better, which it is, and the distant dream of a better night's sleep gets closer. This is all very appealing.

It is so appealing as there are many things that I have not at all got to grips with. He doesn't sleep or settle much during the day so I still struggle to get anything done. The house is still not as tidy or clean as it would have once been. The food shopping is never done. Numerous jobs remain half finished. And I have no time for myself.

Now this would have all been ok a few weeks ago. Everyone knows a newborn baby is hard work. We had lots of advice that the first few weeks would be a blur and we wouldn't really know what was happening and that was certainly true. I had an excuse for all these failings and feelings, "oh, but I have a newborn baby". But, what about at 6 weeks, what about at 8 weeks?

This week E turns 9 weeks and that doesn't really sound newborn to me. It is two full months. This is just ridiculous. There is no way I have been a Mum for two months. In fact, I still don't feel like a Mum.

We have felt many times that we are just looking after E for someone else but it has now sunken in that we are not handing him back to anyone, he isn't going anywhere. He is here to stay. This is his home and we are his Mum and Dad.

I googled 'when is a newborn baby not considered a newborn anymore' and there are numerous answers ranging from one month to three. So, I am sticking with three months. That feels slightly doable. June. I can cope with that. My baby will not then be a newborn.

Maybe by June I won't be crying at the smallest things. Maybe I'll get some of my brain back. Maybe I won't be needed just for my milk. Maybe I'll be able to choose to do something other than just sleep, tidy or eat. Maybe I will have some time for me.

But I have to accept that I AM now a Mum so it is never really going to be about me ever again. Maybe that is what I am really struggling with. Who'd have thought I could be so selfish. I have a beautiful baby boy and I am still thinking about me.

Frankly though, this beautiful baby boy deserves a better Mum than the one he sometimes has at the minute. He deserves a Mum with more confidence who doesn't shy away from situations, a Mum who is enjoying every single second of his journey.

And, to get to that point, to really make sure he gets the Mum he deserves I do actually need to find my old self. She is starting to make a reappearance, slowly but surely. She actually used to be pretty cool and I think we all miss her.

* I originally wrote this post at the end of last week and it had been a hard week.
I ummed and arred about posting it as things have gradually got better in the past few days but I decided to post it anyway.
This blog is to act as a reminder as much as an outlet. Thank you for putting up with my ramblings x *

4 comments :

  1. It took me until T was 8 weeks to turn around and say "OK, I can do this", "this" actually being leaving the house without panicking I was forgetting something, or able to go out for more than an hour! It took many many more months to really feel like I was a proper mum and not just playing at it. I remember crying, wishing I could be better, knowing I always thought I'd be good at it and here I was, useless! Now he's two and a half and I think a lot of that was the lack of sleep. When you get more sleep, everything seems so much easier. T still wakes at night, I don't often get a full nights' sleep but it's different to the hell which is the first 6 months or more. It goes in a flash and you will sit there and wonder what happened, forget how hard it has been and want to do it all over again!

    I actually now think that I'm a great mum, and I probably was then too, and you probably are too :) xx

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  2. Oh lovely, I think the turning point for me was around 4 months when I started to get Piran to sleep during the day. It was around this time that I read the Baby Whisperer book. I know that books are not for everyone but it made me realise that if I persevered with a routine then my life might become easier. It did for a few weeks and then things started to go wrong again! I realised that every few weeks we needed a 'reset' day. I would pick a day we were home with no plans and watch and learn what he needed. Sometimes he changed his feed times, sometimes he dropped a nap, or changed what time it was.

    I know I have written all about this on my blog somewhere, I am struggling to find the exact post. I have found this one that I hope might help you realise that you are not alone in feeling like this. http://youfoundkelshidingplace.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-makes-good-parent.html

    Somewhere around nine months, when I started having time to myself and we were much more settled I started to feel like me again. It was a great feeling and one that I was determined not to feel guilty about. You will get there too I promise. Give yourself as much time as you need though. It's not just newborns that are hard to adjust to. It's having a child at any age.

    Gosh I hope this is reassuring and not scary!

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  3. hey, brilliant and honest post. Totally resonates, experienced very similar with my son. I can remember going to a baby group and he just screamed and all the other mothers just stared - awful. To be honest, I agree with Kelly. I think the first 6 are very hard. For first 3 everyone gives you a break you have a new born, after 3 months they still wake up a lot in the night, and still need entertaining in the daytime. It does get easier and easier. Give yourself a big pat on the back. Try not to sweat the small stuff and know that you will get time back to yourself - it will just be different. For me the answer was walking, I just went out a lot, ignored the house and went out and walked. At the weekend I passed him over to my partner and encouraged him to do the same.

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  4. Sorry for the delay in replying to you all. Your comments mean so much to me. It is getting easier and easier but reading your comments makes me feel so much better and that it doesn't matter if I struggle. It is just normal. Thank you x

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