I spoke to a neighbour the other day who was out walking with her three week old son. She looked wretched! Her eyes were bloodshot, her face pale, boobs swollen and wearing baby vomit stained clothing. Nothing like the super slim, perfectly coiffed new mums we see spread across Instagram. She blurted out “he doesn’t sleep, he never sleeps. He only cat naps for 15-20 minutes. Walking him is the only way to get him to sleep”. Unfortunately parenthood is not always warm and fuzzy. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. The first couple of months can be really tough as you and your baby get to know and understand each other. I can clearly remember one day as a young Mum with two young children and their Dad away working interstate. I tried to sneak a two minute shower, crazy I know! Subsequently I had a two year old standing on the toilet banging on the shower screen and a 4 week old crying (read screaming) in the bouncer. I remember milk leaking from my boobs and a flow from below and placing my wet head against the tiles crying and thinking “so this is motherhood!”. Standing for a couple of minutes with the shower running over my head I cried, then inhaled, regrouped, got out, dried myself, threw a muesli bar to Mr Two and then proceeded to settle baby. It’s not all good. It’s not all baby powder and fluffy white towels. Your emotions are a roller coaster you will have blissful days and days you never want to relive when you will question yourself, dislike yourself and sometimes can I even say it out loud…..dislike your child (albeit briefly) then beat yourself up because you are the worst parent in the world! That’s reality for many of us on any given day.
Often we just push through, often we don’t acknowledge or share just how difficult those horror days are. Do you remember those days and still shudder or are you still living through them? How did or do you manage when you’re flat/have the blues? Are there strategies you use? Do you have someone to call to support you? Have you shared your horror stories or kept them tucked away in a tightly locked tin accessible only to you the worst parent on earth who would undoubtedly be burnt at the stake should anyone else access your parenting memoirs.